Off The Record came back for its second year… and after the high success of its first year, we were definitely excited to see what they had up their sleeves.

Taking a refreshing approach to putting on a festival, having it as a conference by day and then getting music industry officials to curate the line up of the festival at night… not to mention the fact that they only publically announce the line up a day or two before the event takes place; keeping the focus – as best as they can – on ‘discovering’ new music.

The conference saw the likes of Cabbage and False Heads hold talks, whilst other panel topics covered a high variety of subjects such as Sync, merch, getting into the music industry and much, much more. It’s not often you get the chance to be educated and also wowed with high quality acts all on the same day!

Choosing who to see wasn’t the easiest of choices, but we did our best. Heading over to the Soup Kitchen to first catch the soft, crooning vocals of Margate’s JAKL. Feeling a bit worse for wear after a lock in the previous night, JAKL didn’t let that prevent him from wowing us with his emotive vocals. Meadowlark completely stole our hearts, however, opening their set at The Peer Hat with their stunning cover of ‘May I Have This Dance’ before flawlessly blasting through a portion of their back catalogue including their album title track ‘Postcards’.

Unfortunately, we were left disappointed on our quest to see Koalas, after conflicting schedule times and venues actually resulted in us receiving the information that they weren’t going to be playing at all. Our disappointment didn’t last very long at all though, as Queen Zee and the Sasstones blasted away any and all negativity and replaced it with a respectful energy and with an encore consisting of a very punk version of ‘Gay Bar’… there wasn’t anyone who left without a smile on their face. Potentially the best act of the whole day.

Sugarmen stole our attention next, their standard indie tracks, with anthemic riffs and happy go lucky lyrics keeping everyone more than occupied, before we headed to The Castle, where even with a leaky roof, Pink Kink would end our Off The Record experience on a massive high. Mixing fun, high energy, attitude and more together in a mesmerising way, these are definitely ones to watch and Off The Record once again will no doubt have predicted some of 2018’s successful acts.