Having hosted numerous music events across the UK such as Goose Island LDN Block Party and more, I was so excited to get the chance to go to their Hop Party with the likes of Shame and Park Hotel performing as well as the fantastic Rockaoke – a live act in itself.
One thing that struck me as I entered the event area was the atmosphere, similar to a festival; there are different areas for you to entertain yourself throughout the day. Whether you wanted to grab a pint of SK-Brew (a special IPA brewed by Goose Island dedicated to event headliner’s Blossoms), get your own printed T-shirt or just have a boogie to the Mystery Jets’ DJ set – there was something for everyone. But what intrigued me the most was the atmosphere, everyone was clearly grasping onto the last moments of summer.
Before the bands were set to play, I wandered around basking in the sunshine, sipping on my Blossoms SK-Brew to find Rockaoke in action. Now, before this day, I had only heard wonderful things about this act, and yes Rockaoke is definitely an act in itself. Performing karaoke gets kicked up a notch when you’re given the chance to play with a live band and there’s also a crowd cheering you on – this was the perfect way to warm up before settling into a night of live bands.
Park Hotel have proved their worth in the music scene over the last few years, their first single ‘Gone as a Friend’ initiated the disco grooves that would define their future work, the duo’s recent debut EP ‘Nothing To Lose‘ takes their sound even further, building scope for bigger stages, which has enabled the band to play festivals and shows across the UK and Europe. I had never properly listened to the band before seeing them at Goose Island’s Hop Party, but it’s safe to say they’ve gained a new fan in me. Bringing groovy, psychedelic disco pop to the Oval Space, there wasn’t one crowd member not moving along to the addictive sounds they were producing. ‘Make It Happen’ is what really stuck out for me in their set; colourful guitar melodies, intrinsic drum patterns and euphoric bass lines merged with both Tim and Rebeca’s smooth vocals which enveloped the room and it was just the perfect mix of sounds.
It was a stark contrast that came next with Shame. From South London, the five-piece are no stranger to a live show, having played hundreds of shows across the UK, Europe and further afield. After the release of their phenomenal debut album Songs of Praise, I was extremely excited to see their live set. If there’s one thing that will help you prepare, bring earplugs, it gets pretty loud. Brash guitar riffs, titillating drum beats and hard hitting bass lines packed a punch right in your gut; the room soon became hot and sweaty from the continuous moshing and dancing from the crowd. The halls of Oval Space were alive with the pure energy coming from the band and audience, and it was infectious. Entering the mosh pit, prepped for a beating, I was pleasantly surprised by the supportive nature of the gig goers whilst moshing – picking each other up if one fell down. What fascinates me about seeing Shame live is the way they connect with their fans on a level I’ve never seen before; one moment that stuck out for me was when singer Charlie crowd surfed singing with fans who were chanting at the top of their lungs.
Goose Island have once again put on a brilliant event; filled with laughs, beer and good food, creating an all round end of summer bash. With the likes of Blossoms, Shame and Park Hotel bringing their fantastic sounds and an array of activities between the music, it’s safe to say the Hop Party was one of my favourite one-day events of festival season.
For more information on Goose Island and to follow updates on future events, visit their Website.