Day three at the Paralympics and our line-up had it all. From folky loveliness to balls-out grooves the crowds at the Emerging Icons stage were sure to be entertained.
To warm the spirits as the autumnal weather sets in, Erin K and her band of master musicians opened up with sweet serenades. With a collaboration of guitars, cello and ukulele this anti-folk sextet produce a heart-melting, feel-good music with warmth and precision. As is the tragic way of many artistic talents, the band went through tumultuous times, dropping the previous name of Erin K and Tash with the departure of a former member. This resulted in Erin's acclaimed track 'Coins' consequentially having to be adapted, displayed with perfection today for all to hear.
An eclectic ensemble backed a trio of female vocals, creating a harmonious homage to Erin's American roots of folk and blues styles with a flicker of modernised originality. The band's musings flowed through so many genres it was hard to keep track. Tinges of gypsy jazz masqueraded by classic rock influences, all washed away by delicate acoustic harmonies echoing modern baroque pop acts such as Fleet Foxes. Erin's lyrics tell stories of love, lust and loneliness. Her band perform with uncanny tightness, painting ethereal and cinematic soundscapes. It proved to be a live performance that truly demonstrated the mastership of their craft.
Here's an acoustic session we did with them in the run up to the Olympics:
Having been such a hit with the boys at the Beeb the day before, we had no choice but to ask for the company of Battle Of You once more. Luckily, they were happy to oblige. To be fair we would have been more shocked if they had turned us down- who wouldn't want to party in the spotlight front of an international audience? Well, Prince Harry might be giving it a second thought now perhaps.
The inspirational atmosphere surrounding the games is something that has captured the imagination of the whole country- but none so more than Battle Of You. In a very frank interview that saw them sharing some of their stories of the internal conflicts during their upbringing they revealed just how much of an impact the Paralympics had on them personally. "The paralympians are incredible people, who have fought their battles and overcome them to achieve their dreams. It's an honour to be here, and we're so excited!" With the victories of Richard Whitehead and Oscar Pistorious making for momentous occasions in the entire world of sport- let alone Paralympic history- we're rather inclined to agree with them.
Also joining the day's line-up were an intriguing bunch of lads. Bibelots may look like a typical indie band and have the stage presence of a typical indie band- but they certainly take a side-step from the sound of a typical indie band. Rather than going all Gallagher on us, Bibelots hit the stage with a big bundle of beats, energy and style. At the risk of making them sound like Earth Wind and Fire, this is a band whose whole creative philosophy is deeply ingrained in funk and groove.
The pulsing rhythm thumping from the stage summons the atmosphere of a rave more than a rock show... but there's still the overwhelming urge to have a can of lager in hand. Well, some things never change. The Emerging Icons platform became a soapbox to promote the cause of dance- because right then, in that moment, it seemed like an exceptionally good idea to bust some moves. We can only hope that future albums from this lot can include an instruction manual so we know how to do it a little better cos we've definitely got some work to do.
Here's what they had to say when we caught up with them at the Olympics:
A busy day at the office indeed- but it's always good to end it with a bit of dancing. Not many people can say they do that...
Follow Kat Jackman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@emergingicons