Southend on Sea anno 2019 is an experience, coke dealers drive around in roofless cars, a big part of the beach is replaced by a ghostly looking theme park in which nobody dares to enter. The boulevard is full of benches placed there in honour of beloved dead people. Locals talk about the famous jams coming from the area, at the venue in which ‘culture as a dare’ has claimed to do their thing these legendary jam jars are filled with local liquor. Dead palm trees wave around in the sunlight, several Rossi ice cream parlours are spread around as if they are the local mob selling the people of south end ice creams like offers that they cannot refuse.
Within all this madness a more adventurous crowd flocked its way in twenty one southend, where the evening organised by culture as a Dare was organised. It had a really nice juice line up, one that would make your mouth water. It started with the most insanely deejay set ever by DJ Lee Ashcroft who played oddities after oddities that had kindly the right allure of simply being all over the place. Lets say his deejay set was eclectic and completely unexpected & he certainly enjoyed the confusion that he happily planted! Fun!
The first act of the evening was Pettaluck who had a special reason to be extra turbulent as she just released her solo album named Pass on South End’s famous micro label Wrieuw Recordings.
Sadly Pettaluck didn’t have all the luck in the world as apparently she had an accident a couple of days ago & had to do her gig while suffering from a concussion. Still tough as she is, she didn’t let the audience down and went in with a full band for support & performed songs from her new release. As a multi instrumentalist you know you will be in for a treat, but when she started to play the balloon many minds (including mine) just got blown away!
She even went on to perform an mysterious dance with coloured fabrics, making me think of a swan that proudly showed off her feathers. She did the percussions, looped a meow sound, sang all her songs fluently and created an very impressive opening of the exquisite evening.
After more craziness by DJ Lee Ashcroft, it was time for the most sanest person ever to perform; Pancake Promises! If the artist name makes your mouth drool, than you had been at the right address. Pancake Promises delivered commercial jingles with the distinctive midi sound, including animated corresponding images on an old retro television. One of his main instruments was a prominent microwave which he used to Heath up pre made poffertjes. You know those tiny pancakes?
He was happy prancing about making sure the audience their sweet tooth got what it wanted! A happy joyful moment!
More Lee Ashcroft craziness came after his set, playing the kind of tunes that either helped digest the tiny pancakes, or made them twirl around in the stomachs of all the wonderful loonies attending the event. After a while our good friend Toxic Chicken came along while seated on a mutated chicken. He didn’t share his food like Pancake Promises, but instead ‘entertained’ the members of the public with the wonderful act of watching him casually, as he ate a bowl of delicious noodle soup.
For many people (the understandable) highlight of their life.
After DJ Lee was done randomly popping on some outsider music, it was time for the headliner to do her thing. This was Rita Braga, who not only shined in her glitter dress as she enthusiastically played and sang her wonderful multilingual songs, she also entirely lifted the spirit of everyone by creating a wonderful atmosphere of intriguing happiness.
For the people in South End who never had traveled before, this part of the night must have been like a exotic vacation, as the artist easily performed songs that took you to places that probably only flying birds would be able to attend all in their life time.
From tropical locations to carefree zones of sheer fantasia; Rita Braga brought it all out in a way that was easy approachable, making everybody flying away to a happy place full of wonders!
All in all this evening was a great melting pot of eclectic fun. For everyone into escapism this was the place to be! Hell, culture never been so daring!