Stag And Dagger proves great value for money for a one night event

Stag And Dagger (London) 2011 review

published: Mon 23rd May 2011

Toro Y Moi

Thursday 19th May 2011
6 venues across London's East End, England
early bird £10
daily capacity: 4500
last updated: Mon 9th May 2011

Stag and Dagger is one of the city slickers that kick-starts the UK festival season, including The Great Escape and Camden Crawl, but taking place in both both London and Glasgow. Like its counterparts it prides itself on championing new and underground music alongside more established acts, with the line-ups slightly differing between the two cities. But where Stag and Dagger differs is that it is small but perfectly formed, eluding a combination of cool, considered yet carefree, and provides a chance for many to see some of their new favourites for the first time. For the £13.50, the ticket allows access to all the venues (queue permitting) and it's great value for money for a one night event, even if it does take place on a Thursday.

Toro Y Moi
The premise is initially daunting. 11 venues, 47 acts, all set within hip and swanky Shoreditch which can be a maze of similar streets with only street art as signposts. Thankfully, all the venues are no more than 5 minutes apart from each other - bar 93 Feet East situated at the bottom of Brick Lane. As with any festival, the headliners clashed, but you are also faced with the possible torment of being stuck in a venue queue, listening to the drowned melodies of your favourite act from the pavement. Bar the main headliners Toro Y Moi, DELS, and New Young Pony Club (stupidly situated in the tiny Macbeth), there were no queueing nightmares. Bar waiting times were also short, and there was always plenty of room for dancing.

Echo Lake
Each venue had it's own musical flavour for the night. Village Underground showcased the best of today's post punk and indie, with acts such as Echo Lake, No Joy, Mazes and Wire while the crowd sipped Red Stag, the alcoholic equivalent of cherry dib-dabs. Fact Magazine hosted the hard and heavy proceedings at the Hoxton Bar and Grill, with a relentless assault of bone-crushing bass from D/R/U/G/S, while Becoming Real bounced as he introduced us to his futuristic 'Ghost-step'. XOYO was the venue everyone visited at least once to pick up their wristband, but also stayed to check out Dam Mantle's minimal beats, Toro Y Moi's blissful chillwave delacacies & Creep finishing things off dark and stormy.

Young British Artists
The rest of the smaller venues may not have had the names, but they kept the audiences entertained. The Old Blue Last and the Vice generation rocked out to Young British Artists, and Patterns, while CAMP kept things eclectic with poptastic Thecocknbullkid, the bizarre Beat Connection and always delightful James Yuill. I didn't venture all the way to 93 Feet East, but I am sure it was a hive of dark bellowing with DELS and Ghostpoet in the vicinity. The night was rounded off by the remix superstar of the moment Star Slinger and Solar Bears with their dreamy supersonic synth-stylings.

Stag and Dagger isn't a perfect festival, but if you like your music cherry-picked, undiscovered, as well as being so close to home that you can still get up for work in the morning, then you might love it.

Solar Bears
review by: Rosie Rogers

photos by: Rosie Rogers

Thursday 19th May 2011
6 venues across London's East End, England
early bird £10
daily capacity: 4500
last updated: Mon 9th May 2011


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