by Hywel Roberts Contributor | Photos by Derek Bremner / Fanatic

Tags: Years & Years, Metronomy, Slow Club 

Metronomy, Years & Years and more kick off Festival No.6

The Portmeirion bash gets off to a beautiful start


Festival Number 6 day one review photos Metronomy Years and Years Photo: Derek Bremner / Fanatic

Festival No.6 got off to a huge start, with the likes of Metronomy, Years & Years and many more kicking off proceedings yesterday (Friday 4 September). 

Festival No.6 showed again yesterday that it is on the fast track to bona fide A List status. Much is made of the stunning setting of Portmeirion and its surroundings, and rightly so, but the true wonders to be found come from the imagination and warped minds of the people who decided hosting an arts festival in the unspeakably kitsch faux Italian village was a sensible idea.

On the main stage (Stage No.6) Slow Club brought their blend of C86 charm and Spectoresque harmonies to the crowd, proving that indie pop is still a force to be reckoned with, even in 2015. Rebecca Taylor's combination of devastating emotion and child-like corpsing is the perfect emotional juxtaposition for those who came to be moved but also escape from their troubles.

Over on the i Stage, Shura channelled Roxette in a thoroughly modern way and proved that it is possible to host more talent in her diminutive frame than most egoistical rock bands could dream of.

Among the eclectic mix of acts for all tastes, there is a definite spine of treats at Festival No.6 that the clued in young music fan can get their teeth into. Years & Years kicked off this programme on Stage No.6, the high pitched fervour welcoming them announcing the arrival in earnest of the love struck female teen element of the crowd. Thankfully they didn't disappoint, with frontman Olly Alexander throwing the kind of outrageous shapes that could make Prince blush. The bright young things were kept similarly entertained through the night by barnstorming sets from Young Fathers and Mark Ronson.

Photo: Andrew Whitton / Fanatic

But Festival No.6 is never better than when it delivers the kind of entertainment that you simply wouldn't find anywhere else. The Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir have been a permanent fixture in Portmeirion since the first festival; always drawing huge and emotionally charged crowds to the Central Piazza. Traditional Welsh battle songs such as Men of Harlech stirred the blood of the significant Welsh-speaking contingent here, while their take on songs by Muse and Elbow were pleasingly anachronistic while sounding superb to boot. When they closed with Welsh national anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers) a wonderfully surreal candlelit procession ushered revelers toward Stage No.6 for Metronomy's headline set.

Dorset's finest brought a touch of order and class to proceedings, playing the kind of set that makes you realise why they are currently dining at the top table of the British music banquet. Their composed but charged electro-pop was the perfect foil to the madcap feast of artistic offerings on show all day. Finally, for the strong of mind and liver, Craig Charles delivered his traditional blend of funk and chaos to the rum tent until the early hours.

Today Portmeirion raises its head, takes stock of the damage done and prepares to repeat every single beautiful mistake it made less than 24 hours ago.

Check back at Gigwise for the latest news, reviews and more from Festival No.6. 

Hywel Roberts


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