Humber Street Sesh is the primary metropolitan music festival in Hull, and just under two hours from Manchester. For only £10 advance and £15 on the door, if you like new music and are looking to get away from the Mancunian buzz, this weekend presents you the perfect opportunity.
Humber Street Sesh has been running annually since 2012 and has swelled in popularity, with the 2018 edition seeing the introduction of a Friday evening to go alongside the Saturday. Additionally, the festival has expanded, with 23 stages making up the new festival site – compared to 20 last year.
The festival has the unique selling point of only including local acts, so any guests are bound to find someone new they love. Whilst there might not be big names in abundance, there certainly is enough talent to compete with other inner city day events such as Neighbourhood or Live at Leeds.
The festival has also performed a vital role in Hull’s year as 2017 UK City of Culture, accelerating the regeneration of the city’s Fruit Market area into a hub of creative industry and culture.
With this in mind, The Mancunion previews Humber Street Sesh 2018, and gives you our top tips on who to see and what to expect.
The key thing about Friday is that it’s a new addition, and as such it doesn’t cover the full festival site. Only six stages are open, but they do provide some huge local outfits the opportunity to raise the curtain on the weekend.
Top tip: Polo. It’s pop music, written brilliantly. The three-piece feature a myriad of synths and drum machines, but singer Kat McHugh’s vocal really stand out. They’re powerful, piercing, and pure – which ties together the beautifully crafted songs together succinctly. It’s the perfect way to whet your appetite for Saturday: nothing too intense, good vibes only, and a small boogie afoot. Find them on the Strummerville Stage at 9.30 pm.
Also make time for: Jack Conman and The Paddingtons. Conman has been creating a huge buzz in the North lately over his latest EP release, Heddison, with his gentle indie offerings resulting in rave reviews from the music press. He’s on the Strummerville Stage at 8 pm.
The long-awaited return of The Paddingtons is also not to be missed. Securing a headline slot after a small reunion last year, they were once mentioned in the same breath as The Libertines in the early-2000s. Indeed, guitarist Josh Hubbard went on to play in Carl Barât’s outfit Dirty Pretty Things. A cult band nationally with legendary status in Hull, expect a large crowd and a rapturous reception. See them on the Spiders From Mars Big Top at 10.10 pm.
Worth stopping by for: Black Delta Movement (Spiders From Mars Big Top, 8.25 pm), Pork Recordings (Funky Wormhole, 7 pm), and Fiona Lee (Speak Easy, 7pm).
Saturday Afternoon (11 am – 5 pm)
Top tip: False Advertising. They’re a Mancunian masterpiece of aggressive post-punk, and have dual vocalists Jen Hingley and Chris Warr to keep things fresh throughout the set. Josh Sellers ably keeps everything rooted in their frustrated message on bass. Guaranteed to make you angry at the system or make you move, any stiff legs will be banished by the end of their set. Find them on on the Spiders From Mars Big Top at 4.30 pm.
Also make time for: Mint and Sex Injuries. Mint have a small element of The Cure’s early days in them, but can delve into more fast-paced rhythms to ensure their set ticks over consistently and dramatically. See them on the Main Stage at 3.35 pm.
A Sex Injuries set might leave you with the latter half of their name. Violent, melodramatic, and more importantly, playing the relatively small venue of Rock Stage. With this in mind, the hardcore punks are not for the inexperienced, but if you do take the plunge then you’ll see spilled drinks and sweaty t-shirts. See them on the Rock Stage at 3 pm.
Worth stopping by for: King Orange (Dead Bod Stage, 11.30 am), Dylan Cartlidge (Main Stage, 2 pm), Kitty VR (Speak Easy, 2.45 pm).
Saturday Evening (5 pm onwards)
Top tip: Bunkerpop. They’re like nothing else you’ve ever seen. A hugely experimental party band that push things to the limit, you probably won’t see as many instruments on stage at Humber Street Sesh all weekend. Clad in paint suits, even the most hardened fun-hating killjoy can’t help but fail to shout the singer’s post code, dance on stage, or whatever else they do this time. The perfect way to end the weekend, see them on the Dead Bod Stage at 10.30 pm.
Make time for: Chiedu Oraka and La Bête Blooms. Oraka has a new single out a new bounce after his triumphant set at the first night of the Bonus Arena. A man proud of his city, without shying away from its ills, this is one for Hullensians to go to to be proud about, and for outsiders to see what it’s like to come from Hull. He is generating some serious momentum and spearheading the emerging Hull hip hop talent which in years to come may rival some other cities’ scenes. See him on the Main Stage at 7 pm.
La Bête Blooms are similarly cutting with their lyrics, but play up to their soft indie underbelly more. Singer Daniel Mawer has an unassuming but thought-provoking stage presence, meaning audiences don’t expect the cutting commentary on society they deliver, but it stays with them. See them on the Main Stage at 5.15 pm.
Worth stopping by for: Lumer (Spider From Mars Big Top, 5.15 pm), Fonda 500 (Main Stage, 7.45 pm), Of Allies (BBC Humberside Introducing Stage, 10.30 pm).
That rounds off our top picks for Humber Street Sesh 2018 – tickets are only £10 in advance and £15 on the door. If you’d like to know any more about the festival, head to www.humberstreetsesh.co.uk/.