Words/Photos: Soundart Radio
Ostensibly, not much happens in Totnes anymore. Barely 25’000 people, rural as. Culturally, little bits here and there, but since the loss of its local arts college, and the hundreds of young artists that left with it, a hole appeared.
For some, the feeling is not so much gentrifying, as atrophying… Sea Change, now in its fourth year, has stepped up somewhat to inject new life. A micro festival with a big heart and boots its rapidly outgrowing, its firmly stamping an impression on the Totnes/Dartington landscape with a broad mix of music, arts and culture that’s rarely seen in this remote far flung outpost tucked away in the South West corner of this sceptred isle.
What is it? Well, its ‘family friendly’ but don’t let that put you off, there’s something for everyone, just open your ears and listen. In another time, in another place I could be disparaging, ‘ah it’s just pop music’, unlikely to tickle my ears at any point. I don’t listen to 6music, my culture is my radio not your radio, so much passes me by, and yet, and yet, and yet… These bands, who I’m sure I could be equally disparaging off on vinyl, too ‘well produced’, too ‘slick’ just come into their own in a live setting. Guitars make some of my favourite guitar noises, hey look there, the bassist is windmilling like the best of the 90’s death metallers, synths wail, whine and bleep, that drummer, what is this, indie pop? Damn she’s hitting those drums as hard as she fucking can, high waisted beige trousers, tucked in vintage top, tiny moustache looking like he’s trying to find a way out of east Berlin c:1980, I’m falling and falling hard…
There’s weird, there’s beautiful, there’s fast and loud, and of course the other. Probably boring too, but hey that’s festivals. If the music gets too much there are talks and installations in one of the UK’s most iconic modernist buildings, and a warm end to each evening in a gymnasium that vibe’s just the right side of school disco cum 90’s squat rave. I’m already excited for next year. You should be too…
Sea Change Festival is organised by the lovely Rupert from Drift Records. Go check it out…
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