Print Features Editor Jaysim Hanspal reviews the Poltimore launch party at Exeter Cavern.
Festival season has begun. It’s January and, let’s be honest, we are all broke and a little bit melancholy. The rain in Exeter never ends, and, as a fourth-year who just had a nine-hour workday, I was not exactly ready to be hit in the face with a wall of sound for the rest of the evening. I had clearly forgotten what Poltimore was all about.
Cavern was decked to the nines with fairy lights and handpainted banners, and the glow of the evening was met with a sea of Poltimore-goers mingling before the show. As a student-run independent music and arts festival, Poltimore Festival prides itself on its network of students, local businesses, and artists all coming together. Everyone seems to know each other, not in a clichey, “we’re cooler than you” type way, but in an extremely authentic, sort of endearing way.
Poltimore Festival prides itself on its network of students, local businesses, and artists all coming together
The show started with four-piece student band Paradigm. Quite possibly Exeter’s new Psychopomp, the boys were surprisingly low-key for a band which then exploded into cries and stellar riffs that definitely had a bit of Muse about them. Marcus Walsh is a real Taylor Hawkins on the drums, carrying the set with his distinctive drumming. The lead singer, although at times pitchy, belted our the lyrics to a welcoming crowd. The songs struck a real range of tones, and so while it’s clear that this is a band still trying to find their sound; they sound great while doing it.
Paradigm was followed by the iconic Datura Roots Collective, who performed at the festival last year. In a perhaps impossible feat, this reggae fusion band made Cavern seem like Notting Hill in August. A mash-up of too many genres to name, the Collective is the only band of its kind that doesn’t confuse the senses, but have also managed to find a sustained sound that genuinely blends well together. People who I could never imagine in my life to bop to carnival tunes were swinging their hips and genuinely, everyone seemed to be having a great time. The D.R.C have previously even made it to Boomtown Fair and are definitely ones to watch.
Finally, the headliner Tourists finished off the night. Hailing from nearby Torbay, they made an appearance on Glastonbury’s BBC Introducing Stage in 2017 and have been going steadily since. With a solid sound that, admittedly, at the end of the night was a slightly sleep-inducing feat, they do have a strong sound and are set to release some new music soon.
The evening rounded off with the lights being flickered violently on, no ‘Angels’ was played, and surprisingly, very few drunk people. People flooded out in excited conversation, the last dedicated few helping to pull the stars off the ceiling, where the D.R.C had undoubtedly left them.