1-2-3-4 Festival

1-2-3-4 Festival

Shoreditch Park, London, Sunday, Aug 5

A quick lap round Shoreditch Park today, and it becomes clear that most of last night’s Jackalope ravers are still awake, pushing on through for another festival back in their heartland. They’ve been up for 30 hours… so what? There’s another nine to get through, packed with bands and DJs. Game on…

The Bishops, with their suit-and-tie combos and apparent early-Beatles obsession, are only marginally less retro than powdered wig-wearers. They are enjoyable nonetheless – with every song having the feel of an old 45 plucked from your Dad’s attic. Next up are Selfish Cunt, who we were sure we’d heard the last of several years ago. Now expanded to four members, the Cunt have, all of a sudden, become a weirdly watchable band, with Martin Tomlinson’s provocative Iggy Pop impressions backed by music that, while not exactly pleasant, is a lot better than we remember.

Next up, The Paddingtons… for too long now clinging to Carl Barât’s coat-tails and in desperate need of an identity of their own, the grot-rock five-piece play a set heavy with new material, of which ‘Gangs’ hints at, if not exactly hidden depths, then at least hidden talent.

Following that, Ali Love’s severely delayed and brilliantly chaotic acoustic set produces a funky ‘Rock And Roll Control’ as the highlight, before Har Mar Superstar – another man we’d thought lost to the mists of general indifference – hits the stage. Featuring Fab Moretti on drums (a fact he never lets us forget by introducing him between EVERY song), he’s lost none of his enthusiasm for himself (“Who wants to fuck me?”) nor his knack for writing strangely infectious R&B – ‘Tall Boy’ (“A song that Britney Spears’ management were too fucking stupid to buy”) and ‘Body Request’ – and is as creepily entertaining as ever.

“Next time I play here, you guys are gonna pay to see me, right?” he asks having shed all but the last item of clothing. So long as those Y-fronts remain on, Har Mar.

Barry Nicolson