Portsmouth psychedelic scene gets together for food bank all-dayer
Tomorrow Strong Island Recordings, Velvet Candy and Crocodile Nightmares join forces to present Interstellar Food Drive, a cosmic celebration of celestial sounds from the leftfield to help out the city's food bank.
TheÂ all-day, mini-festival boasts a bill topped byÂ Melt Dunes, and includesÂ scene luminaries such as Skinny Milk, Sad Palace,Â Number 9,Â Pregoblin,Â Black Helium, Mystic Peach, Superdrone, Scrubs andÂ Dad Hair.
And Velvet Candy will be turning the venue into a kaleidoscopic cavern with their illuminating liquid light show. There will also be an artÂ exhibition featuring talented graphic designers, plus a vegan barbecue.Â All profits from the day go toÂ Portsmouth Food Bank .
The organisers were inspired to put on the event in response to the rising numbers needing to access food banks.Â Between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018,Â The Trussell Trust's foodbank network distributed 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 13 per centÂ increase on the previous year.
Chris Williamson, guitarist for Melt Dunes, and co-promoters Crocodile Nightmare, explains the reason behind the show: '˜It's something that upsets and angers us all that there are people who can't feed their families based on what they're earningÂ and they need to go to food banks, it's really sad that that's the reality.
'˜And it's obviously a worthy cause, it's something people see every day '“Â you see homeless people, butÂ this isn'tÂ just a problem that effects theÂ homeless, it's poorer families.Â I think it's something that's close to everyone's hearts, so we can get a few people together, raise awareness and raise some money that we canÂ give to a worthy charity at the end of it.'
The heavy-psych four-piece have been stunning audiences with their aural assaults since 2015, and at the start of the year they put out their debut EP, Flesh.
Chris reckons the psych scene is on the rise at the moment:Â Â '˜I only moved to Southsea about a year ago, but I was already spending a lot of time here before that. We started playing more shows here and we realised there's more potential here.Â There's more independent DIY venues and that sort of facilitated, even in the last year, more bands forming and coming to Southsea '“Â they see it as a worthy place to play. There's a number of great local bands, Number 9, Mystic Peach - it's definitely improving.'
Melt DunesÂ recently went on their first European tour, playing seven dates inÂ the Czech Republic, andÂ France via Holland, Austria and Germany,Â which from the look of their social media posts was a messy but fun time.
'˜It was definitely both of those things,' Chris laughs. '˜It was an amazing experience, every venue was incredible in its own way, we played in a military prison in Prague '“Â we stayed there overnight in the cells.
'˜We had no real ideaÂ what our reception would be like '“Â it was out first time playing in Europe, but a lot of places sold out, whichÂ was something we didn't expect. It was a bit overwhelming, we're really grateful for it.Â We can't wait to go back out there.'
With the well-received Flesh under their belts, and a sold-out run of cassettes, the group is starting to planÂ its follow-up.
'˜In the near future, we're going to be getting back in the studio and experimenting. It's hard to say how long it's going to be, because we might spend hours and hours in the studio trying to get every little thing right, we don't know the full plan ourselves yet! We want to get something out as soon as possible though, hopefully early 2019. It willÂ probably beÂ another EP. Then after that we'll throw ourselves into an album. That will be our debut so we want to put everything we can into an album, that's important to us, we want it to be the very best it can.'
Tickets for the day are Â£8 advance.
INTERSTELLAR FOOD DRIVE
The Dockyard Club, Southsea
Saturday, August 11