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10 July 2005: Da Riddim Squad + The Bazookas - Newham Festival Music Stage, London, England, UK

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A sun-soaked crowd in Central Park, East Ham, was treated to a day of free live music, as a selection of East London’s finest musicians and bands took to the open-air stage.

Kicking off around 2am slightly risqué hosts, Break FM’s Matt and Spencer introduced us to an eclectic series of acts, before the afternoon really warmed up, as Ella and Dreadkey captured the sunny mood with beautiful rnb tinged acoustic numbers that showcased the stunning Ella’s incredible voice perfectly.

The audience grew steadily as The Strand and Michaelsband both punched out feel-good funky indie, before the excellent Urban Dove mellowed the crowd with some chilled reggae.

Next up the much-talked about The Bazookas. Throughout the day these lads, dressed all in black complete with the requisite chains, sunglasses and over-the-top-hairstyles, had been sauntering around the stage area, dripping with too-cool-for-school attitude. They were going to have to be very good to live up to their hype!

And were they! The sleepy, chilled out vibe was ripped apart as the East London quartet launched into a blistering non-stop three-song opener, topped off with The Bangles classic, ‘Walk like An Egyptian’. Despite the stifling heat The Bazookas frightened us with their incredible energy and the crowd responded with huge cheers of approval. The middle of their awesome set was, according to the seemingly somewhat deranged frontman, new material and judging by the crowd reaction you can expect to hear the same songs on a much bigger stage in the not too distant future.

The lads topped off the day mischievously encouraging the crowd to take the next day off work with the anthemic ‘Phone In Sick Tomorrow’ and then, with a huge finale paid tribute to the heroes of World War 2 on VJ Day with a mighty version of the wartime classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’. The lads departed the stage to a great ovation and left everyone convinced they are certainly destined for the Big Time.

Last up, the summery vibe of Da Riddim Squad’s reggae was a fitting end to a hot and sticky day and was joyously received by the crowd by now numbering a few thousand. A series of frontmen each brought their own unique flavour to Da Squad’s hypnotic basslines and by the end of their huge set Newham had achieved new heights yet again to end a fantastic week for the borough.

© chriswoods,

The views expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect those of the team.

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