An afternoon in the park can hold many delights on a Sunday afternoon Weston Park seemed to have more than your usual. Now in its second year Weston Party, curated by Sheffield band Driftrun, held another delight in showing just a hint of the musical talent available within the city and all in the name of charity. So as we’d packed our picnic and our waterproofs (just in case the heavens opened) we settled down in front of the historic bandstand amongst music lovers, families and friends who were also ready to relax and unwind in a mini festival of delights.
Having missed seeing Mark Nichols and Blue Lip Feel our first musical escapade was Playground Mafia. Having settled into their line up after a few changes in the last few months, these guys and girls were perfect to bring in the summer, especially as the sun was shining. In a city that prides itself on an electro history, Playground Mafia bring it bang up to date. Fusing upbeats and blips with catchy lyrics they bring the party. Club friendly and it seemed bandstand friendly too, it was hard to sit still to the reverbs held in the songs including Feel Love and one of the most perfect dance tracks I’ve heard in a while, 1 Nite. Following the upbeat dance prowess were Alvarez Kings, a band fuelled with harmonies, guitars and the ability to send shivers down your spine. Having recently toured Europe and released their Patience is Strength EP it was fitting to see these fellas back on home soil. Working their way through a sterling set list including You, Me, Them, Us and The Sequel, it was a shock to hear them dedicate a song, An Honest Dilemma, to me (it’s my favourite!). I actually can’t find fault with Alvarez Kings it’s the truth. Speaking of faultless, the legend that is Steve Edwards took to the stage. Taking a break from Lords of Flatbush, and joined by The Big Strong Love, Edwards brought back an old school soul vibe that seems to be missing locally. Huge vocals bringing about personalised social commentary backed with big sounds as a first outing for the group it was pretty special and certainly something to watch out for.
Next up was Jon Windle, still famously known for his Little Man Tate days. A cheeky wink and a smile seemed to have the audience eating out of his hand. Playing songs old and new there was something for everyone. It appears to have been a bit of a steep learning curve from front man to solo artist for Mr Windle, but those who saw appreciated him and his set to the max. Last but not least were the men of the day, Driftrun. Humble in their approach and thanking everyone for participating in the day they set about the music. Despite a few technical hitches they provided an energetic set filled with synth breaks, drum and base filled rhythms and Gilly’s harmonious vocals it was an upbeat end to an amazing afternoon.
Weston Party provided a few surprises and a lot of good memories, to coin a phrase, there was something for everyone. A mix of ages, people and music who could ask for more?
Over £1000 was raised for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, not bad for an afternoon in the park. Well done to everyone involved, roll on Weston Party 3 next year.