Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s Scrotefest time!
Curated and headlined by a band who can be confidently described as Bedfordshire’s premier reggae and ska collective, Easydread have long kept the home fires burning, while tirelessly flying the flag up and down the country. Take a glance at the band’s gig listings and they are almost always getting involved somewhere, and the people love them for it. So a festival of their own making, involving some of their favourite acts, of which they’ve shared a stage with, serves as the perfect celebration. Not that the Easydread crew need much excuse for a party. Taking place at Luton’s newest venue, Luton Underground, it’s the perfect opportunity for the venue to make a statement of intent and hopefully fulfil its potential. If any band is up to the task of bringing in a new dawn, then it is Easydread.
A hand picked lineup of Ska acts look to get Guildford Street skanking; Baldhead & The Dreads encourage us to “smoke weed, pet dogs”, and Lead Shot Hazard bring horns a plenty to the Underground’s stage for some Less Than Jake influenced shenanigans. Eat The Evidence are by their own admission “Ska-Punk reggae drunk” and they certainly help keep the beer flowing, before Vegetable Collective more than oblige to keep the room bouncing with their rowdy rude boy riddims. The atmosphere has been nothing short of exceptional throughout the day, with everyone grinning ear to ear, brought together with one love for music. If there is a criticism, it’s that the sound has been quite muddy — possibly the teething problems of a venue not yet used to staging an event of this size. Thankfully this issue is blown away as soon as the brass strikes up in unison to signal the arrival of Easydread. Scrotes a-hoy!
Everything you need to know about Easydread is right there before you, with the 8 strong outfit crowded in front of the Luton Underground sign. Each member is an exceptional musician in their own right, and together at times seem unstoppable. Lead singer Steve Alger has an unparalleled talent for a catchy chorus, giving even more weight and depth with his distinctive, soulful voice, backed with the brass and class either side of him. Easydread set the room on ‘Fyah’, and it will take days to get ‘Crosshatch Line’ out of your head once heard, so don’t fight it, just feel it. There’s a whole world of positivity within the music, and if there really is going to be a revolution, then kindness and understanding could be the key. So stand up, raise your voice and join this merry band of scrotes on the path to a better future.
Easydread absolutely smashed it tonight at the inaugural Scrotefest, making sure everyone had their dancing boots on for some good old moon stomping. Here’s hoping this will now become a permanent fixture in the festival calendar, adding to the local flavour.