Of all the livestreams that have been organised during this pandemic, the Swingamajig quarantine party is the one that I was looking forward to the most. Swingamajig is routinely my favourite day of the year, and I’ve been along to every single one. The guys who organise it always do such a fantastic job, and there was no question of their ability to pull off something spectacular. So when the day came, Becca and I got ourselves ready for a unique but genuine festival experience.
The event got off to a rocky start however, with a constant stream of technical difficulties affecting Hong Kong Ping Pong’s Morphosis’s set. Resultingly, we didn’t really get to experience this set at all, which was a real shame, so the kind of de facto start of the event was at 6.30 with the Swingamajig quiz. This seemed pretty appropriate considering how accustomed we’ve all become to Zoom pub quizzes in the past few weeks, and I was quietly confident that I’d do quite well, considering my familiarity with the festival. We entered both the regular, and “insane hardmode” quiz, and are currently awaiting the results. Following this, the Rin Tins played an acoustic set live from Bristol, and despite a few further technical issues at the start, put on a great show. These livestreams are rather saturated with DJs at the moment, so it was lovely to have a band bring the live dynamic. We were then all treated to a panel discussion featuring Nick Hollywood, Emma Clair, Fizzy Gillespie, and Mike Rack of Dutty Moonshine – by far the most interesting part of the night. Asking many of the questions I myself have been exploring over my research, it was really positive to see these guys sharing their thoughts in such a riveting way.
Swingamajig Lockdown Party Live – Part 1
Swingamajig Lockdown Party Live – Part 2
Swingamajig Lockdown Party Live – Part 3
Swingamajig Lockdown Party Live – Part 4
Swingamajig Lockdown Party Live – Part 5
– Morphosis DJ
– The Swingamajig Quiz
– The Rin Tins Sofa Sessions and Song launch
– The future of Electro Swing, Discussion with Nick Hollywood, Emma Clair and Dutty Mike hosted by Fizzy Gillespie
– The Two Toms/Cheeky Blinders/ESC acoustic covers set and interview with Ed Walker from Spekrfreks
– Tallulah Goodtimes DJ set
– C@ in the H@ DJ set
– Fizzy Gillespie DJ set
– Phat Sam DJ set
PART 4 & 5
– TomESC b2b Zester DJ set
Another live act then followed – the Two Toms (AKA the Cheeky Blinders) – playing live from the Swingamajig studio. This side project of Tom Hyland from the Electric Swing Circus (who also runs the festival) performed a medley of ESC covers, and again, I really appreciated the change-up from the perpetual DJs. This is what Swingamajig does best – present a whole host of different and varying performers – and one of the reasons I was so confident of the festival’s success. And then this kicked off the real party – with a stream of phenomenal DJs taking us to 2AM. Setting things off was Tallulah Goodtimes – the best performance of the night – who led us through a great selection of classic electro swing tunes, all whilst expertly conversing with the viewers. C@ in the H@ then played an excellent set of bangers, demonstrating his fine scratching skills, before Fizzy Gillespie’s set of pure glee and abandon. Next, Phat Sam provided us with an upbeat and joyful set, before we cut back to the studio for a delightfully entertaining closing set from Tom, performed alongside DJ Zester. Each and every performer was great fun in their own unique way, and the event was an exemplary replacement for the actual festival.
It’s heartbreaking to see so many events cancelled across the country – and indeed the world – in the wake of Covid-19; and of course no livestream will ever completely live up to the live event, but I’m so glad that the community has got together to make something as spectacular as this. Swingamajig has a very important place in my heart, and I’ll continue to support it for as long as I’m able. Despite the unfortunate technical difficulties that plagued the stream throughout, this was still a brilliant night, and we had a terrific time. I know there’s potential plans for another event sooner than next May, and if this goes ahead, my attendance will be certain. Absolutely great stuff – some of the most fun I’ve had in lockdown yet.
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Written by Chris Swinglis Date: 2020-05-09