• The Vibe

Polyfest Review


Annual tribute to the late great Poly Styrene 

Dublin Castle 3rd and 4th November  This festival is in its sixth year, and Polyfest 6 has to be the best to date . Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic X-Ray Spex album, the entire body of work was played in its entirety throughout the course of the festival.  Specific highlights include Melanie Williams’ unique symphonic version of The Day The World Turned Day-Glo, and Identity by the enigmatic and rather brilliant Fuzzbox.  Newcomers Cherry and Peesh did a splendid acoustic work out of Plastic Bag, and Roger Waters and Suede guitarist and collaborator did an absolutely fantastic Blues version of the classic track I Am a Poseur.  The Rubbettes did an extraordinary version of Genetic Engineering, with Steve Etherington and his cohorts completing his set with a new wave workout of Sugar Baby Love.

Another great set came from a hybrid of Modern Romance and Leyton Buzzards, whose eclectic set included an incredible version of Saturday Night between the Plastic Palm Trees. A highly original rendition of a Poly Styrene classic came from Jen of The Pricillas, who belted out Let’s Submerge against a backdrop of electronica, with Pig Bag collaborator Tony Wrafter providing crucial augmentation via his trusty and instantly recognisable saxophone.  JC Carrol of The Members, and John Perry of the Only Ones, recreated some of their hits, much to the delight of a packed audience.

A fitting moment during the proceedings was a video of The Train by Mark E Smith and Ed Blaney. Sensitively produced especially for the festival by Steve Bowden the cinematic montage was a poignant tribute to another universally loved and much missed Icon. In fact Ed Blaney divided his magnificent set between tributes tohits his old cohort Mark E Smith and Poly Styrene, which was an extremely moving festival segment.

Another group to turn in a magnificent set were The Vapors, who did a particularly fast and furious rendition of Turning Japanese. 

The Gonads also provided some tremendous humour during their loud and raucous set culminating in a well-deserved encore. Fun Boy Three and Specials Legend Neville Staple had the entire room chanting his classics, and Christina Sugary Staple performed a brilliant version of the X-Ray Spex standard I Cant Do Anything  Other bands providing great covers included The Shakespearos, Dr the Medics, Spizzoligy, and the absolutely incredible She Robot. However it was Headliner John Otway who ultimately thrilled the crowd with his sardonic wit and catchy observational songs, thus closing the proceedings on a high! Long live the memory of the late great Poly Styrene. Long live Polyfest .  Laura Beth 

News story provided by Manilla PR Ltd