In Pictures: Communion’s Bushstock Festival

Brought to us by Communion, Bushstock is a one day festival held in West London’s Shepherd’s Bush across four venues, St Stephen’s Church, former toilet Ginglik, Shepherd’s bar and The Goldhawk.
Daughter Elena Tonra at Communion Bushstock Fesitval

Upon being issued a wristband and a programme, we were immediately drawn to the dulcet tones emanating from inside St Stephen’s Church. Inside, we found Daughter performing the first set of the day. Her beautiful vocals and soothing guitar riffs echoing around the picturesque church made for an enchanting opening to the one-day festival.

After Daughter, Michael Kiwanuka took to the stage. Put simply, his set sounded like Summer, particularly his latest track ‘Tell me a Tale’. His soulful voice is easily comparable to greats such as Ben E. King, and Bill Withers, the latter exemplified by his closing with ‘I Don’t Know’ resulting in a sing and clap-a-long.

Jarle Bernhoft former Span frontman at Communion Bushstock Festival

Former Span frontman, Jarle Bernhoft, took us from the soul to the funk. The one-man band looped guitar, vocals, drumming and beatboxing to create each exciting track. His precision is perfectly illustrated in “C’Mon Talk”. He begins by layering the vocal riff and clicking, which is then layered with beatboxing, adding a plucked melody and bass tune before launching into the stripped down first first verse. At each chorus he unleashes every track of this musical melting pot.

Trio of sisters The Staves were next to take to the stage. With only light use of the guitar and some ukulele, the threesome’s vocals were at the forefront. And what awe-inspiring vocals they were. Individually, their voices were something to be marvelled at, but when they joined together in their stellar harmonies, it was magical – especially the breath-taking ‘Winter Trees’.

St Stephen’s Church took a turn to the more theatrical with Marques Toliver. He opened with ‘Try Your Best’ with a xylophone accompaniment but it wasn’t long before he abandoned the stage, walking down the churches aisle playing his violin unplugged. The set was more than just a spectacle – filled with charm and energy and showcasing the talent of this great multi-instrumentalist, as well as an autoharp cover of ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC.

At Shepherd’s Bar the audience sat on the floor with child-like enjoyment watching Lucy Rose. And like children in class obediently falling silent for their teacher, they quietened down to hear the songs of the sweet, but not twee, performer and her band.

Headlining Ginglik were Peggy Sue, the set consisted mainly of new songs but favourites “Yo Mama”, “Watchman” and “I Read it in the Paper” were thrown in. As with their previous work, Katy (pictured) and Rosa’s complimentary vocals and striking vocals are central to the new material. ‘Song and Dance’ is catchy and immediately appealing and ‘Funeral Beat’ is very impressive showcasing Olly’s masterful drumming. Judging from the material performed at Bushstock, their upcoming album looks like it’s going to be quite the treat.

Words and pictures: Sapphire Mason-Brown