Synth Punk Fest LDN 2017: Over for another year…


It’s always strange when something you’ve been planning for months all culminates into a single one-day event. All the emailing,  promoting, decision-making, back-and-forth-ing, printing, accounting and so on just becomes, in this case, 7 hours of activities and entertainment for the general public. And then it’s all over. Nonetheless, i’m hoping that the long-term effects of creating this space will outlast the event itself and encourage others to put on their own events, play in their own bands, or at the very least discover a new band that they love!

As i wrote in the Synth Punk Manifesta last week, Synth Punk Fest is intended to be a political space where people from marginalised communities can feel safe to use their voices to express themselves freely, whether onstage or from the audience, so i hope that to some extent this was achieved. We’d love to know what you thought of the event so please comment or contact us if you have anything you’d like to tell us! Especially if you have ideas of how we could make it even better for next year!

So thanks so much to everyone who came on Saturday for helping make the event as great as it was and bringing the positive vibes with you! If you want to relive some of those moments again, or if you didn’t come but need some reasons to come next year, here’s a run down the day!

First off, Adam Sherif of incongru-indie-pop band th’sheridans facilitated a synthesizer workshop, successfully demystifying many of the intricacies of how synthesizers work and how to programme and play them to make those dramatic electronic bass drones or soaring synth melodies that get us dancing. The group finished off the workshop by learning to play the 80s synthpop classic Cars by Gary Numan.

Adam introduces beginner synth players to a few different types of synthesizer

Handout explaining the way synthesizers produce sound

This synth lights up!

Demonstrating how to adjust the settings on an analogue synthesizer








I hope to see even more DIY synth-based bands next year!

Panic Pocket

The first band of the day Panic Pocket, fresh from First Timers Fest 2017 bringing out all the feels with their millennial honesty in songs about OK Cupid misadventures and hating your boss delivered via sweet vocal harms and their stripped-down guitar+synth combo.

Favourite lyric: “A vibrator doesn’t call you up and wish you happy birthday, but who likes phonecalls anyway?” – Mr Big, Panic Pocket

Next to grace the stage was Best Praxis, also recent First Timers Fest alumni, playing their own brand of indie/grunge influenced synthpunk dealing with issues of race, struggling with mental health and not being listened to.

Favourite lyric: “Why is it when it’s your pain it makes sense, when it’s mine it does not?” – We Fell, Best Praxis

Mountains of Fire and Miracles

Mountains of Fire and Miracles (or MOFAM for short) then melted faced with their heavy psych-rock and all-encompassing sensory experience that included visuals projected behind them whilst playing! WHY DON’T MORE BANDS DO THIS?! Also featuring a flute. #moreflutesinpunk

Favourite lyric: “It’s just a trick of the light caused by solar rays that are passed through the rain and refracted twice.” Rainbows, Mountains of Fire and Miracles



Not Sorry

Everyone had to then quickly get their cheeky dancing on for Not Sorry, who also won the award for best dressed band of the day with their femme-clown inspired face paint and fluorescent garments! A great band for imagining you’re partying on a warm Mediteranean midnight beach when actually you’re in a warehouse in South East London and rapidly approaching winter…

Favourite lyric: “Think I look much better, so please let me go. You’ve got a nasty fever, trust me, a doctor always knows” Optimistic Doctor, Not Sorry


Taking it down a few notches in volume but up a few in intricately progressive and genre-defying songcraftship, Bamboo drew together an immensely powerful set from their roots of Japanese folk and synthpop production, sweeping the room with an spellbinding atmosphere.

Favourite lyric: “I’ve got a path, it’s straight and narrow, there’s no flying off like a sparrow”  Like A Sparrow, Bamboo


Turning the volume back up to 11, Es brought their angular, post-punk sound and aggression to the stage to carry their dystopic vocals twisting metaphors of dissatisfaction with our current condition. Also about why they dislike seagulls.

Favourite lyric: “Lost my hindsight, my daily bread, ill will in their feathers, beady eyes won’t you take me instead” – Seagulls, Es


And finally, all the way from Leeds, UK, we had Cowtown! Their quirky, jagged riffs, pounding synthbass and relentless drums (and jingley jangley tambouriney) got those with energy left over shaking their little synthboots and singing along to hits such as the recently remixed EMOJICORE from their latest album Paranormal Romance.

Favourite lyric: “My mind it just won’t obey, tweak all night and sleep all day” – Tweak, Cowtown

And then it was all over! Thanks so much to all the bands for bringing their synthpunk vibes to DIY Space for London! Many thanks to Van and the rest of the sound engineers for making everyone sound great, to all the DIY Space for London volunteers for keeping the space going, to sunny_qttr (Instagram) for the Lyric Book illustrations, and to Tegan the Vegan for the great burgers!

And above all we raised £212 for Heart n Soul! Well done everyone!

Please like Freer Ideas and Resist Psychic Death on Facebook and check back here soon to get info on next year’s Synth Punk Fest and also keep up to date with many more events. More announcements coming soon!

Here’s some last minute selfies with Synth Punk Fest organisers Jaca and Karis and some of the bands at the end of the night! Until next year!

Karis, Jaca and Bamboo!

Jaca, Karis and Not Sorry

Karis, Jaca and Es

Cowtown (being shy), Jaca, a fan and Karis

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