You don’t often see the likes of Maverick Sabre and Gabrielle Aplin giving their boobs a good old grope, but that is exactly what Kristin Hallenga got them to do in front of this years crowd when they performed at FESTIFEEL last weekend…
The charity Coppafeel! has achieved more than most in the four years it’s been running and walking around the Islington Metal Works building – the latest venue to host the festival – you would never believe FESTIFEEL started in a small pub just four years ago.
The purpose behind the event is simply to raise awareness of breast cancer in young women after Kristin herself was dismissed on two occasions at the age of 23 for being ‘too young’ to be diagnosed with cancer. To read more about Kris’ personal story: http://www.coppafeel.org/Page/KrisStory
Over the years they’ve gained many famous supporters including Spice Girl Mel B, Lorraine Kelly and of course the patrons of the charity, Dermot O’Leary and BBC Radio 1 presenter Fearne Cotton. Fearne has been monumental in the growth of Coppafeel! and it was her who created the line-up along with Kris, inviting some of her regular live lounge performers to play and support the cause.
The venue had two music rooms; a more light and casual setting for the acoustic and DJ performances as well as your more traditional gig set-up for the bands. Both offered the chance to enjoy intimate performances by every artist and made it easy for the crowd to meet each performer at the end of their set for photos and autographs.
It also offered a large central space for all the other amazing things Coppafeel had in store during the day, including The Pamper Puff Girls who were on hand to sort all nail-fails and Dolly Dinky who bought an array of wacky jewelry choices for everyone to buy! And if that wasn’t enough, companies like Gandy’s Flip Flops had stalls selling super comfy footwear too!
To kick off the day fellow BBC DJ, Gemma Cairney, took to the decks and got the crowd moving and shaking with a 90 minute set of classic tunes. Her playlist included ‘All That She Wants’ by Ace Of Base and the B-52’s legendary ‘Loveshack’ before topping up the girl-power with some Spice Girls. This girl really knows good music and was one of the highlights of my day at FESTIFEEL!
First to take to the stage in the ‘live room’ was London-based, The Harlots. Setting the bar high with their Oasis V Killers style music, they delivered some perfect vocals along with a rocking overall performance. They really pulled in the crowd and throughout the day were being asked for pictures with newly-made fans… They have an EP called ‘Cuckoo’ which is currently available to buy on their website or to listen to The Harlots visit their YouTube page.
I must admit I had no idea what to expect when JP Cooper took to the stage with his guitar, but as soon as he began the first lyric I knew he was one to watch. With his gorgeous tone and heart-felt acoustic songs he had the crowd captivated the whole duration he was on stage. He played a half-hour set (which some would say just wasn’t enough!), showcasing songs like ‘Halo‘ – a song that leaves you widening your eyes with amazement at the first note.
Back in the live room I didn’t think the talent could excel what I had just seen, then a lady called Rae Morris took to her piano stool and proved me wrong. Just like JP Cooper, she managed to have the audience standing in awe of her beautiful voice. Her tone sounds delicate but she has no problem delivering a strong live performance, especially when her vocals are combined perfectly with the sound of her piano. In April she released her latest EP ‘From Above’ which you can purchase on iTunes here.
When Chloë Howl took center stage, she owned it! Her image is strong and unforgettable but the same can be said for her stage presence; making her the perfect candidate for the next big thing. Her songs ‘Drop In The Ocean’ and ‘This Song’s Not About You’ are edgy but equally as catchy. In the music video for her debut single ‘No Strings‘ we get to see why she’s labelled ‘feisty’ – full of attitude, I feel Pink finally has competition…
One of the best performances of the day came from Lewis Watson, an up-and-coming singer from Oxford, who at just 20 years-old has achieved a mighty amount. He recently supported Birdy at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and after the success of his EP release he signed a contract with Warner Bros. Records and is currently embarking on a sold-out headline tour. He may be young but he actually looked the most confident and natural on stage, and upon hearing his work it seems all too easy to compare him to Ed Sheeran. He played a 30 minute set, including songs such as ‘Calling‘ and ‘Sink or Swim’ but it was his performance of ‘Number 3’ that I can’t forget as he told a story of how Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, was direct-messaging him on Twitter with lyrics from that song – appearing very down-to-earth when he joked that he couldn’t quite believe it.
Part-way through his set he decided to ditch the stage and join us in the crowd for a more intimate performance. It was raw and proved he was fully capable of pulling off an incredible show without his full band behind him.
At six we were treated to a stunning performance from newcomer Gabrielle Aplin; she chose a number of songs from her album ‘English Rain’, including ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’, ‘Panic Chord’ and ‘Home’ as well as covering a Bruce Springsteen classic. Just like many of the performers at FESTIFEEL, Gabrielle played a stripped back set without her usual band, but if you’ve seen the YouTube videos that made her an internet sensation, you’ll know she needs nothing more than a guitar to wow an audience…
Just to make her time on stage that little more memorable she invited Lewis Watson to join her for a duet. They covered the beautiful ‘Droplets’, originally performed by Colbie Caillat and Jason Reeves – making their version seem just as flawless.
You may recognise this gent from last years X-Factor, after his faultless performances meant he sailed on to the live shows. Kye Sones has since been working on recording his EP, even giving us a taster of what to expect! Everyone was impressed with what he had achieved since the show ended and I, for one, will be buying it on iTunes as soon as it’s available. He had everyone singing along to his rendition of ‘Save The World/RIP’ including his best friend, Fearne Cotton, who watched proudly.
As the night was progressing Fearne and Kris took to the stage to tell the crowd more about Coppafeel’s story and to thank everyone for making FESTIFEEL 2013 such a success. We were all taken aback at the mention of some of Kris’ friends who didn’t survive their cancer battle and were rightly reminded why we were all there – to promote checking for any changes in your breasts, early and regularly.
After a huge applause for Kris’ inspiring hard work, Fearne took to the mic to highlight how important events like FESTIFEEL are when it comes to raising awareness of cancer in young women. All the money raised on the day will go towards further campaigns to get more women coppin’ a feel and being more familiar with their bodies.
Next up was Maverick Sabre, someone Fearne admitted to being a big fan of in his personal introduction to the stage.
To confess, I hadn’t heard much of Maverick’s work, except for the research I did for this blog before the event. I only really knew of his name as a rising artist (which was actually the case for most of these performers and now their albums and EP’s are on my iTunes!).
FESTIFEEL is great at showcasing new talent and is a brilliant way to discover it!
He’s thought of as the male version of Amy Winehouse, which seems the only fitting way to describe his style without seeing it for yourself. He surpassed my expectations completely and I would go as far as saying he’s the best live performer I’ve ever seen…
The room was full of excited boob-goers wanting to see him perform his hits ‘I need’ and ‘Let Me Go’. He even surprised us with an exclusive – a song he had only wrote 2 weeks previous, and was still untitled.
I haven’t spoke about every artist who performed at FESTIFEEL as it was a big ol’ line-up! But I shall give them their credit as they did a fantastic job of supporting Coppafeel! and were all so impressive. Check them out:
I honestly can’t tell you how much I enjoyed FESTIFEEL; I’m already looking forward to seeing the line-up for 2014!
A huge congratulations to Kris – it was another successful year!
I just hope you will all go Coppafeel! of your boobs now and remember to support amazing causes like this one, both now and in the future – they really do save lives.
If you want to help Coppafeel! but aren’t sure how or what you could do, head over to http://www.coppafeel.org for ideas and events that you can be apart of.