“Thank you for the (Best) Days,” Ray Davies crooned in 1968, and if he and his fellow Kinks happened to be recording today, you get the sense that the track would have almost certainly been inspired by an evening spent within the comforting bosom of Leisure, a vivid kaleidoscope of everything that you and I love about Colchester; Blur-bloody-themed cocktails, feverish strutting on a sticky dance floor and intriguing alternative artists that lay waste to our steadfast reputation of greasy reem coifs and potty UKIP devotees.
Cosily housed in the cavernous surroundings of V Bar, Leisure is the charming, if a little unpredictable, lovechild of Best Days Vintage, (I can’t tell you about the others due to ongoing legal disputes and paternity tests), a spontaneous concept drawn up to unite the town and a tantalizing opportunity to brag about some of the home-grown artists that we know, because, well, Colchester is fucking brimming with full-blooded talent if you have the patience to gaze a bit longer, the awareness of where to pin it down. Leisure is that place, coupling our nearby heroes with some equally exhilarating echoes from beyond the border.
We should be very grateful to the scruffy twosome (sorry Steve, sorry Jez), if only for their masterful booking of the youthful, local troupe that call themselves Ordinary Noise. While not the Ordinary Boys tribute act that we’ve politely pined for, our bitterness is short-lived, as their set swiftly froths with spiky lyrical barbs and tasty indie pop that Preston could only dream of, poor lad. It’s far from predictable fare, mind, as the tireless drummer’s flare for a hidden saxophone offers an interesting slant on everything that you thought you knew about the band.
After a frenzied debate as to whether whisky does in fact stain (it definitely doesn’t), Whisky Stain make their initial, resounding stomps around our tender eardrums and, despite sporting a name that hints at boozy hijinks, the pair carry themselves with a little more sophistication than the Stella-swigging lager louts of yore. That being said, their sweaty embrace of the most primal of sounds, a fistful of swampy riffs and the relentless pounding of drum skins, is wickedly enticing.
You may have just experienced your first Leisure, leaving you suitably woozy, euphoric, surely a little dazzled, that sixth Chinese Bomb cocktail sloshing about your bowels in questionable fashion, but I spotted you bopping like it was your last, to the fading throes of the DJ set upstairs. Panic not, for many, many more events are in the proverbial pipeline, and it wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t in attendance.
You can gorge yourself on the mouthwatering morsels of Ordinary Noise here, and Whisky Stain here.
This hansom review was written by our mate Lee Wakefield. Not only does he have a charming yet modern writing style, he has fantastic long shiny hair.
He currently writes for London In Stereo, The 405, The Line Of Best Fit, Gold Flake Paint and Zero Core.
You can find him on Twitter at @leewaakefield