Image: Private Agenda
Image Credit: Emile Hussell
“Talk about milking it’”, the lead singer of Private Agenda jokes to the audience at the Exeter Phoenix after continuing to sing the lyrics ‘’it’s just a feeling’’ from their single Full Moon after the music has ceased to play. The singer’s comment was met with laughs from a crowd who had just spent the last few minutes swaying and dancing to the pop disco tune. With the aim of bringing Poltimore Festival’s spirit to Exeter a few months prior to the official event in May, the party was a reminder of how good dancing to live music without a care in the world feels.
The launch party opened with the indie rock tunes of up-and-coming, college-based band Lipstick Jumpsuit who – to quote their lead singer – have “no idea what they’re doing’” (although it definitely didn’t seem like it), followed by Delmer Darion and their funky electronica vibes. Both groups were met with excitement from the crowd who showed the same positive reaction for Private Agenda. It seemed that whether or not the songs were known to the crowd everyone was keen on dancing and jamming to the tunes of both supporting bands. In between acts the attendants of the party enjoyed the company of each other, surrounded by the Exeter Phoenix’s beautiful displays of art.
The atmosphere on this Thursday night was electric; everyone in the audience danced carelessly to the groovy tunes of Private Agenda throughout their entire set and it was hard not to feel like you were at a disco in another decade rather than the small auditorium of the Exeter Phoenix. The duo’s set was encapsulated in rainbow hues both literally and figuratively as the neon spotlights illuminated every face in the crowd and the groovy tunes and spirit of Private Agenda cloaked the audience in colour. Dancing with strangers to songs you may not have heard before (very few people were singing lyrics back) is a rather special experience in itself, but it was the excitement and energy shared both by the band and the crowd that made the night so special. Whether people were there to dance and enjoy the music with company or themselves, it was evident that the audience was not short of music loving and passionate people. The aim of the Poltimore Festival is to bring such people together to support the arts, and this aim was clearly met as the night epitomised the celebration of music and creativity.
All acts spent the rest of the night interacting with people who attended the party and anyone who was there can agree that being among people who appreciate art and music is a refreshing feeling. As someone who has a deep love for the arts I was overwhelmed by the amount of people that joined the three bands on this night of music and just thinking about how enjoyable the Festival will be for people who also share this love incited a very exhilarating feeling. If the Poltimore Festival itself is anything like those few hours spent at the Exeter Phoenix, it is definitely an experience worth having.