This past Wednesday, Cavern hosted the first event for the local music event, Poltimore Festival. The festival takes place every summer in Exeter, featuring a variety of local musicians, artists, authors, and poets. Cavern often hosts an assortment of live shows, so locals were familiar with both the intimate venue and resident musicians that performed during the evening. The room was moderately filled when the first group took to the stage, but the venue soon filled with students and locals alike. Soft fairy lights twinkled overhead and colorful flags fluttered above the energized crowd. Several splatter-painted sheets hung over the exposed brick walls, creating a homey atmosphere.
The first opener of the event was Psychopomp, a five-piece student group from Exeter. Winners of last year’s Battle of the Bands, they captivated the crowd with their melodic vocals and harmonies. Frontman Matt appeared truly entranced, channeling the energy of the group’s music with his fluid movements. As the opening group continued, the crowd grew and the floor was filled with dancing figures.
After a short break, Pattern Pusher took to the stage. The Exeter based three-piece engaged the crowd with melodic vocals mixed over a variety of synth beats. The layered harmonies were juxtaposed with more poppy electronic tracks. At this point, the intimate venue was packed; energy and reverberations thrummed through the audience.
Finally, after a brief intermission, the headlining band trooped onstage. Cousin Kula is composed of six members and mix a variety of sounds in their music, utilizing the unique tones of a saxophone and a trombone in their music. Lead singer Elliot’s vocals provide startlingly sweet quality to the already shimmering sound. The underlying synth combine with the bass, guitar, and drums, as well as occasional other voices, to provide a truly spellbinding experience. The Bristol group’s sound and personal lyrics were perfectly suited to the intimate venue and they masterfully shaped the energy of the crowd, leading them from more upbeat tunes to slower, more sonorous melodies in minutes.
Don’t Walk, Boogie took over the venue after the completion of Cousin Kula’s set. The group is comprised of a variety of DJs with a mutual interest in funk and disco music. They are often featured at Cavern, providing upbeat mixes for locals and students. Mixing a variety of classic tunes, the DJs fed the vigor of the whirling dancers on the floor. The Poltimore Festival Launch provided an excellent taster of the upcoming event, which is sure to be the highlight of Exeter’s music scene this year.