Day 2: The second and unfortunately final day of Loop began much more comfortably, namely because of the introduction of the amazing, massive beanbag cushions to the main hall. Bravely, however, I ventured forth to take a few pictures of Win Prizes and enjoy them rather a lot into the bargain. Math core melodic instrumental was their style; rock outs were present (as were obligatory scuzzy noiseouts) and tightness was evident. Portico Quartet I thought initially, would be a curious choice for Loop. However, they complemented the more chilled out, further left-field vibe of the Sunday perfectly. They didn’t rouse (us) the audience from our collective recumbency, mainly due to their mesmeric, melodic jazz stylings, but they were clearly well appreciated. The frontman Nick Mulvey (or band leader I suppose is more appropriate in this case) plays a form of inverted steel drum called ‘Hang’ beautifully, and accompanied by Milo Fitzpatrick on double bass, all manner of saxophones (played respectively by Jack Wylie, and wonderfully understated drums and percussion courtesy of Duncan Bellamy, Portico Quartet are truly original and excellent. Following Portico was another of my most highly anticipated bands; one of the deciding factors in my being interested in the lineup originally, before I had even heard their album; on strength of so many recommendations from trusted fellow 405ers I went prepared. Fanfarlo were, predictable, absolutely brilliant. The album (buy it) is scintillating on first listen and somehow manages still to grow on you over time, and the six-piece outfit perform admirably live also. Drum banging, guitar playing, bow-tie wearing vocalist Amos was pleasantly, surprisingly raucous at points, whilst the rest of the band (with the slight exception of the keyboardist/trumpeter) followed suit. Lilting melodies, epic crescendoes and uniformly brilliant instrumentation characterised a fantastic gig in a setting probably quite unsuited to their style; large and under-populated, most of the audience still reclining on cushions. In the inter-rim before another of my top-tipped bands began to play, I was swiftly and brutally introduced to the hirsute Grip Wrench Not much needs to be said other than that Grip Wrench speaks with an Ahnie accent, is a Hollywood stunt man (a more latterly flagging career leading to some ill-advised road safety adverts) is more of a man than any number of us combined will ever be, and, thanks to Rex Crowle, is a series of short animations featuring the one and the same homo-erotic vietnam vet. Scathingly satirical, subtly critical of many societal failings; all overshadowed by the bit in ‘Conad’ where he impales a fucking boat on his sword. Go watch it now, it’ll put hairs on your chest regardless of your sex! Tunng!!! I was introduced to this quirky bunch years ago, saw them play more recently with Tinariwen, and was eager to see how they would adapt to the loss of their once-guitarist and vocalist. The answer, thankfully, was ‘with ease’ as they demonstrated why, despite being generally press-shy and lurking in the shadows, they were featured so high up the lineup. Tunng might possibly have been the band for whom the term ‘quirky’ was coined. In-between a ridiculous (acoustic guitar heavily distorted) ironic metal style rock out in the middle of the set punctuated only by a single shout of ‘SPOONS’, song lyrics seemingly from the Beck School of cut and paste (although probably just snatches of fractured imagery from their tortured mindbrains) and all manner of home-made percussion, type writer clicks and long-forgotten film quotes (‘ shy!’) was rapturous applause and probable mild bewilderment. If you’ve never heard Tunng before, their music is melodic, marked by broken rhythms and strange vocal phrasings, lush harmonies and more traditional but no less inspiring song-writing; acoustic guitars, complex melodies and lots of long hair. Headlining Loop day 2, and the joint-final act of the whole festival, was an ex-Icelandic singer with Italian parentage and who is currently living in Brighton; none other than Emiliana Torrini Her voice is beautiful; although more strong-willed than the recent slew of female singer-song-writers, likewise her blues influences set her apart. Renowned for her witty banter (‘The best thing about being the singer in a band is being able to steal your guitarists‘ beer’) she actually opted to cut down, stating, half way through a sentence: ‘You know what...i’m going to talk less so we can play more’; much welcomed dedication. Luckily, there was even time for an encore; the fantastic ‘Jungle Drum‘ which proved to be easily the set-highlight. That about wraps up Loop! It was a left-field extravaganza, filled with beautiful moments, a great vibe, lovely people awesome bands and sweet installations. The venues were great, loads of nice little touches, and I thoroughly recommend you go next year if you are at all interested in any of the stuff we've described. OneDotZero the visual artists collective behind the video installations and screenings most definitely deserve their own feature, and their own feature they shall shortly have.