Thursday was the beginning of Croydon’s Ambition Festival, bringing four days of great music, comedy, poetry, dance and theatre to the borough. Beats & Eats, the unique music event that comes to Croydon every month, have the beach party stage at Platform, Ruskin Square.
Already starting the Ambition Festival in serious style, Beats & Eats moved to the Bedford Tavern from 7.30pm to host an unofficial launch party. Although it was a much smaller space, they brought great vibes and the crowd was as interactive as I’ve ever seen.
John Paul Butler kicked off the night with his classic mixture of original songs and covers, accompanied by Sean Davis. He was the ideal act to the get everybody warmed up and there was no doubt that he brought the passion when singing his rendition of The Beatles, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’.
Next was Junk Time Party, who I was hearing from for the first time and absolutely loved. They not only sounded great, but they were also hilarious and thoroughly entertaining, making me smile throughout. I loved their up-tempo and funky sound, with a tambourine and maracas being played alongside the drums and guitar. They were such a hit that the crowd were shouting for more and did not want them to leave the stage.
I was looking forward to hearing Conrad Murray again, whose acoustic sound is beautiful, but edgy with the incorporation of beatboxing – I was a big fan of his rendition of Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’. He was also joined by Nate and Kate from the Beatbox Academy, which added another element to the set. I really enjoyed their song, ‘The People’, with Kate’s vocals particularly standing out.
My favourite moment had to be when Nate treated us to a beatboxing solo. He’s really coming into his own as a performer, and he drew everyone in with his captivating performance style, filled with comedy and some recognisable tunes.
The night ended in style, as upfront dance band, The Come On People, brought high-tempo, musical energy with their pumping set full of original songs. I loved their use of instruments and the vocals were something special. They started with ‘Snakebites’, and ended with a debut performance of ‘Permission to Dance’, which is a song that definitely makes you want to move and dance.
Beats & Eats definitely kicked off the Ambition Festival in style and there are many more amazing things to come, especially on Saturday which is going to be a jam-packed day. Don’t miss out.