Beats & Eats celebrated their second birthday on September 26th in Project B, and there was no way I was going to miss it. This unique music event is one of my favourite things about Croydon. Thanks to Beats & Eats, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Ivanmore’s smooth, silky vocals, hearing Conrad Murray’s edgy, original sound and dancing to the soulful, sassy Muna.
Co-founder Ian Anantharajah said: “It’s hard quite hard to keep a free event going on a monthly basis with so many live acts and DJs, but we’ve managed to do it for two years now and it’s a fantastic milestone for us to reach.”
Beats & Eats regular Muna was there to perform her sassy set, filled with new songs, and I enjoyed the indie-rock vibe of the duo, We Are Not a Band for the second time. Their rendition of REM’s ‘Losing My Religion’ was gorgeous. Charra Love is another artist I’d heard at Beats & Eats before, but this time she was joined by Lukáš Piala, “all the way from Slovakia”, who brought a contrasting, acoustic dynamic to Charra’s eccentric vibe. It was a nice surprise when Lukáš performed ‘Snow’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, a song I hadn’t heard for ages.
However, it was my first time hearing the bands Queen Beats and Wake. Queen Beats is an all female band, who performed a “few favourites” with their “Queen Beats stamp on it”. Every part of the band worked well together and I especially liked when they harmonise. I loved their take on The Black Eyed Peas’, ‘I Gotta Feeling’, which was fast and high-energy, making the well-known song their own.
Wake, on the other hand, is an “acoustic driven” band, who stood out because of their violinist who plays throughout. The violin brought that eerie, soothing sound to their songs, nicely contrasting the slightly pumping indie-rock sounds. Wake closed their set with a song called ‘Just A Game’, which had the most beautiful, instrumental introduction and interlude, making it my favourite song of the set.
Ian’s favourite part was the “random live band/DJ jam at the end of the night”. Some of the acts from the night came onstage to perform a lively set of Beats & Eats favourites, followed by Ian getting on the decks and playing some old school tunes to send the party out right, accompanied by his sister Gina on the bongos. And it wouldn’t be a party without the crowd getting out onto the floor and doing the “Candy”.
I haven’t forgotten about the Eats either. Bare Bones Cue served up dishes using their slow smoked pulled pork and resident baker, Neil Ridulfa, provided the sweet treats rather than his usual savoury tarts. His freshly baked Miniature Victoria Sponge Cakes were a hit with the crowd and some little girls even took it upon themselves to advertise them! Neil says, “My cakes sold out in about 15 minutes and I believe Bare Bones Cue sold out of their famous pulled pork, so it was a good night for the ‘Eats’ half of Beats & Eats!”
So what’s next for Beats & Eats after two great years? Co-founder John Paul Butler said, “Our next aim is to let more people know about the nightclub part of the event, which starts from 11pm... We have some great DJ’s on two floors covering many genres of music, meaning there’s always something for everyone.”
It was a great night celebrating two years of Beats & Eats, and here’s to many more years of bringing great music to Croydon.
Be at Project B on October 24th for the next one.
Photos by Beats & Eats.