As I followed the crowds into the alternative tent, Ecca Vandal was on the stage as one of the international acts to make the trek to Leeds.
Ecca Vandal is part of a very interesting ‘new punk’ scene, combining angry, shredding, electric guitars and drums with the likes of rap and more traditional R’n’B bridges. Ecca even throws in the occasional synth.
I walked into ‘White Flag’, which is an impressive combination of punk and reggae. The vocals are resonant of an early Lauren Hill (had she been angry and heavily compressed). These reggae vocals sit in front of this heavy punk background and this might have you feeling disorientated but then the bridge genuinely breaks into a drum and bass style sequence.
This is the first time I have been really stuck to describe something, but I have never heard anything like this. I just never thought the combination of reggae, punk rock, and dance music would ever exist in my lifetime.
At Leeds, she was sporting a bee sting yellow jump suit and Ecca is just as bold on stage as she is in her music videos. She was very interactive and had the commanding talent of a lion tamer.
Ecca told everyone to get down and there was not a soul left standing. She jumped into the centre of the crowd and was close enough to touch as she growled lyrics furiously into the microphone which she gripped like a sword.
Her facial expressions were comparable to hungry tiger as she taunted the crowd: “SAY HELL YEAH” and “SAY IT LOUDER!”
The ability to waltz in and make this look easy only goes to exemplify the craft she has mastered because it is anything but easy.
It is rare to see a musician who is as good at performing as they are at playing or singing; and as they are at interaction. You need at least one, you’ll get two if you’re lucky, but Ecca scores across the board.
She is anything but orthodox and has gone against management in the past to release music early.
Her erratic performance style is why health and safety officers lose sleep at night. She doesn’t just dress like a punk; she really does have an anti-establishment attitude.
I think you know an act is really special when you have snapshots you can’t forget in your mind – and this is exactly what happened when I watched this gig. I can remember the moment she was in the centre of the crowd beckoning us to get down with her.
The most unique aspect of her musicianship, however, is her ability to combine so many genres so successfully.
Ecca has supported The Prodigy previously so it would be a great mistake to overlook what she is doing.
I shall leave you with this one but explore her songs, as each is a completely different blend of styles:
(Future Heroine link)