Before the music kicked off at Outland the audience was treated to a screening of 2011 cult movie Drive. For those of you who haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and check it out. Not only is it a fantastic piece of cinema, but it’s also historic to the genre of synthwave. ‘Nightcall’ was the first synthwave song I heard, and the movie is packed with early pioneers of the genre, from Kavinsky to College. It was wonderful watching Drive on a big screen surrounded by synthwave fans.
After Drive and a short dancefloor tidy we were treated to ‘A Moment In Time With Gunship’; a series of Gunship videos played on the big screen. It was a lot of fun dancing to ‘Tech Noir’ and a series of other choice Gunship tracks.
The first live act, 80sSTALLONE, was a name I wasn’t familiar with in the synthwave scene, but he was introduced as being a pioneer of the genre, having first released music back in 2008. His set was a great start to the live music portion of Outland, and perhaps inevitably came loaded with multiple clips of Sylvester Stallone playing on the projector behind him.
NINA was next (pictured). I’ve featured NINA on Good Music Matters before, and you can read that content here. For those of you who haven’t read my articles on NINA, she is a treat to watch live. The titular singer performs alongside percussionist and backup vocalist Laura Fares, and the duo are an absolute treat to watch, relentlessly pumping out synthwave bangers. Sunglasses Kid joined NINA towards the end for a special rendition of forthcoming collaboration ‘80s Girl’. To make NINA’s set extra special, it was the singer’s birthday, which saw a huge ‘Happy Birthday’ singalong take place in the Clapham Grand.
Sunglasses Kid remained on stage for his own set. The producer largely performed tracks from his incredible debut album Graduation, spliced with other choice cuts. Sunglasses Kid might just be the most underrated name in the scene right now, and is amazing to watch live, bringing an energy and passion to the audience which is unbelievably infectious.
Neon Lines saw a full band take the stage to perform a series of synthpop and synthwave tunes. It was quite refreshing to see multiple musicians performing at once, and they played a brilliant set before Timecop1983 finished proceedings with an incredible series of tracks.
All in all, Outland London was an incredible event that further demonstrated the genre’s dominance and incredible fanbase. Bring on Outland 2018.
Photo Credit: James Secker