Communion Birthday Party - Various Artists
House of VANS, London
September 1 2016
Words/Photos: Jess Sharrock
Well, if Thursday evening taught us anything, it’s that not only does Communion discover some of the most incredible new artists, but they also know how to throw a great party. For those unfamiliar, Communion is an independent record label, concert promotor and publisher that was originally formed in London in 2006 by Mumford & Sons’ guitarist, Ben Lovett, Kevin Jones (who later went on to form Bear’s Den), and producer Ian Grimble.
James Bay & Nathaniel Rateliff
Starting initially as a monthly live music night at the Notting Hill Arts Club, their main aim was to provide a platform and community for new artists to succeed in the music industry. Over the years, they have organised hundreds of events and release music by Catfish and the Bottlemen, Ben Howard, Daughter and Twin Peaks, and of course the list goes on...
Bear's Den & MarthaGunn
Tonight marked a special day to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Communion with a big birthday bash and they definitely made it special! London’s House of VANS (a sought-after destination of skateboarders) located below Waterloo station became a somewhat perfect venue for the celebration. Communion were able to create various different spaces within the tunnels including the live music stage, a gallery space packed full of photographs, art work and album covers from the past 10 years and the cinema screening Communion’s acclaimed Austin to Boston film.
Matthew & the Atlas
The evening kicked off with Virgin Radio's Edith Bowman DJing to the increasingly excitable crowds of people buzzing for the evening ahead. First up on the live stage was Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, who not only performed their own songs, but also do an absolutely amazing job of being house band for the evening. Following that, the evening brought together some of Communion’s biggest artists including Dan Croll, Matthew and the Atlas (Communion’s first ever signing), Jack Garrett, Bear’s Den and James Bay, along with a number of great up and coming artists and bands including Rukhsana Marrise, Banfi, Joseph J Jones and Martha Gunn.
The impressive setlist came to an end with all the acts performing an extremely fitting rendition of Lennon & McCartney's, ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’. During this finale came a special appearance by Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons, which showed a real sense of friendship, love and support surrounding Communion. It would also be rude of me to not to give a little shout out to Winston Marshall too for his wonderful cover of 'Highway To Hell' by AC/DC once everyone else had left the stage. The evening of celebrations continued with a DJ set from John Kennedy (Radio X), which kept the birthday party spirits high
Communion has provided a wonderful community for artists and music lovers alike over the past ten years. Their passion for collaboration and encouragement for new artists to find their way in an increasingly competitive industry has been, and will continue to benefit so many, both as aspiring artists and as music lovers. Congratulations on the last ten years, Communion, here’s to many, many more!