And so for the second instalment of our LeakyCon London diary! A rundown of Friday’s events…
We woke up bright and early for the first of our programming – the WZRD resurrection podcast at 10am! It was a lot of fun, sitting at a big long table of wizard rockers, listening to some acoustic songs played by some (there was a particularly delightful early morning version of Phoenix Tears by Harry and the Potters), and some ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ panel show style games – such as the Intros round and Next Lines. We tried to recreate the intro to Stick It To Dolores using only our voices/some banging on the table, it was interesting. It was a light hearted and lovely start to the day!
After this, we found ourselves sat at a different long table, this time for the autographs session. We’d debated bringing books to read just in case nobody showed up, but as it turned out there was a healthy queue of people that we got a chance to have a little chat with! It went past in a blur, but it was so nice to meet everyone. Hi if you came along!
The afternoon brought with it plenty more fun. First up was Wrock: A Wretrospective (clever use of the ‘w’ there), a panel hosted by our good friend Ellie. She and the panel talked through the story of wizard rock, from its humble beginnings in Harry and the Potters’ backyard, to the build of the UK scene and what lies ahead. We offered up some anecdotes that we’ve been keeping under our hats for quite some time – like the time we played to a baffled audience at a bar mitzvah and when we thought that playing a tiny guitar with a small electric whisk would be a good musical choice (it wasn’t). Ellie, ever the professional, had made us name cards, which Amy of Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons decorated with personalised doodles to suit each of the panel members – Cathrin got a cat, and Laura got a crow (her surname is Crow, excellent work).
Ellie was hosting The Ultimate Shipping Debate next, and we decided to pop along! We definitely made the right decision with that one. People defended their ships very passionately and there were a lot of laughs. Discussed were Ron/Hermione vs Harry/Hermione and Snape/Lily vs James/Lily – I know that Ellie had planned a lot more pairings to discuss but people had a lot to say about these ones! The debate was such a popular choice that it had to be moved to a bigger room than the one that was scheduled. I have no doubt that the discussion could have gone on all day.
LeakyStars, on the mainstage, had only just begun by the time the shipping debate was over so we headed down for a listen. Hayley Carr was one of the three finalists, and we felt the need to show her some support as she’s been involved in the UK Wizard Rock scene for quite some time now. She played her song ‘So What If I’m A Geek?’ and it went down excellently, she got great feedback from the judges. The act after her was a group of French girls in fantastic fandom costume who had rewritten ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables. Their performance was brilliantly dynamic. We’d been too late to see the first act, Jadene Doak, who went on to win, but we did have a listen to her song on YouTube afterwards and it was beautiful – well done Jadene!
The craft fair was next up on the agenda, and I’ve never attended one quite like it! When Laura is not being a wizard, she makes and sells her own jewellery and accessories through her shop Goodnight Boutique. She had made some Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Sherlock bits and bobs for the occasion and they went down a storm.
The room was so packed, there wasn’t space to move an inch – and I could see why, the items that the sellers had brought were all so lovely! Our friend Kylie had made some knitted wristbands in Hogwarts colours, here we are sporting them. We made up a dance which was essentially one jazz hand flaunting your wristband. At the end of the weekend we all complained of a slightly stiff wrist from excessive goes of said dance. We are silly.
We rushed downstairs after the fair, determined not to miss any of the second night of wizard rock – as the line-up was so fantastic! We bounced around to the The Blibbering Humdingers, who kicked proceedings off in spectacular style. We’d never heard these guys play before, but they’ve got two new fans in the form of us – we loved their witty lyrics and musical stylings so much.
The second band of the night were RiddleTM. It’s such a joy to hear them play every time, they’re always on top form! We sang along to Beans with much vigour – though we’ve not quite nailed the words to the verses yet, which are a list of all of the potential nasties (or nice things!) you could come across when sampling Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.
Next up was Lauren Fairweather. Lauren captivated everyone in the room with her songs, she really knows how to sum up how we all feel about these stories – as demonstrated by the amount of love she received following ‘Home’. It was such a lovely moment. She also played a version of And Then I Died – originally by her band The Moaning Myrtles. We raced through the audience to get as close to the front as possible, singing our hearts out. The Moaning Myrtles have always been one of our favourite wizard rock acts, and this song one of our favourite wizard rock songs!
Lauren’s husband Matt played next, as The Whomping Willows. It was so great to see Matt play his marvellously catchy songs to such a good audience! A highlight for us was House Of Awesome, lots of singing and clapping along. Though When The Lights Go Out was magical, with the whole room carrying on the song after Matt had left the stage.
Harry and the Potters ended the evening – and as predicted – they really brought the house down (quite literally at one point, as everyone sunk to the floor). Harry and the Potters shows are always super super fun, this one especially so, as there were so many people so into it! A particularly special moment was during Dumbledore, in which the traditional (can we call it traditional? Probably) circle was formed by everyone in the room. Lots of love felt there!
Friday was so much fun!