Live Expressions Festival launch party upstairs at the Ritzy

Nile Jay performs Upstairs at the Ritzy

I went along to one of my favourite Brixton music venues, Upstairs at the Ritzy on Saturday (20 May), to preview some of the bands that will be playing at the Live Expressions Festival this summer, writes Petra Gent.

The Live Expressions nights are always worth checking out due to the incredible talent that the founder, Dion Deverill, has for finding new musical acts. Saturday was no exception. This was billed as a launch party for Live Expressions first festival which takes place on 7 July, and following in the summer tradition everyone was adored with garlands and glitter/face painting artist was on hand.

The event started in the afternoon and ran into the small hours. I managed to check out four of the acts while I was there. Nile Jay was playing when I arrived. His funk/soul vibes coupled with his beautiful falsetto delivery was a great start to the night.

The Sloes

He was followed by SLOES, a five piece band incorporating an incredibly talented violinist in the mix. The captivating vocals of the lead singer and instantly appealing melodies kept the audience engaged throughout their performance.


Sarah Tonin then brought their very individual brand of alternative rock to the stage. As well as powerful vocals and energetic stage presence, the intricate keyboard skills undeniably gave a whole extra level to the sound.

Sarah Tonin




The final band that I managed to catch was Alexis Kings. A five piece guitar based band with an indie rock vibe. A really charismatic set with great connection with the room. An excellent way for me to finish the night.

Alexis Kings band performs at Upstairs at the Ritzy
Alexis Kings


If you get the chance to experience one of Dion’s night they are often hosted at The Ritzy. Or if you fancy joining in the festival fun info is here: