Unlike the political House of Commons, which you may think has similarities to a children’s playground, the House of Common festival was a different kind of experience altogether. No bullying tactics or political drudgery but rather positive vibes and a welcoming atmosphere.
Created by the band Madness, they perform every year at Clapham Common, with an eclectic line up hand picked by them and moulding in well with the atmosphere and fans of their music. Think tie dye, glitter and friendly people. Just one day after SW4 which consumes the same field, the atmosphere and energy is transformed from young zombie like ravers to chilled family friendly fun filled vibes. Families bring camp chairs and picnics to enjoy the day at their own pace and you pass many a sleeping child or passed out parent snoozing in the sun.
There was no pressure to dress a certain way or act a certain way, just a field full of fans appreciating the music and that is what I respect and enjoyed about the festival. Unlike SW4 where people clamber for the perfect selfie or go to the festival to be seen by others, this festival was enjoyed by all.
I spent the day dancing in the sun to the melodic sounds of Ziggy Marley, who had a pair of incredible empowering backup singers with him, dancing to the beating drums of Jimmy Cliff, getting goosebumps from Akala and his heart felt lyrics and receiving a musical education in reggae, dancehall and jungle with David Rodigan, who was hands down my favourite act of the day. Madness finished off the day with a pitch perfect set as ever, I can see why they have such a large following, forty years later.
If you love reggae, ska and an all round happy festival, I would recommend buying a ticket to House Of Common.