WeAreFstvl 2014 Review

Festival fever was back in business with the popular dance event We Are Fstvl playing hosts this late May bank holiday weekend. Reported weather weeks before the event claimed of a heat wave across the weekend but that couldn’t have been further from the truth with the early Saturday afternoon seeing Upminster Essex covered in heavy consistent rain that increased the Poncho sales dramatically.

However this didn’t dampen the spirits of the many thousands of ravers in attendance.  All eyes were directed to the VIP Village where Shadow Child was on the decks at the MK & Friends tent. The well-known dance shuffle was the crowd favourite dance move and was certainly helping combat the wet weather, oh to be in Ibiza! The VIP Village was a nice touch for the extra money paid for VIP treatment with hot tubs and other added bonuses to add to your weekend.

The sun finally decided to rear its head and the Saturday was setting up nicely. Stages such as the ‘We Are Fstvl Main Stage’, ‘Defected In The House’ and ‘Paradise’ boasted big names such as Jamie Jones, Disclosure, Infinity Ink, Guti, Hot Since 82 and Ritchie Hawtin who was headlining the main stage. For the fans of the more up tempo electric music, the We Are Elctrnc stage served all that you needed to get a bit more bouncy and intense.

Earlier sets from Syn Cole, Hard Rock Sofa and Kryder were just the start on what was a great line up on the We Are Elctrnc stage. Thomas Gold was also a highlight with a lively stand out set on the decks. Up next was Dirty Dutch DJ Chuckie who electrified everyone with his take on the dirty house scene, a genre that is wild and showcased We Are Fstvl as a great festival for different genres of dance music.

With each stage having its main headline act, you were spoilt for choice. A big focus again was on the electric stage where former Pendulum members Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen threw in their current project Knife Party with such velocity it blew off the faces of the ever loving crowd. This was achieved through dramatic music played and also the quite frequent jets of fire that added even more of an edge to the amazing visuals on the electric stage. Always an exciting experience seeing  Knife Party, who have announced there will be a new Knife Party album coming soon as well as a new Pendulum album, the first one in almost five years. Roll on day two.

With the first day being a success, you could sense the anticipation of another day of great music and good times. The weather being beautiful from the start insured big smiles, more sun cream and the disregard of the wet weather gear! Getting in nice an early this time avoided the heavy queues that would increase later in the day and allowed the early risers to head over to the ‘Cocoon’ stage where Julien Bracht was playing some nice live vibes, something that may have been needed for those with a sore head from the previous day!

A wander round the festival site saw two tents that couldn’t have been more separate in taste of dance music, but were equally as great as each other. One of them being the ‘Andy C Presents Ram’ tent saw the BPM tempo rise above the 160 mark which also could be said the same for your heart rate. A very energetic tent that emphasised the MC role to give the building crowd a bit of interaction. Switch over to the ‘Toolroom Knights Ibiza’ tent which explains itself in the name. Shut your eyes and you were in Ibiza in what was a much needed Balearic sounding change up. Names on the line up were Weiss, Tensnake and Mark Knight.

With the Sunday in full swing, the focus switched to the best stage of the day. The suitably named ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’ main stage boasted a massive line up with the likes of Riva Starr, Tiga, Solumun and a second appearance of the weekend from Amine Edge & Dance. By 7pm the main stage was packed with dancing humans and the spinning duties were handed over to Duke Dumont who provided a fantastic set. Finally as the sun started to set over Upminster Essex, the biggest names of the weekend were set the task of continuing the party atmosphere. Annie Mac fresh from Radio 1’s Big Weekender was first up before the legend Fat Boy Slim! Playing hits such as 'Praise You' and the main stage namesake 'Eat Sleep Rave Repeat' it provided an electrifying finale to a great weekend and a great festival.

Photos by Paul Taylor

Egg London Industry Night

To celebrate Egg London’s newly refurbished club there was only one thing for it, a private knee’s up that was done in style.

Guests of the club were welcomed with champagne on arrival with access to a free bar for the full duration of the press party. With the drinks flowing well and the DJ mixing the tunes, it was a good atmosphere in the newly revamped loft space.

The last 12 months has seen the club expand their dance floor spaces and make grand improvements in sound across the venue. They now boast the installation of the world’s first flipside sound system. The loft space has definitely expanded its dance floor, with emphasis of the more space on the dance floor the more it could be filled up with people looking for a good time.

Just next to the floor was an easy accessible outside space for people to socialise or catch their breath and cool down. Seating around the perimeter of the loft space was positioned in a relaxed style with the lighting also making the venue easy on the eye.

As the loft space started to fill up, it was time for some food as boxes and boxes of freshly made pizza were brought around to all those that needed to line their stomach for the long night ahead. A nice touch and something that was very welcomed by all those attending.

The line-up for the night was one not to be missed. Once the free bar was used to its full potential and the pizza had settled, it was time to wonder downstairs. Yousef’s Circus party was just getting into full swing where also Laurent Garnier and Steve Lawler were both spinning extended sets on the two main floors respectively.

The party would go on throughout the night with the doors shutting at 8am, and the people in attendance knowing they left after having a massive night. A night well played by Egg London, a club that knows how to party in style and look after all those involved.

Example Live At KOKO London (Ultimate Weekender)

Examples Ultimate Weekender started off with a bang as the singer raved until there was no roof to touch with all the bouncing involved.

The intimate weekender, for fans close to Example, were treated but also tested to their limits as this type of show takes no prisoners. From the start, hits such as ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’ were majestically played with the roaring crowd obeying Examples plea to show him their ‘Piano Fingers’.

There was barely time for rest as ‘Playing in the Shadows’ was played mid-way through the set that formed a giant mosh pit in the centre of the standing area. The inevitable drum and bass / dubstep drop sent them into a euphoric frenzy.

The intensity was never given up, much to the pleasure of the raucous crowd who just wanted more and more. They were served perfectly with old hits such as ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ and ‘Kickstarts’ and some new songs from Examples 5th album ‘Live Life Living’ released June 23rd 2014.

A stand out song showcased from the new album was ‘Stay With Me’ which outlined positive vibes about the new album. Other songs such as ‘All The Wrong Places’ ‘Only Human’ ‘Take Me As I Am’ and the most latest release ‘Kids Again’ were also included in the energetic set.

The massive finish of ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ that also includes DJ Chuckie’s  big Synth remix allows fans to jump so high that they touch the ceiling and are left screaming a sing along as Example leaves the stage.

The show didn’t stop there however as fans flocked to The Village Underground for the after party to see the second Example performance of the night with DJ Wire. A great venue for fans of a ravey background as it set a dark and moody but yet lively atmosphere for the acts that graced the stage until 2am. Example as bouncy as ever mixed his tunes with other favourable dance songs in a 50 minute set.

Example will continue this weekend in the same format with gigs in Manchester and Glasgow. The singer will be a big festival act for the summer 2014 festival season, and will promise to give a brilliant live show and be one not to miss.

Electric Daisy Carnival London 2013 Review

It was EDC’s (Electric Daisy Carnival) first appearance in the UK and there was a lot that was expected of the organisers and they didn’t disappoint. From hearing and reading about EDC events from across the globe, the organisers know how to put on a show of epic proportions. The anticipation was already evident on the train journey up from Essex. People dressed in ravey colours and drinking cider at 11 in the morning summed up the excitement. I was to found later that many people from the north of England has travelled down for this event, and even met some people from Brazil who had travelled over just for this event!

A flood of people walking from Stratford train station through the Olympic park was a sight. As you got closer and closer to the main arena, you could start to feel that rumble in your heart when the huge beat kicks in. Straight away you could see there was many ways to enjoy yourself away from the music with a various amount of fairground rides available for those that like an adrenaline rush. The location was ideal; however I found the onsite stages to be a fair bit of a walk away. There was the Kinetic stage located in the main arena area where the likes of Steve Angello, Avicii and Tiesto were playing. Other tent stages across from the Kinectic stage were the Cosmic Meadow, Bass Pod and Neon Garden. Acts such as Chuckie, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike and Sub Focus played across all 3 stages.

EDC London

With the UK seeing the best heat wave it has had since 2006, the overcast weather was something of a surprise. When the sun did appear every so often, it was greeted with a roar of applause from the thousands in attendance. As 2pm came up, and I had stopped being angry at paying £5 a pint, Nervo were second up on the Kinetic Stage, and received a brilliant reception. The Australian pair have lived in London for the last 10 years. This was greatly shown and appreciated when they played ‘Like Home’ in which they got everyone doing all the moves associated with the song. Even though there was some feedback issues towards the end of the set that also affected the start of Hardwells set, it was resolved quickly.

The Kinectic Stage was a very Swedish affair, with the first swede DJ of the day being Alesso. He got the crowd jumping around and clapping when he dropped in the song ‘Years’. By this time, the crowd were many drinks down and this only added to the already dreamy, joyous and the ‘I don’t care about anything, I’m just going to dance’ attitude. Something of which we have in all of us! Up next was 1/3 of Swedish House Mafia Steve Angello. Regretting never seeing the Swedish House Mafia, it was amazing to see Steve Angello. To mine and the crowds enjoyment, he dropped in a few SHM hits, most notably ‘Greyhound’ and ‘Don’t you worry child’. The crowd kicked off when these songs came on.

EDC London Steve Angello

Next up was Avicii, who is currently sitting firmly in the No1 single spot around the world with ‘Wake me up’. The country/dance track that features Aloe Blacc is the perfect combination of beautiful lyrics, a country vibe and then a jumpy dance vibe. These shouldn’t really combine so well but Avicii somehow manages to make this work, and the EDC London crowd was the perfect example of this. Friends arm in arm, singing word for word at the top of their lungs was brilliant, and this was at the end of his set! Avicii really looked like he was enjoying himself to, waving on the crowd more and more with his different looking DJ fist pump. Other hits in the set included ‘Levels’ and ‘Silhouettes. ‘Levels’ is what introduced Avicii to the world, and is a song that will remain amazing forever.

EDC London Avicii

Last but not least was Tiësto who closed the Kinetic Stage in dramatic fashion. The muliple winner of the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ played hit after hit. ‘Adagio for Strings’ was simply amazing, as well as ‘Maximal Crazy’ which added a hard jumping element. The lighting and visuals were incredible too and added even more to the experience of a Tiësto show. He also dropped in many crowd pleasers such as ‘Pursuit of happiness’ which was mixed in well with last year’s song of the summer ‘Rattle’.  Crowd pleasing tracks 'Lethal Industry', 'Love Comes Again' & 'Suburban Train' where just some of the highlights of the Dutch DJ's set.   The song ‘Mystery Land’ was also played which created a euphoric feeling across the whole of the EDC main stage area as the darkness crawled in at night time.

I definitely recommend EDC if it was to return to London again.  For the cost of a £72 ticket to a one day festival that provides the quality of names available to see and the amazing production, it is well worth spending that money for a really good day of dance music!

Photos courtesy of Eric Kabik & Neal Houghton