There is one thing that is guaranteed every August bank holiday weekend in London, if you want to hear good electronic music, you go to South West Four which takes place in Clapham Common. Now in its 11th year, the SW4 brand has skyrocketed and sells out year after year bringing to London the best electronic music acts the world has to offer.
This year was no exception with Faithless, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, Gorgon City and more taking over Saturday. On Sunday the likes of Skrillex, Armin Van Buuren's Gaia, Carl Cox, Loco Dice, Martin Garrix, Sigma and more had the crowds stomping like never before.
The other thing you can pretty much guarantee on in a August Bank Holiday is the rain! Foutunately for us on Sunday, it stayed overcast most of the day and the rain held off.
This year SW4 had grown with a new arena and immediately you could feel that the grounds were a bit busier with the extra capacity than previous years. Sunday headliner Skrillex took to the main stage just after 9pm with a massive LED screen setup that was displaying images from camera's pointed at his equipment and of the crowd in front of him. A ever popular drawcard, Skrillex kicked off with his remix of Red Lips whilst managing to scale the setup to stand upon a platform and address the crowd to go crazy! Tracks like the commercially popular 'Where r u now' have the crowd singing and bouncing to the drum and bass sound that Skrillex has mastered over the years. With the day turning into night, pyrotechnics going off above the stage, and a massive crowd adorning the main stage Skrillex brought to a close another successful weekend in SW4's history.
Earlier on in the day the crowd was treated to some high energy performances on the main stage by Basement Jaxx, Martin Garrix, Sigma & Gaia. Basement Jaxx's full band and ensemble was a pleasure to watch as they belted out hits like 'Romeo', 'Do your thing' and crowd pleaser 'Where's your head at'. Martin Garrix treated the crowd with a typical arms in the air performance playing out hits like 'Latch', 'Cant Feel My Face', 'How Deep is Your Love', 'Animals' and more. Sigma brought their full setup to the SW4 main stage and did not disappoint. Their performance was a highlight of the day and with a raft of hits well known to the audience, Sigma was the perfect mid afternoon act to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Tunes like 'Higher', 'Show Me Love', 'Glitterball' & 'Nobody to Love' kept the crowd bouncing through the performance.
Armin Van Burren brought the debut of his Gaia show to SW4 and it was quite different to Armin's previous performances. Resembling what can only be described as as a Star Wars Jedi in a hooded robe, both Armin and Benno De Goeji step up to the raised stage creating quite the mysterious atmosphere. This is not an extravagant performance but musically its trance at its finest and the crowd reciprocates by dancing and applauding tunes like 'Tuvan', '4 elements' and more. Its quite refreshing to see a performance that is purely about the music with some decent visuals to match. There is no hands in the air or jumping on decks to get the crowd going, its two guys playing great tunes!
Elsewhere at SW4 Carl Cox and Loco Dice went back to back in the DJ Mag arena which was full from start to end. It's always a given that if Carl Cox is playing you know what to expect from the big man. His bouncing behind the decks and his driving bass heavy tune selection always whip the crowds into a frenzy.
Example took to a smaller stage in the Together arena and with the crowd up against all walls of the tent, it was easy to see that he has a massive following at SW4 having performed multiple times over the previous years. You could feel the heat pouring out the gaps in the tent as Example treated the crowd to 'Watch the sun come up', 'Kickstarts' & 'Changed the way you kiss me'.
So another bank holiday weekend over and yet again another brilliant time at SW4. If you need an electronic music fix next year in the August Bank holiday weekend then I suggest you get your tickets as soon as they are released for this ever popular festival.