South West Four 2015 – Sunday Review

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.



SW4 2014 – Saturday Review

SW4 always promises to deliver a huge lineup; and this year was no different. Clapham Common battens down the hatches once a year for an onslaught of thousands of festival-goers eager to experience some of europe’s finest EDM DJ’s and Producers in the flesh.

We arrived at Clapham Common to a slightly cooler day and walked around the site to get our bearings; there was four stages this year, The Gallery, The Last Day on Earth, the DJ Magazine Arena, and of course the Main Stage. The set times had been posted so we knew where we needed to be and when; and first up was Oliver Heldens on the main stage. Somewhat predictably the early crowd knew exactly what they wanted to hear – Gecko. He set the scene well for the early comers, and we got some great photos of the crowd enjoying a rave in the sunshine.

Next up on the main stage was Danny Avila, who has had a quick rise in EDM, and now normally plays with the big names in the US – but his UK festival appearance this year shows his universal appeal. His bootleg of Ellie Goulding’s Burn went down particularly well. 

Leaving the main stage, we headed over to catch Loco Dice in the DJ Mag tent  – at our earlier interview with Tristan Ingram, he’d said how much he was looking forwards to Loco’s set, so we couldn’t miss it either and made sure we were right there to catch all the action. He didn’t disappoint and obviously really enjoyed his set; bouncing around the stage like it was midnight! It was still early, and the sun streamed through the tent’s openings – it got pretty hot in there, but the crowd stuck with him on his deep but funky journey. 

This is where it all got a bit hectic; we rushed back to catch Fedde Le Grand, saw him play a few stormers including Off With Yer Head, but we had to rush off again for Booka Shade – who were playing live in the Last Day on Earth arena. The stage had been cleared of the DJ booth, and in its place was two ‘pods’, one containing percussion, and the other, synths. The crowd was in for a treat! The guys gave a really expressive and vibrant performance, interacting throughout on the mic. Off again to catch Super8/TAB in the Gallery briefly before we rushed back to catch Seth Troxler while it rained (timing!). Seth is a relative newbie by comparison to Sasha who followed him in the Last Day arena, but by no means less impressive, and he really delivered a storming set to amp the crowd up for Sasha.

The festival site isn’t too large, so all the running about wasn’t too difficult. The entire central area was made over to food trucks and rides which made a welcome distraction for some.  We made it back in time to catch New World Punx on the Main stage – Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten are ever the showmen and put on a fantastic show, really hyping up the now growing crowd – the huge screens had some amazing visuals and NWP had the pleasure of playing as the sun started to dip in the sky – what a beautiful sight it was. Alesso followed NWP and played a lovely dj set, warming up nicely and building the vibe for W&W, but it was over to catch Aly & Fila for us in the Gallery arena where the crowd were really getting into it. 

Knowing that Markus Schulz was up next we stuck around and were treated to a great set, punctuated with classics – always one to play to the crowd and we were not disappointed! The vibe was electric and you know when Ferry Corsten is hanging around back stage that something special is going on. I could have stayed front and centre there for the whole set, but Above & Beyond were up on the main stage, and we had to go capture!

By now the sun was well and truly down, and the lighting on stage picked up a notch- the Above & Beyond show had begun. Huge vocals, and reach-for-the-lasers tunes are what A&B are known for, and they certainly delivered right til the very end. 

Thank you SW4 – a fantastic day with some amazing moments and something I’ll remember for a long while. The journey home with the sorest feet I’ve had in a long time, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Highlights for me were Loco Dice, New World Punx (Markus!), Aly & Fila and of course Above & Beyond. Epic day

Photos by Reetesh Rambhai


Inxs to headline Southern Sounds @ Clapham Common

inxs southern soundsFor the first edition of this major outdoor event, Southern Sounds welcomes Australia’s most successful rock export to headline proceedings. With a career spanning 25 extraordinary years and a history peppered with outstanding achievements including 30 million albums sold, INXS are undoubtedly one of the world’s great bands. From headlining Wembley Stadium before 75,000 people, to winning the BRIT Award for Best International Group, to securing six consecutive Top 10 albums, INXS’ relationship with the UK has been a great love affair. In their first performance in London in over four years, Tim Farriss, Jon Farriss, Andrew Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Gary Beers make their greatly anticipated return in support of their remarkable new record ‘Original Sin’.
As their twelfth studio album, ‘Original Sin’ features covers of INXS’ earlier productions, with each song featuring a different singer. This includes Rob Thomas and Cuba’s DJ Yaleidy’s sultry teaming on “Original Sin”, to trip-hop superstar Tricky’s electrifying “Mediate”, to Ben Harper’s soulful and emotional “Never Tear Us Apart.” With Professor Green’s re-work of “Need You Tonight” storming the UK charts last year, INXS return to London with their signature hits as relevant as ever and loved both by long standing fans and a new generation of listeners.
In addition to an unforgettable closing performance from INXS, Southern Sounds will also play host to many more live acts and performers across three stages. With saver tickets on general sale now priced just £35 +BF, make sure you get yours today and claim your place at what will be a day to remember.

South West Four 2010 Review

SW4Saturday 28th August had finally arrived and it was the first day of the SOLD OUT South West Four weekender. Extended to a two day festival this year we were delighted to see the sun shining after a week of rain.

Pete Tong SW4We made our way to the infamous Clapham Common, home to SW4 for many a year. As we picked up our passes and walked in, we manage to catch the end of Alex Metric finishing up his live set on the main stage.
We make our way to the front of the main stage to see Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong. A regular at SW4 he was to kick things off in typical Tongy fashion, busting out massive track after track and showcasing why he is still one of the most in-demand DJ’s in the world. Dropping the massive Swedish House Mafia “One” brings the crowds running into the main stage area in their hundreds, by far one of the biggest tunes of the year.
Over to the other side of the park to catch Gareth Emery in the TimeOut Gallery Arena who is playing a nice selection of uplifting trance to an already very busy tent.   The Gallery Arena has been one of the most popular tents at SW4 and with a lineup including Judge Jules, Sander Van Doorn and Paul Oakenfold it was bound to be packed like a sardine can!
We quickly head over to the DJ Mag Bedrock Arena to see Mutant Clan (Timo Maas and Santos) who are busy on their setup of 8 CDJ’s and 2 mixers. They seem to work seamlessly together to blend track after track.
Moving onto the Toolroom Knights arena, we catch Dirty South who has had another productive year in the studio releasing the popular “Phazing” which is doing the damage around clubland. Sticking to his electro / uplifting house style he rocks the crowd in one of the tents that I quite enjoyed throughout the day. We also catch Funkagenda in the Toolroom Knights arena and he rocks the crowd with a massive set.
As the sun continues to shine on through the afternoon, the crowd was building up to its maximum 20,000 capacity. We see smiles all around us as we walk through the crowd back to the main stage to catch Laidback Luke, one of the busiest DJ’s / Producers in the business. Pumping out track after track we were very excited to see him for our first time. His style is a mix of uplifting / progressive house and electro. His blend of tracks at SW4 gathers a massive crowd in the main stage area.
Erick MorilloErick Morillo as energetic as always teases the crowd with a great intro track and then busts into his unique style of Latin / Miami style house music. It’s been a while since I last saw Erick on a big stage and he always plays with a high amount of energy, constantly dancing and grooving behind the decks. By the end of his set, there is a mass of friends and colleagues gathered on the stage partying with Mr Morillo.
As we mill about the press area we catch a glimpse of Paul Oakenfold and Tall Paul having a chat before Oakey heads off to the Gallery Arena, quite the site to see the two legends together.
Sasha takes to the decks as the crowds begin to darken as a few rain drops being to fall. With his progressive style Sasha starts off slow and slowly builds the journey up to a style that only Sasha is capable of. A couple tracks in and the rain beings to come down, however this doesn’t affect the crowd, they are more up for it than ever! A few umbrella’s go up and jackets go on, some of the crowd try and pack into the tents but the majority enjoy the rainfall which lasts only 20 or 30 minutes.
We head back to the Bedrock Arena to catch John Digweed who to my surprise is playing a rocking set to a fully packed out tent. Playing a more uplifting set than I expected I quite enjoyed seeing Digweed back here again.
With a muddy ground and nite falling, headliner on the Main Stage Armin takes to the decks to massive applause, most of the crowd have been waiting for him and they have their dancing shoes ready. Armin gets right into the stride and the hands are up in the air from the very first beat. The world’s number one DJ never disappoints and his set is typically Armin, a journey through some of the biggest trance tunes of the moment and a selection of Armin classics.
Armin Van Buuren SW4
We leave before the end of Armin’s set to avoid the mass exodus, having enjoyed quite an awesome day at SW4. With most of the day quite pleasant before the rain, a great lineup and crowd to suit, SW4 once again shows why it is one of the most popular dance music based festivals in the UK.
You can see more photos here in our Facebook album.