The ever popular Bristol festival kicked off with its huge 20,000 people capacity. Thrown by the Team Love Gang who have built themselves up as a Bristolian Party makers, this city festival has the recipe for a fun May bank holiday with its strong line up and good lay out without all the crammed conditions many inner city festivals usually provide.
After the slow but steady wait with the sea of glitter faced, unitards- wearing hipsters first up to mention was the up and coming DJ, Fatmina Yamaha. Set on main stage, the Netherland DJ pulled in an impressive crowd of eager dancers. Although still early and the sound still rather low when ‘What’s a Girl to do’ came on it was clear the party had truly started.
Up next was Bristol based ‘Crazy P’ who never fails to get the crowd going. It is hard not love the underground disco group who have been apart of Bristol’s party scene for the past 15 years. Always one to work the crowd, front woman- Danielle Moore had the crowd dancing and smiling away.
After what seemed a long and anticipated wait as the sun got lower and the crowd filled up Mura Masa entered with his awesome track ‘Love$ick’ featuring A$ap Rocky. As the beat dropped the crowd exploded into a sea of roaring and dancing fans. From first song to last Mura Masa had the crowd glued.
Up next in Paradiso tent was electronic DJ’s ‘Bicep’. These house hero’s are known for throwing the ultimate sets and clearly from the sardined tent it was one everyone was eager to party to. Escaping the crammed atmosphere of Paradiso, the finale of Main stage was the Swedish electronic band, Little Dragon. In comparison to the quiet set of Fatima Yamaha, the sound quality was at its best. With the crowd engaged, Little Dragon delighted everyone with the new gems from their new album.
Sunday brought in a slightly bigger crowd, with queues of festival goers snaking around Eastville park in anticipation of getting in.
First to see main stage was grime artist ‘Nadia Rose’ who this year had been upgraded to a bigger stage and longer set after her hugely successful year in music. Spitting her lyrics as well as ever and engaging with the crowd it was easy to see why this 23 year old UK rapper is breaking through the grime scene as confidently as ever.
Next to lead was the hugely popular Shy FX. With the best stage presence that I had seen all weekend their was not one track which had the crowd at stand still. With hints of the popular ‘feelings’ track coming on festival goers were bouncing and screaming higher than ever.
Escaping the heat of the popular main stage was the fun of Shambarber tent which had drag queens and gorillas dancing on the stage while partygoers boogied to disco music. A hugely fun and warming crowd this hidden gem was heaven to the partiers who were looking for an escape from the heavy jungle and grime beats of the other other stages.
To close the night was the legendary Kano. Pleasing the lively crowd, the beats for P’S and Q’s came on the crowd exploded. Mega fans near the front went wild and the night ended with thousands of pumped partygoers making their way into the town.
Yet again another fun fuelled party hosted by the Team Love Gang. Despite its ever growing size, this huge 48 party located at the side of the M32 still has the magic of bringing people together in a true Bristolian friendly fashion. The atmosphere for me still remains as fun and strong as ever.
The Beat Herder prides itself on being a festival like no other and has firmly established itself as one of the best festivals of the summer, constantly evolving and improving. 17 lovingly crafted stages set across the Ribble Valley site in Lancashire catered for all types of music taste. Each year there’s the promise of new arena to wet your appetite. This year that was Trash Manor, which got an upgrade from a red & yellow stripy tent to a stately manor complete with a roman style fountain and grinding robots.
What I love most about this festival is the attention to detail. It’s in abundance everywhere, from the flower boxes to site signage, to my favourite hangout – Quality Street (a street complete with a sweetshop, barbers, tattooist, garage, hotel and a parish church). The whole site is built from reclamation yards and the organisers positively encourage punters to explore the every nook and cranny, after all it’s not just about the music.
The DIY ethic is also noticeable in the refreshing absence of corporate sponsorship and that’s how fans want to keep it. This year however, heritage drinks brand Jägermeister unveiled their new festival experience ‘Unearthed’. Jägerhaus comprised four separate spaces that offered festival-goers an immersive experience which differs between night and day to reveal secret rooms and passages. The two story wooden shack had a Germanic mountain lodge feel and complete with hexagonal pool table and funky stags heads. There were notable sets from Raff Daddy (2 bears) and Mike Skinner over the weekend, though the venue never quite set the festival alight in its promise. Is this a sign that Beat Herder losing their independent roots, I sincerely hope not….
Matt Whalley from Blackburn said “Beat Herder was amazing as per usual but no more expansions please. Stay true to your loyal fans and don’t go commercial.”
This years Beat Herder was a special one…. their tenth birthday and they invited some of original line up back to celebrate it with them. It’s hard to believe that only ten years ago that Beat Herder was a little known 1,200 capacity rave in the woods. Those numbers have swelled to 15,000, and it’s the wide range of music, and the lovely Lancashire charm that keeps people coming back year on year. Lifers even dedicate their love with a BH sheep logo tattoo. I was tempted myself…but maybe next year.
The main arena opened at 4pm on Friday, giving punters a chance to set up, acclimatise and get pretty drunk by the time the first acts came on. Over the weekend we saw a good caliber of acts from local bands to well-known international dance artists. Here are my highlights.
As Friday evening fell UK base artist Melé & frequent collaborator Slick Don played to young and hyped crowd in Pratty’s Ring. Belting out a host of heavyweight euphoric dance tunes Slick Don urged people to get on shoulders and rise above the crowds. Melé has been steadily rising in the ranks due to his quick mixing style and increasing radio play of his summery anthen Ambience, earning the support of Annie Mac, Mista Jam and Pete Tong.
Securing a huge electronic dance act such as the Basement Jaxx must have been no mean feat for the organisers and what better way to celebrate their 10th anniversary. The Jaxx did not disappoint as they brought their carnival-esque and energetic show to close Friday’s proceedings on the main stage. They ran through their galaxy of hits from Where’s Your Head At, Good Luck, Red Alert, Do Your Thing, Raindrops, as well as showcasing material from their new album Junto Never Say Never. It seemed as if the whole of beat herder, young and old were bouncing in the air to the finale to Bingo Bango. A job well done.
If you’ve ever seen A. Skillz live you know the man is a wizard on the decks. On Saturday evening the DJ extraordinaire set The Fortress alight with a pounding wave of scratching, sampling and mixing, fusing together, hip-hop, dance, breaks, DnB, soul, funk and disco. We heard mash-ups of everything from Eurhythmics, Nirvana, Damien Marley, The Champs, Route 94, Brookes Brothers. Too many hands-in-the-air moments to mention, and with fire canons lighting up the crowd, this was ASkillz at his very best and it was ridiculously good.
I seem to follow the same pattern each year, and 2015 was no exception; swing dancing on Sunday morning followed by a jerk chicken in the sunshine, then over to the Toil Trees stalwart Mr Scruff’s for one of his legendary 5 hour sets. Accompanied by Mc Kwasi’s cheery infectious nature, his chilled out vibes make you want to smile & dance. He starts off with some more laid back grooves, that build to a more jungle funk to a trip-hop vibe. Towards the end of the set most people are waving their hands in the air and singing along to ‘Hot 8 Brass Band’s – Sexual Healing’. Like A.Skills there are no genres that he won’t touch jazz, motownesque horns, funk, hip hop, ska, reggae, disco and house are all up for his treatment. Sunday’s are made for this.
The sun shone gloriously in the afternoon Crazy P took to the main stage. Championing disco-house vibes lead singer Danielle’s big personality and on stage energy adds a huge amount to their live band performances. She high-kicks the crowd out of their final day sluggish state showcasing their latest offerings from the excellent ‘Walk Dance Talk Sing’ – ‘Cruel Mistress’, Scrap the book, Like a Fool, Hear my Song, The Come On; as well as throwing in some crowd pleasing older favourites ‘Love on the Line and ‘Eruption’.
Caroline Greener from Leeds said “Crying with laughter multiple times, warm crowds, dancing till my feet hurt, being with an amazing group of friends in a magical place where rainbows live and fireworks fill up your eyes. Thanks beatherder!”
This is my fourth year of herding beats in Sawley. I almost don’t want to publish this review for others to see. I want to keep this wonderful festival for the few thousand in the know. When something’s this good it would be rude to share, surely….
For almost two decades Erick Morillo has been one of the most in demand DJs and producers on the planet. The Columbian-come-American’s career began in the early 90’s and since then he has gone on to play every principal city on the map, including major residencies in Ibiza for the past fifteen years. In 1997 he launched his own label ‘Subliminal Records’ and has since been able to propel the imprint to international prominence. In 2012 the status that Morillo holds in his homeland was exemplified further when a street was named after him in Union City. We’ve been lucky for Erick to play SW4 several times, in fact he was our first ever headliner back in 2004. We are delighted to have this living legend back for our 10th Anniversary…It just wouldn’t be the same without him.
"If anyone knows how hard it is to maintain a brand, party and event, it’s me. So congratulations to SW4 on their Tenth Anniversary! I always love coming to London to play SW4 in the summertime. The heavens opened on us last year, but it was still an amazing party and vibe. Let's pray for some summer loving this year!" Erick Morillo
Following in the footsteps of other seminal bands to play South West Four over the years such as Public Enemy and Salt N Pepa, our 10th Anniversary welcomes true London musical royalty. Celebrating their 25th Anniversary in their home city at SW4, we are delighted to showcase Soul II Soul featuring the magnificent Caron Wheeler. Reviewing their list of accolades, it’s easy to see why Jazzie B’s band is such an inspired choice. Having won two Grammy Awards and sold millions of records worldwide, Jazzie also has been given keys to an incredible seven cities in the US, including LA and New York. In America there’s even a Soul II Soul day, whilst back in Blighty Jazzie has been awarded an OBE for his services to music. Having formed in 1988, they burst on to the scene soon after with their massive hit singles ‘Keep on Movin’ and ‘Back to Life’, with the latter being featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. This year we celebrate 25 years of Soul II Soul at our 10th Anniversary, making our already stellar line up even more mouth watering.
“Looking forward to playing south of the river to a quality crowd! A happy face, a thumpin' bass, for a loving race :-)” Jazzie B (Soul II Soul)
Benji B & Deviation Strings is up there amongst the most interesting collaborations of the past decade. Led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Grant Windsor, the sixteen piece orchestra will take to the South West Four main stage to perform specially arranged scores accompanied by Benji B on the decks. This live performance is taking electronic music to the next level as the orchestra and Benji beautifully blend together tracks, as the instruments add another dramatic dimension to create a sound of epic proportions. The Radio1 DJs’ own Deviation nights have grown to become one of the most important and well-respected brands in British nightlife, with a simple manifesto of “good sound, good music, good people and no compromise”. Quite simply this is an incredible SW4 spectacle not to be missed.
UK disco darlingsCrazy P have been making some of the most important and relevant beats for the best part of fifteen years. With one of the best live shows in dance music, their roots are planted firmly in the late 90’s club scene. Their performance is a blistering exhibition of raw energy, infecting the crowd with their disco stylings. Often imitated but never duplicated, their extensive catalogue harks back memories of a more groovy, funk-laden era and 2013 sees a new album on the horizon. Make sure you catch their full live show at South West Four this year, as we party in true style. Time to get into boogie mode.
SW4 favourite Friction is a DJ and producer that holds extremely high esteem in the drum & bass world. Described by Pete Tong as “one of the big dogs”, he holds court in the D&B Hall of Fame thanks to his inauguration at the 2011 Drum & Bass Arena Awards. He has released music on the genre’s most respected labels including Hospital and Metalheadz and in 2004 founded Shogun Audio which pushed his name into the limelight. Since then he has gone on to become the new face of Radio 1’s flagship drum & bass show, a slot that was previously occupied by none other than Fabio & Grooverider. Having destroyed the RAM Records Arena at SW4 2012, Friction takes to the main stage this year alongside three very special guests; P Money, Scrufizzer and Linguistics.
Russell Whyte’s jittery, caffeine injected, upbeat style of music is without doubt the sound of the underground right now. Rustie’s in your face, anything goes, yet sometimes brash approach of mixing hip-hop and pop, with dubstep and trap is what’s making Rustie so in demand. In 2010 he signed to Warp Records, who released his now classic debut album ‘Glass Swords’ in 2011. In 2013 his thunderous new offering ‘Slasherr’ is causing a storm worldwide through Glasgow based label Numbers. Take note SW4, because this young Scot has only just got started.
Lancaster’s finest Bondax descend onto the Clapham Common threshold this year for their first ever South West Four appearance. Expect soulful, smooth bass and glorious sounding synths combined with R&B flavours, to make an irresistible cocktail that melts in your ears. Each listen to one of their tracks reveals a new aura of sophistication, whilst their latest offering ‘Gold’ puts Bondax on the very top of the new British talent coming through the ranks in 2013.
Los Angeles born RL Grime is in his own words “reshaping electronic production”. His melodically influenced flavour is connecting the roots of southern hip hop with the new age of electronic dance music. His alter-ego Clockwork has gained him the respect of several big name DJs, whilst his RL Grime project is shaping up to be no different. His track ‘Trap On Acid’ gained support from Diplo and A-Trak, as well as Flosstradamus and Baauer, who will both join him at South West Four this year. RL Grime’strap ideals are dictating our understanding of what its means to be a 21st century producer, as he holds status as one of the hottest properties on the planet.
Sussex born Kove has been causing a stir in the bass world over the past twelve months. Ram Records head honcho and SW4 resident Andy C picked up his track ‘Iodine’ in 2012 which quickly became a staple in the sets of many of the scene’s biggest names. Since then, Kove has recently signed exclusively with Chase & Status’ MTA Records and is increasingly in demand as a DJ throughout Europe. Making his debut appearance at SW4, this hotly tipped youngster will go on great things, we are certain of that.
ALSO ADDED TO SW4 SATURDAY!
The stage is set for Gorgon City to take over the world. Off the back of their first EP ‘Real’ they have already gained the support of Diplo, Annie Mac and Rinse FM. The title track featuring the soulful Yasmin has even been getting daytime play on Radio1, whilst ‘Thor’ is an equally devastating affair. Individually, Foamo and RackNRuin who make up Gorgon City are both well respected producers and DJs in their own right and their distinct stylings can be heard throughout their own studio efforts. Inspired by a vast selection of music genres, growing up in north London has clearly influenced the pair with their sound an amalgamation of house, garage and deep bass. Their first EP was released by the irrepressible Black Butter Records, home of the chart topping Rudimental and with new music in the pipeline, the future is certainly bright for Gorgon City.
Love Saves The Day are delighted to play host to a live performance from eclectic multi instrumentalist, Bonobo. Having gained worldwide recognition for his unique and untarnished approach to production, Bonobo is a revered name on the World-wide dance music circuit. He rocked the Futureboogie stage last year with a fantastic DJ set – this time he brings with him a full live set-up to perform on the Main-Stage.
Seth Troxler is defined by the consistently brilliant and beautifully unpredictable approach to his sets. This Detroit house inspired dynamo and co-founder of Visionquest was rated as the world’s best DJ in Resident Advisor’s 2012 DJ poll.
One of the dance music success stories of 2012 was peerless clan Rudimental who took the nation by storm with their number one single ‘Feel The Love’. Their highly anticipated debut album is due for release in 2013. Rudimental will be performing live for what promises to be a storm of a show.
London based duo, AlunaGeorge are the name on everyone’s lips in 2013. Having been together for barely a year, this talented duo’s infectious mixes are immersed in sweet harmonies and electronic charm. Nominated for both the BBC Sounds of 2013 and the Brits Critics Choice award, their much-anticipated live performance at Love Saves The Day will be un-missable as will technicolor collectiveCrazy P who have been leaving their mark on the landscape of British dance music for the last 15 years.
Bristol resident Eats Everything has gained international recognition for his signature brand of bass heavy house, doused in techy cut ups and soulful harmonies whilst Joy Orbison has been a key figure on the circuit since his seminal track Hyph Mngo blew up in 2009 and the prolific producer has since released a series of deservingly hyped tracks including his infamous collaborations with Boddika.
Jackmaster is an integral part of the BBC’s new DJ roster and the Numbers founder continues to pave the way in UK bass movement. Expect a sharp track set, featuring everything from Detroit house and 90’s dance classics to disco anthems and garage. MeanwhileMonki, another of Radio One’s ‘In New DJ’s We Trust’ promises to show us that the ladies are doing it for us – just as much as the new wave of males.
As with last year, Love Saves The Day promises to be the place to see acts before they blow up into the main stream. Hoping to follow acts such as Disclosure and Jessie Ware, who graced the festival in 2012, are the much-hyped Bicep, Bondax, Dusky, Roses Gabor and The Other Tribe. Watch this space.
Mr Scruff is the legendary DJ, cartoonist, producer and tea drinker. His much revered DJ sets take in Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Dubstep, Latin, African, Ska, Disco, House, Funk, Breaks, Soundtracks & lots more and his set will be an undoubted festival high.
Shy FX also leads in his heralded Digital Soundboy crew to the festival for the first time. Riding high after his recent re-edit of ‘Gold Dust’ received huge radio play, Shy is joined by both Breakage and Dismantle, as well as some yet unannounced guests.
Also confirmed for Love Saves The Day are Âme, Deetron, Maxxi Soundsystem, Mickey Pearce, Outboxx, Paleman, Dubious and A.Quake, Feel The Real, Tom Rio and Dan Wild, Waifs and Strays, Futureboogie DJs, Jus Now and Christophe & Lukas.
Love Saves The Day partners with some of Bristol’s finest clubbing institutions including Just Jack, The Dance Off Crew, Shapes, Apex and Futureboogie.
!!! (CHK CHK CHK) / CRAZY P WILLY MASON / GREG WILSON / TROJAN SOUND SYSTEM THE NEXTMEN feat MC WREC / BIGKIDS / THE SKINTS / COSMO (Cosmodelica) / TURBOWOLF FIGURES (live) / REVERE / BEANS ON TOAST / GOLDEN FABLE BELAKISS / THE FABULOUS PENETRATORS
DEATH IN VEGAS / BEARDYMAN / FAT FREDDY’S DROP CASIOKIDS / FIELD MUSIC / GABBY YOUNG AND OTHER ANIMALS / KING CHARLES / STEALING SHEEP YEARNERS / DUB PISTOLS / VADOINMESSICO / JENNY O. / special guests THE TIME AND SPACE MACHINE and many more still to be announced…
Dance-punk’s finest, California’s !!! (Chk Chk Chk) come to the UK to play Standon Calling, their only UK festival show! Their live shows are about freedom of expression, unadulterated punk and pure escapism.
Crazy P bring one of the UK’s best dance music shows – a showcase punctuated with brilliant pop, eclectic disco and soulful rhythm funk that’s sure to get the crowd moving. A legend in his own right, Greg Wilson is a true DJs’ DJ – widely respected as one of the masters of the re-edit, and an exponent of disco and electro-funk sounds. Colleen ‘Cosmodelica’ Murphy is an eclectic, experimental DJ and producer and all-round purveyor of the psychedelic, the Balearic, and the cosmic.
Willy Mason’s headline performance on The Lordship stage promises to be special. Trojan Sound System are all about the reggae vibes, a collective of sound system legends like selector Earl Gateshead and Daddy Ad, and vocalists Superfour plus Chucky Banton who are considered some of the world’s best reggae party-makers. The Nextmen feat. MC Wrec bring the jump-about party to Standon. Expect anything from dancehall, drum’n’bass and dubstep to reggae, roots, UK funky, indie and leftfield. It will go off!
Turbowolf venture into psych-rock; hotly tipped lo-fi duo BIGkids promise samples, saxophones and sunshine singalongs; reggae and dub upstarts The Skints take the bull by the horns, with an all-singing, all-dancing party; and electronic production duo Figures bring live low-tempo electronic house music. Plus there’s seven-piece band Revere, folker Beans on Toast, psych-rockers Belakiss, who toured with Kasabian, Welsh chamber pop duo on-the-up Golden Fable, and slick rock’n’rollers The Fabulous Penetrators.
ALSO AT STANDON
This year’s headliners are Death in Vegas, Beardyman and Fat Freddy’s Drop. Rock meets electronica as Death in Vegas heads up Saturday night. Richard Fearless’s minimal beats meet psychedelic flamboyance and progressive rock stamina meets throbbing basslines. Beatbox, MC, musician and all-round vocal genius, Beardyman joins Standon Calling 2012, promising a non-stop show! And sliding in on Sunday, bringing with them their own brand of party-ready dub-funk-reggae-soul are Fat Freddy’s Drop.
The Time and Space Machine, Richard Norris’s latest – and trippiest – exploration of the psychedelic side of music, Norwegian synth-poppers CasioKids and engaging wonky electronic pop brothers Field Music are on the bill. Gabby Young and Other Animals returns, wilder, bolder and more irresistible than ever. MTV-tipped King Charles will thrill with his curious glam folk pop breezy sound, while ones to watch Stealing Sheep continue the psych-feel, with harmonic pop. Catch innovative three-piece folk band Yearners, see delicious ‘freak’-folkers Vadoinmessico or get lost in singer-songwriter Jenny O.’s infectious melodies.
THEME: JOURNEY TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Standon Calling’s theme is conveyed through the music, theatre, arts and fancy dress. And every year the costumes get more ornate. What will you come as? This year the theme is about adventure and the spirit of discovery: Journey to the Ends of the Earth.
The fields of Standon will be transformed into every unexplored corner of the world and your imagination. Watch acrobats swing from the Amazonian branches of the tree bar, discover creatures of the deep in the pool and dance late into the night with fantastical creatures in the Cowshed Club. The next morning take to the skies in a hot air balloon before crash landing at the feet of the giants of Gulliver’s Travels. Invent, create and discover yourself in the greatest adventure Standon has ever undertaken!
Heritage Arts Company presents the greatest treasure hunt Standon has ever seen: AN UNEARTHLY CHILD. Collaborating with Rolemop, Meet Alice, Circus Space performers and others to be announced, HAC create an interactive game for adults and children – with every part of the game an enjoyable performance for festival-goers… Nobody does interactive theatre like Standon!
There will be DJ outposts across the site to encourage late-night exploration. Dig It Soundsystem is a big, bad portable bike-pulled soundsystem that has become a favourite at Standon. The Groove Garden is a disco/chillout space centred around a customised garden shed, it creates a summer barbeque feel with a wide-open music policy, games, face-painting and lots more. The ever-popular Rockaoke returns to the Cowshed – indulge your fantasies of being a rock star. And, new this year, Beatbox Workshop comes from some of the UK’s most exciting emerging beatboxers – an opportunity to learn the basics, and discover your potential.
The UnderCovers Literary Lounge returns to Standon, this time at the Lordship Pub, with poets, authors and comedians to entertain you. And there will be more literary Twister! Brought to you by Clapton’s Ultra Large Format darkroom Analogue Photo Booth is an experiment in mobile portraiture where the sitters produce their own portraits. Pose resplendent in your costumes on the Saturday before the fancy dress competition, or capture that magical festival moment and develop your own prints.
Take to the Standon skies on your very own balloon adventure. Around the World in 80 seconds! Join Standon newcomers Salon present Fresh Perspectives of Science, Art & Philosophy – The Most Fun You Can Have Without Sex. It’s an experience like no other, where expert presenters – hand-picked from three disciplines: Psychology, Science and the Arts – share their skills and spill their secrets. If you crave something different, with a friendly crowd and some of the UK’s most interesting speakers, this is for you…
Autumn Shift: Performance, Cinema & Calm returns with massage, bellydancing lessons, jewellery-making, sock puppet workshops, a 48-hour film competition, lazy Sunday morning papers, open mic, discussions, nightly cinema, singing workshops, live film score, and many more intrepid happenings! Enjoy all manner of treatments, hairstyling and yoga by the river bank. Or attend the Clare Trenchard Sculpture Classes for some therapeutic art.
The Dog Show is back. This time no human contestants are allowed, although no doubt a few will slip through! There’s the swimming pool – Standon is the only UK festival with its own pool! Standon Calling’s homage to the Olympic Games will be just a little leftfield – with obstacle courses and fun on the lawn. And that’s not all – there’s still much more to be announced…