So that was Lovebox. The Victoria Park two-dayer brought sun and good vibes to East London, alongside the usual impeccable array of music.
From outright legends - George Clinton, David Rodigan - through to the latest Web 2.0 hype story, there was truly something for everyone at this year's Lovebox.
Here's a few things we learned...
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London gave Stormzy the warmest welcome imaginable
On a grey-skied Friday, the grime MC lit up the main stage, stirring the crowd into a moshpit to rival this year’s Roskilde. Operating on his home turf, our last issue’s cover star drew an obviously gassed blend of old and new fans alike (we imagine a fair few school sick notes were drafted up for the occasion...) ‘Shut Up’, ‘Scary’ and ‘Know Me From’ were given an outing. Elsewhere on the grime spectrum, Kano’s set in the Big Top drew crowds so large that the queues outside meant you could barely catch a glimpse of the fabled MC.
Work It have nailed the art of party-starting (and keeping it going)
It was a bit of a struggle to leave the tent where LDN’s premiere DJ crew were dishing out banger after banger for the long haul — think Cassie, JT, Destiny’s Child, creating a li’l ‘90s oasis in the backstage area, which was perfect for those moments when the Major Lazer drops over on the main stage got too screechy.
It doesn’t get better than James Murphy singing you happy birthday
It was inevitable, really, but LCD Soundsystem's performance was the highlight of Lovebox — the sole reason that some people had bought their tickets. Sure enough, their headline slot on the Saturday drew the masses, hungry to hear the band’s banquet of hits. Initial worries about sound levels (“it’s too f*cking quiet!” some girls behind us yell) are quashed when the volume is eventually cranked up.
In between those aforementioned hits — ‘Someone Great’, ‘Yeah’, ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ — and Nancy Whang’s effortless mastery of the keys, James Murphy belts out ‘Happy Birthday’ for drummer Pat Mahoney, while sipping a glass of white. All before the ecstatic climax of ‘All My Friends’ that arrives as the perfect conclusion to the weekend.
Denzel Curry prefers being in the crowd to being in front of it
Over on the NTS stage, the Florida rapper clambered down to the floor for renditions of hits from latest album ‘Imperial’, performing ‘Gook’, ‘ULT’ and ‘This Life’ from atop fans’ shoulders while complaining about the “weird stage".
It's time to stop worrying and love Jack Garratt
Speaking to Jack Garratt backstage at Lovebox started to melt our inhibitions about the phenomenally successful newcomer. His performance nailed it: sure, there was the odd moment of technical difficulties, but Jack's ability to take anything and everything in his stride made this a personable, warm, funny performance from an artist who seems to know no boundaries.
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Photo Credit: Holly Whitaker