I have been going to Lovebox for about seven year now I believe. I remember when it was just one day and was over in Clapham.
The main reason for me having loved Lovebox all these years wasn’t just the fantastic mix of chilled but partying atmosphere but mainly because it was run by Groove Armada – who have been my favourite group for many years.
This year’s Lovebox was always going to be different. It was in Victoria Park, hackney, same as the last few years, but for the first time, it was on for THREE days…and no Groove Armada! I was worried that the absence of Superstylin’ might spoil the whole experience for me – but it didn’t.
I went on the Friday with one mate, and saw some fab bands who I hadn’t even heard of before, and which I’m going to have to look up because I can’t remember their names now. Friday was very chilled, and not as packed. It’s the first time Lovebox had done a Friday, and it really did feel different – more like a day in the park with some music going on
The day culminated on the main stage with the Noisettes (with their totally mental lead singer, singing whilst doing a crab at one point), Chase & Status and the Dizzee Rascal, who was brilliant and brought it all to a grand first day close!
On the Saturday (with 2 different mates), I was gutted that I Blame Coco were on so early, which meant I HAD to be back there for 1.10! But it was worth it. Other highlights of the day were the always fantastic The Nextmen who we danced energetically to til my dodgy leg started playing up. We saw latin bands, rappers, soul, quite a few MCs, then we wandered down to watch Paloma Faith, who was well worth it. She was bouncy, flamboyant and pitch perfect.
There was one of those moments where you just couldn’t have planned it. She was doing a cover of I Need Your Lovin’ and she’s got to the first “I need your lovin’……like the sunshine…” and just as she said sunshine, one major beam of sunlight suddenly spotlighted her on the stage. She grinned, shouted “Thankyou sun!” and got a huge cheer from the crowd
As always, Lovebox had fantastic weather. in fact in all the time I’ve been going, I think I’ve only ever seen a little rain. Last year during Florence & The Machine, it rained for 5 minutes, and the next day, while Doves were on, me and my mate were dancing at the Relentless stage, and there was a fine drizzle that we hadn’t even noticed, LOL
So, who else did we see on saturday? Grandmaster Flash, some weird people doing the Kama Sutra (we just missed How To Survive A Zombie Attack and Stavros Flatley), we went on the Just Dance stage and did a brilliant Rocky routine to Eye Of The Tiger. We went to see Mark Ronson, but decided after one song that he wasn’t what we were craving, so we went and saw the brilliant Yeasayer (and missed Duran Duran joining Ronson on stage – but we saw them last year, so that’s OK)…we then also decided that Roxy Music would be too much of a come-down, so we stayed and saw Empire of the Sun – and the atmosphere was electric.
I had a weekend pass, and was planning to go on the Sunday and see Hot Chip and Grace Jones, but two full days on my dodgy leg were just too much in the end and I actually spent Sunday on the sofa, barely able to walk.
But oh, was it worth it. Everyone in London should experience the fantasticness that is Lovebox. I can’t wait til next year
Groove Armada are my absolute favouritest band, and have been for many many years. I love the way that all of their records sound so different. I love the way that they have so many different ‘guest artists’ to sing on their tracks, which gives them such a different feel. I love MC MAD who sings Superstylin’ (and also my favourite EVER GA track Madder, which is never ever played – apart from almost every week in my flat!). I love the way they just seem to keep getting stronger and stronger. And most of all, I love the way that their live shows are absolutely amazing. They have presence that you wouldn’t expect from a dance/techno duo. The light shows are fantastic, and they PLAY instruments (not twiddle knobs) – and OMG do they know how to play their crowd!
So – even though I saw them at the Coronet back in October introducing some of the stuff from their new album Black Light, I of course HAD to go and see them at The Forum on Wednesday for the album launch. And it was brilliant. From the intro medley and SaintSaviour’s brilliant vocals and entrancing movements on Look Me In The Eye Sister to the triple-climaxing of Superstylin’ that NEVER fails to get everyone jumping.
And yes, I jumped, I bopped, I swayed. I could barely walk home afterwards and thought I’d given my leg a setback I wouldn’t recover from. But in the morning it was fine. Phew! I’ve even chucked away my stick (well, metaphorically – it’s actually on the floor next to my desk!).
So, a fantastic gig, a fantastic night (preceded by a brilliant Ethiopian meal with my mate), and the gig has received rave reviews. This will be the first year GA aren’t playing Lovebox, which depressed me when I found out before they headlined last year, but I’ve already managed to see them twice since then – so all is good.
If you love dance music, make sure you get to see Groove Armada! Black Light is fantastic!