Lovebox Weekender, Victoria Park, London, July 2008
Our local festival. Lovebox was started by Groove Armada down in Clapham in the Noughties, and moved north of the Thames in 2005, planting itself in East London’s Victoria Park where it took to heart the area’s diversity by hosting lineups that covered the full spectrum of music, but with a definite flavour of F-U-N I reckon. Oh, and they had loads of fun rides. Again, we trucked along with a decent posse of chums, mainly another round up of the crew we went to Werchter with, and indeed (bar a final big ‘drinks’ night) this was the last chance to cut loose with some of these peeps. Needless to say we beat a frequent path to the bar and got pickled in the sun – the London summer weather was beaut, especially the early evening… I remember an amazing sunset behind the skyline of buildings and fair rides. Luvverly. Awesome to finally see Manu Chao - this record Clandestino became the soundtrack to a trip through Mexico & Guatemala about 15 years earlier, and his energy live was always what I heard (and hoped) it would be. We watched Goldfrapp again, but this was during their sudden veer into, well, almost pastoral folk rock… strange daisy take on The Wicker Man I thought. I prefer her glam stomp electro. Groove Armada played all the hits, from their loungey house to the bass bin rattling epic ‘Superstylin'. Very slick. I mean, who else hosts their own festival? Another 80s revival that surprised (and there have been a few over this process) was The Human League. Once again, an older synth/electronic act from 30 years ago suddenly sounded so comtemporary it hurt… I know this is basically down to Shoreditch trendiness at the time, in a way, but they were great. And Phil Oakey must have an aging portrait of himself in an attic somewhere. Last chance to go mad with The Flaming Lips, and again it gets five stars. Madness, confetti, mushy ballds and psychedelic rock, audience participation, and capped off with a huge karaoke version of Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’. Beat that. However, my little moment of musical pleasure came from a not the main stage, but a small tent to the side. In fact was an old Scout tent that would have been more comfy at a 1960s Jamboree - all canvas and boxy. Inside was Liam Finn & Eliza Jane Barnes playing awesome wee pop. The crowd was so small we were basically standing next to Liam - I could have held his beer for him. Maybe it was because we were going home to NZ soon, but I just loved his uncomplicated charm: “G’day everyone… how’s it going? My name’s Liam.” Utter pleasure. he deserves all the praise he gets, such a talented muso. So here is his song ‘Energy Spent’ from I’ll Be Lightning.