Live Music + Gig Reviews

Lovebox 2012: Day 1 @ Victoria Park, London

15 June 2012

The Lovebox festival, famously teeming with kinetic, electro pop, celebrated its 10th year at Londons Victoria Park. The festival circuit is already overflowing with sheer over-saturation but Lovebox has managed to carve a niche for itself, straddling the lines of disco kitsch and fractal electronica, especially on the final day of the event. The latter aspect ensures a marginally top heavy focus to the music programing, yet this anniversary line-up managed to secure considerably more major-name hitters than previous years. While last years Friday headliners were the indie rockers The Wombats, this years opening night boasted Hot Chip and Crystal Castles on the main stage.

Hampered by some remarkably flamboyant weather conditions and a delayed opening, the Friday line-up began to gain momentum with the euphoric rush of New Yorks Blondes proffering a slow-release mechanism to their warm, luscious, blissed out tunes.

Over at the Big Top tent, the arrival of Ms Dynamite sends the assembled throng into a frenzy of excitement, often bordering on violence. Her performance, truncated presumably due to the late opening, was quick-fire and aggressive, supplemented by Marcus Nasty on the decks and an increasingly volatile crowd.

Raf Rundell and Joe Goddard, more commonly known as 2 Bears, unwittingly caused a stage invasion during their joyous set. Demonstrating the dance moves to Bear Hug, the duo were soon joined by a rush of devotees, eager to display their dancing techniques to the great unwashed. Nevertheless, the bands two-step dynamics maintained the evenings increasing momentum as a truce appeared to be in play with the weather conditions.

Crystal Castles have the good sense to physically resemble the music they play. Alice Glass took to the stage looking like a frantically wired lilac robot and, despite having the temerity to clash with the football (Euro 2012 was playing out on a giant mobile screen at the other end of the site), the bands awkward, almost industrial tremors provided an unlikely solace for those seeking respite from alternative pursuits.

On the other hand, its perhaps best that Hot Chip dont resemble the music they play. This inaugural festival headline experience comes on the back of their In Our Heads album but inevitably, it was the likes of Over And Over and Ready For The Floor which saw the feel-good factor reach evangelical levels. Frantically swapping instruments between songs, the band faithfully, even reverentially, closed with Fleetwood Macs Everywhere, the rippling synth crescendoes soaring across Victoria Park, creating a suitably warm-hearted closure to the days proceedings.

  1. Lovebox 2012:
    Reviews: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
    Photos: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

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