August Bank Holiday weekend has surely never known so many festivals. Reading and Leeds picked up the lack-of-Glasto slack with expanded capacities, TDK Cross Central in Kings Cross was so sure of itself that it refused entry to reviewers, and two dance music events also vied for punters’ hard-earned cash.
In Liverpool, the established Creamfields offered Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Tiga and Goldfrapp. But the rest of the superstar DJ set were assembling in Clapham Common for the first of two one-day events at the south London green expanse. Oakenfold’s fans had it made either way. Playing an early afternoon set in London, he left himself enough time to head up the motorway to keep his northern fans happy too. And Tiga would spin some choons at tomorrow’s Get Loaded In The Park.
Oakenfold had the entire grounds of the festival, from the mainstage to the doorways of the furthest tents, moving to the whole of hisDJ set. Unfortunately, his time in the sunlit afternoon clashed with Judge Jules‘s set.Shoehorned into a tent, the Radio 1 DJ still managed tofill his venue to overflowing, and with his unmistakeable and energetic style ofDJing, had the crowd pumped from the moment he took the stage till he left it – and he looked like he hadn’t wanted to leave. Neither did his audience.
The most pleasant surprise for the day was the DVDJ set bySander Kleinenberg. A mix of popular dancey tunes set to sometruly inspired video mixes had a large crowd drawn to the main stage.This was a bit of a curiosity to a lot of the people at the festival,as not too many people had seen him perform this type of set before.Well worth the time, his set had the crowd dancing the afternoonaway. Mauro Picotto, the Italian trance DJ, also triumphed.
The Shapeshifters played their first ever live set in theEssential London arena – the only “live” act of the day. An attentive audience enjoyed thesounds and moves on stage despite the incongruous guitar and diva vocalist, and the tent was packed to bursting throughoutend of the set.
Other unsurprisingly good sets during the afternoon came from bignames such as John Digweed on the main stage and Pete Tong, predictably packing the biggest of the tents to the gills with a blinding set as the weather began to turn. Eager Tong fans tried sneaking under the walls of the marquee, to be met with uncompromising security guards rather than their hero.
Equally huge was Carl Cox‘s effort, rounding out the evening on the main stage,accompanied by the downpour that had threatened all afternoon. Hordes of dancingfestival-goers were sent scurrying for cover as the skies opened a fewminutes into his set. It dried up again, and as soon as people cameout of hiding, down it came once more.
For a bunch of DJs more used to spinning choons in Ibiza, Aiya Napa and Miami, SW4’s miserable weather put something of a damper on a crowd that was there to dance away the remainder of the day – and with a 9pm curfew it was all over bar the bus queues. It wasn’t a great end, but even the great Carl Cox can’t control English Bank Holiday meterology.