01 July 2014

Festivals Festivals Festivals.

It's pretty tough to keep up with the huge amount of festivals on offer this summer.  There are events to suit every taste and every budget, covering pretty much every genre of music that exists.  Here’s a headsup on a selected few that feature Phoenix artists and DJs strutting their stuff..

First, as it’s actually going on right now is Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival.  Set in the normally tranquil seaside town of Sete in the south of France in an amphitheatre and on the picturesque local beach, cutting edge artists and DJs from the musical leftfield entertain a knowing and loyal crowd who have been following Peterson’s Worldwide radio shows and compilations for years.  This year Theo Parrish plays live for the first time at a festival. Listen to Theo and Gilles chew the fat on Gilles’ BBC6 Music show last week.  Also bringing his live swamp funk blues to proceedings is William Adamson, and his alter ego Earl Zinger will be controlling the mic throughout the week as host and emcee.

Lovebox has become a staple in the London park festival scene over the last 9 years, bringing an eclectic and dancefloor led range of artists with a healthy nod to the top 40 charts, and the occasional stratospheric headliner like Grace Jones, Blondie or Chic. This year it has trimmed down to two days from three, and has focused more on the dancefloor with a slightly less commercial lineup.  Amongst those playing live are Theo Parrish with which might well be the last chance to see the live lineup in the UK for some time.  Mark E brings his robot boogie techno to the Futureboogie stage, and Paul Cottam plays his own vibe of twisted disco on the Aperol Spritz stage.  Others to look out for are reggae don Sir David Rodigan, Madlib on a rare jaunt to the UK, and trendy young soulful things Bondax.

Now in it’s 40th  (!) year the Lambeth Country Show is one of the original and certainly one of the longest running community public space events in London, if not the country.  From jousting to vegetable art, this event has covered all possible bases any community could require or desire. Taking place in Brockwell Park in Brixton means there has often been a reggae leaning when it comes to the live shows in the main arena.  This year is only slightly different with soul vocal legend Jocelyn Brown headlining on the Saturday, and on Sunday our very own reggae champions and legends Aswad take to the stage to headline and close the weekends happenings.  Often cited as the UKs most successful real reggae act, Aswad have enjoyed numerous chart hits back in the 80s and 90s. Whilst touring prolifically since the chart hit days the band never hit the heights of the 80s (but who has?).  It’s been a while since their last release City Lock in 2010, hopefully this show will be the start of us seeing more of Aswad out on the circuit. To satisfy any reggaefied needs a ‘best of’ is available online, as is the hit album Rise & Shine, also Big Up, and  Dub – The Next Frontier.


Barrington Levy

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