Words Annabel McLeod
A decade is a milestone worth marking in style and – thanks to its founders, electronic musos Groove Armada – London music festival Lovebox didn’t disappoint at its recent 10th edition. Despite the rain. And Azealia Banks bailing.
Friday saw solid dance acts including headliners Hot Chip and Crystal Castles. Saturday's lineup catered to all, with Maverick Sabre; street style courtesy of Grazia, Vogue and Elle; and a Pimm’s Bus. The weekend ended with a bang on Sunday with the help of the inimitable Grace Jones, Chaka Khan, Chic, and self-styled “gangsta Nancy Sinatra"/fashion darling/poster girl (delete as appropriate) Lana del Rey.
Saturday's highlights included:
- Flavour of the month Rita Ora ripping the outdoor stage with new track Party And Bullshit, RIP (sadly without Tinie Tempah in tow) and Hot Right Now, before slipping up Superbowl-Janet style.
- Groove Armada bringing on surprise guest Candi Staton for You Got The Love, releasing smoke cannons and taking everyone on a lovely trip down memory lane with Superstylin' and I See You Baby.
- Maverick Sabre's rendition of I Need to raise soggy spirits. The first word after “I need” was sunshine. And we did need it - but it still rained.
- Emeli Sandé breaking her ballad-ridden set (yes, I said it) to sing Bob Marley's One Love.
- Kelis, Kelis, Kelis and her fabulous DJ, Nikki Beatnik. Bounce, Deee-Lite’s Groove Is In The Heart, Got Your Money, Planet Rock, Acapella, Trick Me, Milkshake, Holiday, Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Millionaire, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Donna Summer's I Feel Love...all mixed up like a lovely birthday cake with icing on top.
- Indie poppers Friendly Fires closing Saturday's proceedings with Jump In The Pool from their self-titled debut album and more from last year's Pala, with every track seemingly created just for festivals. "Pretend we're all on a tropical island" said lead Ed Macfarlane before infectiously shaking his rump like a Polaroid picture for a hour plus set including Hawaiian Air, Kiss of Life and Skeleton Boy.