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Lovebox Festival @ Victoria Park – 16/07/2010

Guest Blogger: Tina Hart

The blisters on the soles of my feet were worth it. My first ever trip to Lovebox on its first ever Friday was brilliant. A delightful mixed bag of musical goodness in the sunshine.

It had been described as the poppiest day of the weekend but there was a lot of specialist Dance and Grime, Latin and Indie rock beats resonating through Victoria Park in London’s East End too, an eclectic combination which definitely made the day all the more enjoyable. 

Maverick Sabre @ Lovebox 2010Warming up the Gaymers Stage was one of two mega-exciting discoveries I made of the day, promising new talent: guitarist, rapper, singer, songwriter Maverick Sabre. He caught my ear with his gorgeous soulful, warm Finlay-Quaye-ish voice and smart hip hop lyricism with an acoustic set that switched from mellow to funky to show off his repertoire.

Moving over to the main stage, I was bombarded by the mad natterings of The Midnight Beast. Within minutes these guys had me giggling away at their silly but cleverly assembled lyrics and dance routines, pom poms and all.

On the ‘cooler’ end of the spectrum of acts to grace the main stage included a couple of Dizzee-Rascal-endorsed, Dirtee Stank-signed acts. Teenage MC Smurfie Syco bringing his swagger and chart-friendly rap tunes to the stage in a Tinchy Stryder kind of way, followed by grittier MC duo, Newham Generals comprising of grime veterans Footsie and D Double E whose Street Fighter Riddim features a very familiar sample.

I’m secretly quite glad that the queue outside the NYC Downlow area for MJ Cole made me detour and find mega-exciting discovery of the day number two, Tinashé. Playing his first festival, reminding me a little of Bloc Party with his tone of voice and heavily guitar infused tracks, this Indie Pop gent was impressive and I’m sure we’ll be seeing him making a chart assault soon…

Keeping the specialist dance vibe bubbling throughout the day were many a DJ in the open-air Rizla Arena with sounds of House and Garage, including appearances from Sticky and Todd ‘the God’ Edwards which pleased me muchly. The undercover and freakishly dark Relentless and NYC Downlow tents boasted sets from Mistajam, Crookers and several other high-profile turntable masters. I happened across Sinden dropping a bit of Swedish House Mafia in the Relentless area and it went crazy!

The wee Gaymers Bandstand saw more Grimey acts including MCs Griminal and Ghetto who had their fans hyped and raving along to their beats and rhymes, and the pretty but punchy Mz Bratt who showcased her tough lyrical dexterity of which I particularly enjoyed on Who Do You Think You Are? A very attractive and dapper looking Aggro Santos wrapped up proceedings here.

Bombay Bicycle Club @ Lovebox 2010Drawing a massive crowd to the Gaymers Stage were Indie rockers Bombay Bicycle Club and at the other end of the park, kitted out in gold and white on the main stage, belting out the anthem that is Don’t Upset the Rhythm was The Noisettes.

Taking the energy up to ‘cor blimey’ level were Dubstep kings Chase and Status who had the crowd tirelessly flinging themselves around for a whole hour at the drop of tunes consisting of the filthiest basslines. 

Dizzee Rascal @ Lovebox 2010Darkness descended and we were treated to one of East London’s most successful exports, Friday’s headlining act, Dizzee Rascal. He dedicated Chillinwith the Man Dem to his mates and then went into Heavy with its distinct Chase and Status bassy banger sound. At this point my size fives couldn’t physically handle any more so I strolled home with my tequila-endorsed straw hat and plonked into bed after one of the best days out I’ve had this Summer. For me, the ninth annual Lovebox Festival is in the diary as a must-attend event for next year.


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