Preview: Love Saves The Day
Bristol’s biggest and favourite festival returns to Eastville Park for another year on the 28th and 29th of May to kick off your summer with another top line-up. The set-up has grown considerably since its 2012 debut, but the organisers haven’t abandoned their roots as strong supporters of underground music, a skill undoubtedly honed through their involvement in Bristol’s IN:Motion series. Arguably the city’s most exciting night time cultural events, many of those at the festival have been represented at Motion this year already, including the likes of Shy Fx, Joy Orbison, High Contrast, Flava D and Bristol natives Kahn, My Nu Leng and NYTA. Not content with their own experience, Love Saves the Day are also teaming up with some of Bristol’s finest promoters including house and techno aficionados APEX, Just Jack and Futureboogie, who are all bringing their unique sound to their own curated stages.
The Saturday headline slot brings electropop heavy hitters Hot Chip to the main stage. A band that needs little introduction following their rise to notoriety in 2006 with the single ‘Over and Over’, Hot Chip are best known for the 2008 dancefloor classic ‘Ready for the Floor’, but have been producing and touring ever since. Last year brought their sixth studio album, ‘Why Make Sense’, described by the Observer’s Kitty Empire as a ‘Hip Hop and funk infused beauty’, and a deserved resurgence in their popularity heralded by the single ‘Huarache Lights’. The hypnotic bassline and characteristic vocals of frontman Alexis Taylor, featured in ‘Easy to Get’, are sure to be a highlight of the festival.
Everything Everything have also had an album out in the last year and will be treating the crowd to some indie Rock. Heralding from the city that produced Oasis and the Stone Roses, the critically acclaimed four piece, shortlisted for a Mercury prize in 2011, made the hit ‘Cough Cough’ the following year, after ‘My Kz, Ur Bf’ had put them on the map. Their unique use of intricate electronic crafting and a dynamic live show puts them in a class apart from other rock bands.
Also gracing the main stage on Saturday and a particular favourite of us at InSync is electronic duo Maribou State. Soulful and melodic, the pair produce a sound equally suitable for midday as it is for the early, early hours of the morning; they can play with a live band or just as easily produce a classy Dj set, as they have done at Motion. Their most recent album ‘Portraits’ was a roaring success and produced an entirely remixed record off its back, with the beautifully poised ‘Midas’ and ‘The Clown’ being particularly popular.
Dizzee Rascal takes the headline slot on the mainstage on Sunday. His debut album ‘Boy In Da Corner’ from 2003 brought mainstream recognition, after lyrical sparring with Crazy Titch and a volatile relationship with Wiley had created serious hype around the 17 year old from Bow, E3. The album became an instant classic, with tunes such as ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ and ‘Jus a Rascal’ showcasing his ability. The song ‘I Luv U’ is still regularly played at grime nights across Bristol and the country to this day. His big break, however, came in 2009 with his fourth studio album, ‘Tongue n’ Cheek’. Songs with Calvin Harris (Dance Wiv Me) and Armand van Helden (Bonkers) made number one, and cemented his position in the UK and across the pond in the States as the album went gold. Whilst Dizzee has kept a fairly low profile during grime’s recent revival, it would not be unrealistic to expect a few classics from his sizeable repertoire on the 29th May.
Someone who can’t be accused of keeping a low profile in grime’s revival and a returner from last year is the Wicked Skengman himself, Stormzy. One of the UK’s most sought after artists, Stormz caused a stir when his freestyle ‘Shut up’, over XTC’s classic grime beat ‘Functions on the Low’ was pushing to be Christmas number 1. Although he lost out to Justin Bieber, the Croydon born rapper earned universal acclaim for his talent and street sound, shown in the stripped back videos to ‘Where Do You Know Me From’ and ‘Shut Up’. Winner of back to back MOBO awards, he is best known for his grime records, but also spits over hip-hop, R&B and even Afrobeats, setting him out as one of UK music’s rising stars.
Ram Jam Rodigan will be lugging his extraordinary collection of dub plates to Bristol for what is guaranteed to be a fantastic set. It is difficult to sum up what David Rodigan, MBE, has done for Jamaican music in the UK, but safe to say the scene would be much weaker without him. His mammoth record collection makes it difficult to guess what to expect, but, come rain or shine, summer vibes are always provided, often courtesy of Beenie man (Zim zimmer, who’s got the keys to my bimmer?).
PARADISO AND CLOUD 9
It would do a disservice to the diversity of the festival to pay any less attention to those who are unsuited to the main stage. Cloud 9 and Paradiso provide genre defining and world class House and Techno DJs across the two days. Ibiza deep house legends the Martinez Brothers will be topping the bill, following on from one of the UK’s most sort after artists, Skream. A dubstep pioneer back in 2006 and producer of the timeless and iconic ‘Midnight Request Line’, Skream’s transition to techno has been seamless and highly successful, demonstrated by his around the globe touring schedule. It is also great to see Bristol’s own APEX collective have their turn on the decks.
Across the field at Paradiso and straight from his palace at Berghain (Berlin) comes Techno Royalty Ben Klock. Few are as synonymous with their genres as is Mr Klock, famous for his releases on Ostgut Ton and mammoth sets (including a 13 hour solo effort at his spiritual home.) Klock has already graced Bristol with his presence at a show at the Marble factory in September where his playing of ‘Subzero’ brought the house down. London’s Joy Orbison has been making similar waves for years, albeit on a slightly more heterogeneous platform. Favourite of many a techno showcase, expect diversity from a DJ who has brought us classics ‘Sicko Cell’, ‘Dum Dum’ and a favourite of the Swamp 81 Djs, ‘Big Room Tech House Dj Tool’ (or BRTHDJT).
Punters are sure to be on Cloud 9 after visiting the stage on Sunday as Rebel Sound member, and drum & bass/jungle legend Shy FX will be hosting a party on the moon. Shy’s ‘Original Nutter’ debuted in 1995 and he has grown in stature ever since, with releases ‘Shake your body’, ‘Raver’, ‘Everyday’ and ‘Feelings’ resonating particularly strongly with audiences. With a history of hosting amazing line ups, check out the one assembled for his Digital Soundboy stage at Notting Hill Carnival in 2014, and this time is no different. Fresh from her album ‘Honey’, which features a staggering number and variety of featured artists including Craig David, Kaytranada, Novelist, D Double E, Four Tet, Floating Points and Mr Mitch, Katy B is the guest of honour. Joining her on the bill will be Giggs, who’s recent collaboration with Kano on ‘Three Wheel Ups’ brought flows which no one thought even he was capable of, and jungle pioneer Congo Natty, among many others, including the ‘Incredible’ General Levy.
Signed by Kanye West, but altogether much less offensive, Hudson Mohawke plays Paradiso on Sunday evening. Providing several beats on Kanye’s last two albums, 2013’s ‘Yeezus’ and 2016’s ‘The Life of Pablo’, Hudson Mohawke has made a name for himself with his self-proclaimed “genre smashing” approach and serious talent as a Dj; his song ‘Chimes’ has racked up almost three and half million views on YouTube. Expect serious grime from the Section Boyz, Faze Miyake with his Woofer Music, and perhaps even Bok Bok, whose use of synthesiser gives him and the Night Slugs label a truly individual sound.
New to 2015 is the one-of-a-kind Arcadia Afterburner, undoubtedly one of the most immersive and unique festival experiences around. The giant, fire-spitting tower made from recycled material thumps out bass in all directions and makes one of its two UK appearances a year here (the other is at Glastonbury). To play this most eye catching of stages, Saturday provides an extraordinary drum & bass roster. DnB O.G. Roni Size, infamous since 1997 and head of Raprezent, headlines, bringing with him the much-loved Dynamite MC, who is certain to bring some fire of his own in reply to his scorching surroundings. Representing Hospital records is High Contrast, who’s spent years perfecting his sound, best exemplified by our two favourite releases, ‘If We Ever’ and ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’. For something that’s still around 165 bpm, but altogether very different, is Ivy Lab. The trio, consisting of Halogenix, Sabre and Stray, and their half-step Twenty Questions EP, caused a serious stir for its innovation, one befitting of producers of their calibre. Similarly, Sam Binga of Exit records is sure to surprise and test peoples interpretations of DnB, a genre oft maligned and misunderstood.
On the Sunday, Arcadia plays host the to Chase and Status, known for their hits ‘Hypest Hype’, ‘End Credits’ and, more recently, ‘Funny’ with grime heavyweight Frisco. Joining Chase and Status is Goldie MBE, largely responsible for birthing and developing drum and bass. In keeping with the title of his first album, Goldie will be harking back to the early days by playing a ‘Timeless’ set. One of Bristol’s most popular promoters, Who Cares?, are providing a boys and girls back-to-back showcase. This includes My Nu Leng v. Flava D and Amy Becker v. Kahn. It doesn’t just stop there, also on the Who Cares? takeover bill are Dismantle b2b Amy Becker and NYTA b2b Madam X, as well as Komon b2b Jamz Supernova and Gotsome b2b a Special Guest.
After parties will be released soon so keep an eye out on social media for announcements
For the full lineup, click here.
The festival isn’t just about the music though. The Temple of Lust gives you the opportunity to dance all day long with Unicorns and Drag queens, whilst a hankering for some wedding bells can be satisfied in the inflatable church. For anyone seeking some retro fun there will be a roller disco and anyone who feels they need to prove themselves on the dancefloor can do so in the Dance Off ring, which returns for another year. The festival is also a platform for local traders to display and sell their produce. If you want to apply for a pitch on the site, this can still be done through the LSTD website.
Whilst we pray for sunshine, whatever the weather, for what is sure to be a festival that reflects Bristol’s rich cultural heritage and continued contributions to the arts, it is definitely worth going to LSTD.
Tickets still available but day tickets for saturday and sunday are on final release priced at £35 and £39.50 respectively plus booking fee, weekend tickets are on 3rd release priced at £65 plus booking fee.