review

Gatecrasher Weekend Summer Sound System 2008

published: Sat 7th Jun 2008

The Prodigy

Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th May 2008
Turweston Aerodrome, Nr Brackley, Northamptonshire, England MAP
w/e with camping £115, Day Ticket (no camping) £59.50
last updated: Mon 31st Mar 2008

Greeted by the stench of old milk and icy cold winds things could only get better which of course, they did. After figuring out the site map was printed somehow upside down we made our way to the Gatecrasher Arena to see the Egyptian duo Aly and Fila whose full energy Trance made all the bad stuff go away.

After a warm up we headed over to the Electric Stew tent to watch Radioclit do their thing. It was pretty empty at first but they slowly drew the crowds in with the unique style they call ‘ghettopop’ or ‘bongo dance’, sounds of Africa fused with electro, you can’t help but start dancing to it. Their recent addition of singer Ezau Mwamwaya adds to this African flavour singing in his traditional Malawian way.

Radioclit

It was then time for a trip around the stalls. Spotting a line of deckchairs with people chilling, big old headphones, flashing glasses and happy smiles on their faces I decided to check it out. It was so good I did twice. The rest of the stalls consisted of the usual festi gear, glowsticks, party hats and some great spicy bean burger vans.

Prices of drinks, food, parking and programs were large. Programs were the princely sum of £10 as was parking, drinks were all around a fiver no matter what you had, as was food.

After the little tour we headed back over to watch the Prodigy. There was no problem finding that stage despite the unintuitive program as apparently everyone was heading in that direction. The stage set was like something out of the Matrix, it was amazing. Huge tentacled monsters hung about the place with glowing red sun glasses on and The Prodigy started with a bang. The field was packed and people near the front were getting pretty squashed and pushed about as everyone went crazy to Twisted fire starter. The full energy show ending in a firework display was definitely worth the trip.

The Prodigy

Next it was time for some Roni Size in the Drum and Bass tent, the sound wasn’t brilliant but he was still great and got the crowd dancing and jumping about to his timeless tunes.

Having just enough time to make it over to the Electric Stew tent for the ska/punk band Audio Bullies I was chuffed to bits, the highlight was of course, top hit Nancy Sinatra sung, “Bang Bang”. The crowd went totally crazy, they shot us down!

The camping place, dotted with large Teepees that I believe you could book out and rent for the weekend wasn’t too bad. It had almost sufficient toilets, which were of course already overloaded by Saturday evening but the queues at them were never too bad. The security was lacking rather, they checked our wristbands once in the twenty four hours; there were reports of lots of tent robberies many people having to leave Sunday morning as they were cleaned out. Apart from that I found our camping neighbours very friendly. There was supposed to also be a VIP camping area with showers and shops but there wasn’t quite simply.

After a refreshing sleep however and nothing stolen from ourselves thankfully, we were ready for another day of great music. Unfortunately it was then it started to rain, and rain and rain! The main stage, due to feature The Chemical brothers, Hot chip, Australian Drum and Bass band Pendulum and the poetic Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, was deemed too dangerous to play on but there was no site wide notification of this. No signs of readjusted programs were pinned up and the security people on tents generally didn’t even know which tent they were standing in so it was kind of like the magical mystery tour with pot luck as to who was playing!

I was happily standing in the Metropolis tent where the amazing Pendulum had managed to do a swap to. ‘Propane Nightmares’ played and the crowd went absolutely crazy. Unfortunately The Chemical brothers and Hot Chip didn’t play, Armand Van Helden got cancelled due to someone dying, unexplained as yet, in the Cement Tent (R.I.P).

Radio 1’s ‘best of new music’ DJ Zane Lowe played a fantastic set which I hadn’t expected, not that I think he’s not capable or something I just didn’t know he DJ’d such cool big beats as well as finding the nation great new tunes to listen too. Multi- talented!

French dance band Justice I unfortunately missed, apparently played an (unsurprisingly!) amazing live set too but at the same time as Pendulum.

I also missed London born Hip Hop DJ Yoda’s ‘Magic Cinema show’ in the Metropolis tent, gutted. Q magazine have described him as one of "The 10 DJs you must see before you die". When you hear his unique Hip Hop style with a wacky sense of humour you can understand why.

So all in all the festival was beset with bad luck, some organizational disasters, there were tent burglaries and even death but the music that played was amazing and I’m happy to have experienced it.
review by: Kim Gordon

photos by: Kim Gordon

Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th May 2008
Turweston Aerodrome, Nr Brackley, Northamptonshire, England MAP
w/e with camping £115, Day Ticket (no camping) £59.50
last updated: Mon 31st Mar 2008


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