L.E.D festival delivers three huge dance acts in one afternoon

L.E.D festival 2010 review

published: Thu 2nd Sep 2010

around the festival site (1)

Friday 27th to Saturday 28th August 2010
Victoria Park, London, E9 7BT, England MAP
both days £70, or one day £40
last updated: Wed 25th Aug 2010

The second day of the LED Festival saw a much bigger crowd come in on the Saturday, most likely drawn to the three big headliners of the Saturday: Annie Mac, Leftfield and Aphex Twin. With such big names for the weekend of the festival, these promised more high quality music for lovers of electronic music amongst the other acts of the afternoon.

Professor Green
Heading straight for the Annie Mac Tent upon arrival, Professor Green and his group kicked off proceedings with a set of hip-hop and grime inspired tracks, playing up to the crowd with their recent singles including Just Be Good To Me amongst others. The backing band are a tight bunch on bass guitar and drumkit plus backing vocals sand while the whole set was fairly enjoyable, it veered more to the pop end of things. Judging by the crowd reaction they seemed to like it, but it was the next artist I was more interested in seeing.

The next artist in question was of course drum and bass DJ Shy FX, no stranger to festivals or house parties. It was remarkable to note during only a one hour set at 4.30pm on a Saturday afternoon that Shy FX was able to supply a great collection of old school drum&bass and jungle anthems, spanning classics from Adam F, Alex Reece, Dillinger and from Shy FX himself, to name but a few. Not breaking a sweat over a broken CD deck halfway through the set, he managed to keep the crowd rocking, even throwing in some thumping dubstep into the mix to shake things up. Clearly, he still has a lot of fans and certainly lived up to his excellent reputation.

Speaking of reputation, it's unfortunate that the crowd, who had been packed in to the tent by the end of Shy FX's set, quickly began to disperse as MC group Boy Better Know came on stage. For me, their reputation is that of four rappers and a DJ shouting and rapping badly over hip hop and dubstep tracks. For those who enjoyed grime, primarily the younger crowd at the event, this was a treat, but for others, judging by how quickly the crowd thinned out, a number of festival goers shared my opinion and beat a hasty retreat to enjoy the fading sunshine.

Later in the afternoon, the tent soon filled up to witness Annie Mac in her self-named tent to perform her 90 minute set, essentially a festival version of one of her radio mixes. The tent was crammed with fans and Annie wasted no time in getting the crowd worked up with a series of big, well mixed tracks ranging from house to electro, hip hop to drum and bass. The sheer attendance for her set is testament to her popularity and if it weren't for the fact that everyone was standing shoulder to shoulder there would have been more dancing.

Aphex Twin
Following shortly after Ms. Mac came electronic heavyweight Aphex Twin complete with psychadelic video displays and a lazer show. Knowing how weird Aphex's music can be, I wasn't sure what to expect as he opened with a series of loud, gnarly, ground-shakingly bassy electro-dubstep tracks that quickly glitched and pounded their way into other retro-dance numbers with a 90s twist to glitchy reinterpretations of his singles. At parts he was also joined by members of Die Antwoord, who had played the main stage earlier in the day, complete with pink bear and kigu costumes from their other performance to provide vocal support, rounding out the whole performance. Such was the awesome sound system that you could still feel the ground shake and the bass vibrations from the other side of the festival (I have tried, it's true!) and my only regret is that the Annie Mac tent wasn't big enough to hold enough of the fans who had wanted to see him, with a ring at least five people deep spilling out of the tent on all. Despite this minor problem, it was a solid set, often experimental at times and with a completely psychedelic light show but still hugely enjoyable.

Leftfield
This left only the headline dance act Leftfield
After getting to see three huge dance acts in one afternoon, I was definitely not disappointed and after this, the second day of the festival in particular, the LED festival has shown that there is a great festival platform for electronic music lovers close to central London. I'm already looking forward to 2011!

Leftfield
review by: Chris Smout

photos by: Chris Mathews

Friday 27th to Saturday 28th August 2010
Victoria Park, London, E9 7BT, England MAP
both days £70, or one day £40
last updated: Wed 25th Aug 2010


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