added: 20 Jul 2014
// gig date: 20 Jul 2014
reviewer: Alex Butler
In the blazing hot sunshine, we headed over to Victoria Park in Hackney on Friday and Saturday for the annual Lovebox Festival. In the 32 degree heat, festival-goers wore as few clothes as possible in a bid to keep cool at one of the most popular UK festivals.
The line-up this year was extremely impressive with a massive drum n bass and house influence compared to previous years. One of the biggest tasks the artists on the line-up faced was to get the crowd moving and dancing in the scorching heat especially in the tents.
Friday saw the reggae beats of David Rodigan play out on the main stage which perfectly suited the tropical-like weather. Katy B graced the stage after Rodigan, to give us a mixture of tunes from her latest album Little Red as well as taking us back to where she started with her song 'Katy On A Mission'.
A highlight of Friday definitely came from Sub Focus, who brang his popular mix of dubstep, drum n bass and electro to an excitable crowd in The Big Top tent. A$AP Rocky's performance was quite tame and didn't bring much excitement to the main stage this year.
Drum n bass titans, Chase and Status headlined on Friday night, giving the crowd tune after tune with an array of talent invited onto the stage including Kano, Delilah and Jacob Banks. As the glitter and fireworks filled the cooler night sky, Lovebox day one finished on an incredible high.
The Saturday of Lovebox, although slightly cooler, still basked in warm sunlight as the crowd seemed slightly older than that of the day before.
Jess Glynne performed the huge hit she had with Clean Bandit, 'Rather Be' as well as her debut single 'Right Here'. The soulful singer certainly has great things to come and attracted a large crowd for her set.
We were then treated to the sounds of the ultimate soul group, Soul II Soul performing their hits 'Keep Movin' and 'Back To Life' much to the delight of all age groups in the crowd.
The main stage maintained its soulfuness yet again with the next act, Irishman, Maverick Sabre. As one of my favourite UK artists, its always a pleasure to see him perform his beautiful music live on stage. Sabre's incredible new album is on it's way so be sure to check that out.
Up next was the act most people had come out to see, hip hop legend Nas; and he did not disappoint with his incredible performance of his Illmatic album. Looking around almost everyone knew every word to his songs despite the rapper joking the album is older than most of the audience! The highlight had to be when the song 'If I Ruled The World' which features Lauryn Hill played out to the sea of people singing the chorus at the top of their lungs. A truly great performance from the hip hop king.
Headlining Saturday and ending Lovebox 2014 was British rapper and singer M.I.A. The stage looked incredible with bright neon designs and colourful dancers creating a feast for the eyes. Despite this, her set turned out to be disasterous with the singer asking for mic to be turned up repeatedly until the sound then fully cut out. The crowd remained where they were, chanting for M.I.A to come back to the stage and finish her performance. The stroppy star did return but may as well not have, moaning to the crowd about the sound issues instead of keeping everyone upbeat.
After a half-hearted performance of her two biggest hits 'Paper Planes' and 'Bad Girls' the singer threw down her mic and stormed off the stage. The sound issue was most certainly unfair however her lack of effort with crowd ended Lovebox 2014 on a slightly sour note.
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