On the same day that most of East London heads to Victoria Park for Field Day (read our review), a huge chunk of Bristolians make their second annual pilgrimage to Castle Park for their very own inner-city festival: Love Saves The Day.
This year, LSTD is beefed up to a two-day event to accommodate those left ticketless after the original affair sold out. So join us in welcoming Love Saves Sunday to the festival circuit, which this year is headlined by disco veterans Chic feat. Nile Rodgers.
Arriving in our own sweet time, we head to the Main Stage where Crazy P are stirring up the first of many groove pits we jump into this weekend. Assuming they'd be playing much later in the day, we miss potential highlights Shy FX and Joy Orbison, with their sets both scheduled in at the respectable hour of 4pm.
Considering the inevitable sound restrictions that come with hosting a festival in the middle of a city, Love Saves The Day gets away with some substantial bass. Getting stuck into Bonobo's Main Stage set, however, is almost impossible. The heaving crowd makes it tricky to get close enough to hear the music over their general chat.
But fear not, festival staple Mr. Scruff is on hand to help fulfill our dancing needs. Scruff is certainly no stranger to a festival crowd and knows exactly which buttons to press, whipping out hits like Stevie Wonder’s 'Do I Do', ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ by Grace Jones, plus his own classic 'Get A Move On'.
As the sun goes down, the energy rises, and Seth Troxler plays out the first night on the Just Jack stage. Voted number one in Resident Advisor’s Top DJs of 2012, Troxler lives up to his title, teasing the crowd with drawn-out house beats, and the two-hour set flashes by in an instant.
We start our Sunday dancing away our hangovers to Clean Bandit - the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon in the sun. Love Saves Sunday failed to sell out, but that makes it all the better for dancing in, and the combination of steel drums, beats and strings is heavenly. Ending the set on a rousing cover of ‘90s classic ‘Sunchyme’ by Dario G, Clean Bandit send us on our way. We make a beeline to Jah Shaka’s quarter where the previous day’s volume niggle is obliterated with monstrous waves of dub.
After our bad luck with Bonobo, we don’t have high hopes for getting too involved with festival headliners Chic feat. Nile Rodgers (read our interview with Nile here), and keep Trojan Sound System as plan B. Fortunately our worries are unfounded and we manage to worm our way to the front of the crowd. Today, however, the problem isn't down in the crowd, it's up on stage.
Nile and company appear on stage dressed all in white and the crowd go suitably ballistic. But what seems like a delayed intro turns into a half-hour techy breakdown, eating up half of Chic’s one-hour slot.
Nile is understandably edgy. “Well, at least you can count to two,” he says, trying to keep spirits up. “I say we just go, what the hell. No matter what it sounds like, we’ll go.” But as soon as the set kicks off, it really kicks off, and issues are soon demolished.
Starting with a couple of Chic tracks, the set list soon turns to Nile’s other projects, and a medley of hits reminding us just how prolific Nile Rodgers really is. ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge demands attention, while Diana Ross features twice with ‘Upside Down’ and ‘I’m Coming Out’.
At the end of the set someone holds up an A4 sheet of paper telling Nile he can break his 11pm curfew to make up for the 30-minute starting delay. “They are telling us we only have ten minutes. Are you f***ing kidding me? We’ve got 20 songs left!”
Lapping up the applause when the show does come to an end, Nile stays on stage air guitaring to ‘Get Lucky’ which is playing for his exit. The sound then cuts out, but the crowd don’t let up, serenading the disco legend with his omnipresent song, an act he tells Twitter is “very moving”. And he’s right. Overcoming technical troubles, Chic and Nile Rodgers are tight until the very end, and an overwhelming highlight of the festival.
Words: Emily Anderton
Photo: Danny North
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