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Official VF Homelands Review

28 May 2003

The Official VirutalFestivals.com run down on We Love...Homelands 2003... brought to you by Paul Stix, Wayne Hoyle, Duncan Hall, Becki Moss and Andrew Future.

Matterley Bowl, Winchester, England - 24-25 May

Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

Despite the lonely looking 'drugs amnesty bins' dotted around the outskirts, door checks with the drug labradors rattle a few people entering the site, but luckily most people and their accompanying baggage get through unscathed.

The day begins with Radio 1's Outdoor Stage as pumping and popular as ever. The banging sounds of Fergie's Future Hero DJs - Petrae Foy, Jon O'Bir (who have the day off from Tesco!) and John Askew - all under the sun. As good as they are, at 2.30 in the afternoon, no one's exactly chewing their face off (yet). Then up steps Nic Fanciulli and the heavens open! Quite an entrance from one of the country's most exciting new producer/DJs.

The rain eventually caves in and Nic's twisted house grooves set the day on its way. An early set from Sasha & John Digweed follows in Arena 1 but as much as the boys rock the place, surely a 12-3am slot time would have been more suitable?

The sparsely populated Arena 5 slowly stutters to life as the bespectacled Ali B makes his presence felt with a combination of heavy electro breaks and beats. Jacques Le Cont deftly blends inspirational crowd-pleasers from Mirwais and Gus Gus and when Pedro Winter pops up behind the decks, many clearly don't recognize the Daft Punker without his robot mask on.

A sizeable throng gathers as the famously obsessive UNKLE fans await the traditional space-themed sample that announces the arrival of James Lavelle and previously anonymous partner, Richard File. New material is just identifiable beneath the cacophony of beats that accompanies each disc and this lack of clarity is sometimes a little frustrating. Nevertheless, they create today's first taste of adrenalin and excitement and from this taster, the new album should propel the duo further into the mainstream.

West London club Trash, is far too cliquey for the majority of most of us so it's fortunate that lanky Erol Alkan leaves London occasionally. His subversion of populist music (crying out 'I was never indie!') goes off like a bucket of water on a chip pan fire, however. A frenzied mosh pit at the front lap it up whilst we end up shouting ourselves hoarse to all the familiar strains of yesteryear that sound like tomorrow. And the White Stripes.

The grandest daddy of them all though - Grandmaster Flash, is taking us back to the old skool, with one of the best sets of the night. We're talking F-F-Funk, soul and Hip-Hop baby! Oh yeah! The old MC / crowd foreplay trick always works a treat, but it's the great man's scratching that really hits the spot. A true musical genius.



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Article by: Andrew Future, Duncan Hall, Wayne Hoyle, Becki Moss, Paul Stickings

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