Groove Armada - Lovebox 2012 review

'Barmy scenes in the crowd enscapulate the celebratory atmosphere'

Photographer:Andy Squire

Howard Jones - 17 June 2012

Groove Armada have more than a right to pat themselves on the back and they have not even entered the main stage at Lovebox’s 10th anniversary festival yet. Lovebox’s founders had a pipe dream in 2002 to put on a festival on Clapham Common and now, ten years later, 50,000 people are packed into Victoria Park waiting to see them and later Saturday headliners Friendly Fires.

The duo emerge to rapturous scenes to begin the Lovebox church of dance’s massive thanksgiving service for fifteen years of quality dance music and ten years of Lovebox. The boys repay in faith blazing through their hits and underrated recent material, displaying the crowd commandeering skills  that has seen them going strong  and become one of the UK’s finest exporters of dance music. 

If people had forgotten that the duo have made brilliant music recently, the early part of the set is peppered with newer songs from 2010 album 'Black Light'. The collaborators roll on and roll off stage, all battling the rather distracting sight of an x-rated doll crowd surfing around the front of the stage.

The carnival atmosphere really begins to take off through 'I See You Baby'  and 'If Everybody Looked the Same', with barmy scenes in the crowd encapsulating the set’s celebratory air. The biggest surprise of the weekend so far comes when the boys invite Candi Staton on stage in one of those “as you do’ moments. The invariable bars of 'You Got the Love' drop as heaven is complete for the masses in an inspired cameo choice.

The drop of ‘Superstylin'’ has a feeling of eternity as the song builds before finishing in truly spectacular style. The set is gone in a flash and the crowd display their displeasure when it is announced that this is the final song. The crowd party like there is nothing left in the tank to give their thanks to Andy and Tom for the music, the festival and everything else in between.

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