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Club Reviews
SW4
Date: Saturday 27th August 2005
Address:
Clapham Common, London
Occurrence: Annual
Hours: 12noon – 9pm
Ticket Price: £30
Genre: Various
Dress Code: None
Capacity: 20,000
Pictures: Click Here
After the huge success of last years SW4 festival, this year looked certain to be even better, with an amazing line-up in place that included Sasha and Carl Cox. Unlike the Blive festival back in July, which took some time to fill up, today was extremely busy from the word go. Couldn’t quite believe the queue to get in, it was longer than your standard weekend queue at Fabric! Now that is long!! Even the VIP queue was half an hour long! This was gonna be huge!

We could hear the bass booming out tantalisingly from the main stage as we waited impatiently outside, and heard tunes that sounded like those that Carl Cox would play. Once in, it was indeed Mr Cox that was on. It was an unusual performance from him, playing his usual variety of upbeat funky techno, but he was also using the mic a lot, stopping the music completely and introducing several drum ‘n’ bass acts. Not a typical DJ set, he was more like a host then anything else, and he does have an excellent voice for the mic. We saw him at Global and he was brilliant, and we were hoping for a repeat performance, so were a bit disappointed that he was on so early. However, it did help to generate a really happy festival atmosphere so early on, and the healthy crowd in front of the stage loved it.

We then took a tour of the site, and ventured into the large Space tent with the likes of Paul Woolford, Hybrid, Danny Rampling, Nic Fanciulli and Steve Lawler. This tent was just heaving all day long and if you popped your head outside, then you could see frequent aeroplanes whizzing by, making it feel just like Ibiza! Well, kind of anyway. The tent was excellent, but a bit too repetitive for my liking. Nearly everyone played a similar style of music, you know the minimal quirky house sound that is so popular right now? Danny Rampling changed things for an hour, playing proper vocal house music and when he dropped “Get your Rocks off” it was bedlam! It was great to see him in his farewell season and particularly his last UK festival; what a legend. Thanks for the memories Danny.

Space in Ibiza is a very unique club and has such a variety of nights (and days) that it is almost impossible to recreate the famous Terrace as was advertised. The diverse music policy of Space didn’t really come across, which was a bit disappointing.

There was also a hard dance tent and I was really looking forward to seeing John 00 Fleming playing but he was on at half one when we were queuing to get in! This tent was rammed very early on and had a wicked atmosphere, but was a bit too relentless for me. The main stage had a lot of big names throughout the day. We didn’t recognise Eric “call on me” Prydz dawning camouflage gear, and he was mixing up yet more minimal tunes. It was all very nice, just plodding along, and then he dropped The Eurhythmics “Sweet Dreams” to a very appreciative audience. Give us more melodies please!

Headlining the main stage were old sparring partners John Digweed and Sasha. Heard great reports about Diggers recently but all I heard was even more minimal bleeps, but to be fair we only saw him briefly.

My mate stayed in the now mega busy Space tent to see Steve Lawler while I went to see Sasha for the grand finale. I was told that Lawler was the best he’d seen all day; his tunes were driving with an immediate increase in energy that had been lacking earlier. As the darkness began to fall, Sasha and laptop were now the main focal point for the majority of the crowd. With all the other tents stopping at 8:30, everyone was eventually there for Sasha.

How can you criticise a man of Sasha’s calibre and track record? Far be it from me to, but I was a bit disappointed with Sasha. He just stands there motionless clicking on his mouse, and whisper it quitely, I was almost bored at one point. Yes, his mixing is perfect, but I don’t think the majority of the crowd are there for a demonstration in technical precision. They wanna jump up and down and be happy; it is a festival and a party after all. He played a lot of very progressive stuff as you would expect but again the best crowd response came from well known vocal tunes such as Donna Summer’s “I feel love” and the Killers “Mr Bright Side”.

And what the hell was that at the end? "Do you want one more" the guy on the microphone screamed. We were all set for a huge Sasha classic, but alas, we were given a tune that sounded half finished and more of an intro than a festival closer. Sasha then clapped quickly and disappeared.

Overall I can’t really complain, we had a brilliant day, there was a great atmosphere, and festivals are so much fun. The line-up was awesome, with legends past and those in the making. We just felt that with such a great line up the music should have been a bit more varied. Just too many minimal bleeps.

Venue: 9
Music: 7
Crowd: 9
Sound System: 8
Total: 33 / 40

Rating: Silver Award
Review written by: Kevin Boyle kevin@uk-cl.co.uk
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