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With the sun burning a hole in my tent from daybreak on, I didn’t manage to get much sleep, but somehow I felt ok, running on those extra reserves of energy our bodies seem to store exclusively for multi-day music festivals. As before, the day began on a mellow note, with Rhye. A huge fan of Woman, their sexy, intimate début, I was worried that the tension generated on record wouldn’t translate live, but I was happily proven wrong, with their classically-infused R ‘n’ B easily filling the Gemini tent and enthralling the partially-seated crowd with its low-key beauty. Throughout, there was a sense of extreme gratitude, of communal thanks for the fatigue-soothing balm of the band’s meandering soulfulness, and when they ended with a stunning, violin-led track of “Woman”, people seemed reluctant to leave.

Moments later, at the same venue, Dan Deacon made his intentions clear from the outset. “Dear comfortable people”, he began. “We are here to disrupt your comfort.” Considering what had just happened previously, you’d think that this would be met with strong disapproval, but Deacon is nothing if not an excellent energiser of crowds, and he soon had everyone on their feet. Framed by two sets of drums, at the helm of his characteristically chaotic rig, Deacon overcame rare sound problems (his set was the only time I can recall that the festival systems were anything but excellent) to deliver a trademark set full of bombastic energy that also included an audience-led interpretive dance competition. When he announced that it was time for their last song, scarcely 30 minutes into their slot, the crowd were audibly and physically disappointed, but when it turned out to be an rollicking rendition of the four-part “USA”,  from 2012’s America, all was forgiven. Thanks to a cancellation by Everything Everything, I was also able to see Ghostpoet, whose slot initially clashed with Deacon. While the ludicrous temperatures prevented large numbers from amassing in front of the unsheltered Main stage, his restrained, contemplative hip-hop went down a treat with the scattered crowd, whose position wholly depended on where the shadows thrown by the machines overhead happened to be landing. 

Continued on page 6

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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