by Joanna Orland
When reviewing a festival, one must take into consideration 2 key factors in what makes a festival a festival. First of all, “The Vibe” – what is the crowd like? Is it overpriced? How’s the weather? What’s the site like? In the case of Bank Holiday Sunday’s Get Loaded in the Park in Clapham Common, the vibe was most excellent. Everyone was really happy to be there. The drinks were reasonably priced, encouraging people to live up to the festival’s name. The weather was sunny and warm which is a huge feat for London. The site was just the right size that you could easily get from tent to tent within a few minutes’ walk. And most importantly, it’s right in the middle of London so no need to set up camp or spend hours getting home (although travelling in London can sometimes take hours in its own right).
Second key factor in assessing a festival is the Line Up! Having been to a lot of festivals over the years, I’ve become a bit jaded when it comes to seeing some live acts. A lot of it can wear a bit thin after awhile… but when I heard about GLITP’s lineup for 2008, my interest peaked. Not only did they have a nice solid selection of bands, but it differed to any other UK festival lineup this year. Heavyweights Iggy & the Stooges headlined, and before them Supergrass who haven’t particularly aged well as a live band, but it’s still Supergrass and they can get the crowd Movin’. Also loads of Dance Music heavyweights such as SOULWAX!!!!, Mylo, Plump DJs, DJ Yoda, and the like.
Now… there were two standout bands that we managed to see and can clearly remember despite are vodka-induced haze. The first one I’d like to discuss is Gossip featuring the most amazing woman on earth – Beth Ditto. That woman ROCKS! After a hugely energetic live set that ended in a mosh pit for Standing in the Way of Control (I haven’t moshed like that since my local Green Day Concert in 1994), she led a parade over to the main stage for the crowd to catch Iggy & The Stooges. The Gossip played a set of many new songs and have even added a bass player to their line up. Works well cuz he looks fucking cool and the whole raw instrumentation sound they rocked so well on their first album is still there, but with a bit more punch. Absolutely ACE!
My favourite live band that was TOP on my list for the day was THE HIVES!!!!!!!!! Lead singer Howlin’ Pelle is the perfect rock star. Girls want him, boys want to be him. He is SO full of charisma that no stage is big enough to hold him. The entire band were so full of life and clearly have a colossal amount of fun playing live, that their joy can’t help but be infectious. They have some sweet stage moves, charming banter, chaotic energy, wicked tunes, handsome Swedish looks and are basically the most perfect live band of all time. My only beef with the set is that they were on BEFORE Gogol Bordello (wtf) and were on SO early at about half 3, that we heard the start of their set from outside the festival grounds and had to run for about 5 minutes straight to catch the rest of their killer set. They were the BEST band of the day and really should’ve gone on before Iggy… But anyway, glad I caught what I did because I HEART THE HIVES!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, a great day was had over all. I’m looking forward to next year’s day of getting loaded in the park. It might be hard to find as many cool rock stars to fill the bill though! This year was IMMENSE!