Thursday, 16 June 2011

Get Loaded in the Park - 11/06/11

Despite the heavy showers attempting to turn Clapham Common into the Glastonbury site, the festival carried on with few interruptions. Although the sound was marred by the council limits, the spirit of the annual celebration of all things alternative lived on and triumphed over the adversarial weather. The weather encouraged more punters to buy the incredulously expensive alcohol and brought a hazier atmosphere to the park. There were no fashion statements to be made as waterproofs and wellies started off the festival season early but of course, there were the exceptions in girls who braved bare legs.

Get Loaded started off leisurely with a short set from New Zealand's finest avant garde indie jazz pioneer Connan Mockasin who was subject to sound issues due to receiving the first slot of the day. Nevertheless, Connan persevered with his live band, strumming out his unique brand of disjointed psychedelic pop. However, his almost childlike falsetto voice didn't come across strongly with the crowd as he ploughed through tracks from his album 'Forever Dolphin Love'. Despite not having widespread appeal, there is a certain charm to Connan's set which both enthrals and perplexes. Next on was Darwin Deez, Brooklyn's chirpiest self confessed hipster, bringing London the usual wacky dance routines and even a 3 minute rap performed by Darwin himself, channelling his inner most gangster. Although over enthusiastic guitarist Cole left the band, the Deez's new live guitarist brings even trippier dance moves to the live quartet.

The next change over sees annoying twee at its best with Los Campesinos! who stumble through essentially what would be classed as their greatest hits set. Gareth Campesinos! wails belligerently to cater for the diehard teenage girl fanclub who hang on to his every word and chant them back almost religiously. It's clear that Los Campesinos!' festival performances are arduous for those unfamiliar with their niche brand of twee pop. 

Born and bred in Wandsworth, Patrick Wolf considered this appearance as a homecoming, citing his former labour, making sandwiches in Clapham where he was fired from his job after a day. However, the performance displays a vast contrast from these days, Patrick now displays the kind of exuberance one can only get from a love of his career. Patrick Wolf stands out above the rest of the acts thus far, charming the audience with his energetic nature and showing that you can put on a show regardless of weather conditions. He closes with new album Lupercalia's lead single 'The City', providing an anthemic bombast to the otherwise folky proceedings of his back catalogue, with a giant 80s chorus that would make Hurts tremble in their suits.

Over at the rammed Gigwise tent (due to the rain), O. Children capitalise on the additional spectators. Tobi O'Kandi bellows his trademark baritone over tried and tested Joy Division reminiscent goth pop. Although the sound is slightly scuzzy, tunes such as 'Dead Disco Dancer' and 'Ruins' permeate more deeply than some other Joy Division imitation bands (I.e. Editors). Afterwards, French pop's most recent export Yelle has landed in the UK with sparkly disco pop aplenty  in the same vein of 2009's Little Boots. The live band arrive on stage in safari attire, resemblant of the cover to her recent album 'Safari Disco Club'. Yelle herself looking like the abominable snowman with a weighty disguise used for her intro. She rapidly whips off her costume to reveal a red catsuit and began more lively proceedings. Despite the language barrier, she commanded the London crowd, shrieking 'Dance London' and 'Show me some love!'. The crowd responded obediently, losing their minds to the distinctly French electro pop. Imagine Justice with Marina Diamandis singing in French.

Last but not least, distinct Sheffield duo Slow Club take to the stage and commence with a new acoustic song. They proceed with the slower songs from 'Yeah So', their debut album, plus new single 'Two Cousins' which is now available to download from their website ( Nevertheless, the amount of people sheltering from the rain and mindlessly talking during the slower songs took away from the potency of Slow Club's live performance and disrupting what would otherwise be a flawless set or indie-folk loveliness. 

By Toby McCarron and Aurora Mitchell

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