Thursday, 28 June 2012

Leefest 2012 - Preview

South East London is a musical black hole. It’s close enough to the rest of London to go there for gigs and events, but the area itself is barren of any noteworthy acts (except for maybe Squeeze, but, y’know). This weekend however, for the sixth year running, it’s LeeFest!

In 2006, a bunch of teens fulfilled an age-old adolescent fantasy and held an impromptu festival at their house after one’s parents had gone on holiday. The story of the inaugural Leefest is a testament to teenage ingenuity and heroic compromises, from bribing a school caretaker with beer in exchange for a stage to pulling said stage for a mile in a bunch of stolen shopping trollies. Since then the organisation’s been upped but the basic premise remains: an unpretentious festival that chooses not to overthink itself or burden itself with gimmicks.

Though this mentality could easily lead to it all collapsing in a pile of wanky worthiness and dire up and comers, the organisers have made the intelligent decision to go with bands that come with both credibility and hefty presence.

Mystery Jets headline this year, along with Slow Club and Ghostpoet. Further down the line up lurk gems like Casiokids, whose skittery electro-pop has been cruelly missing from UK festivals for years, or Sound Influx faves Summer Camp, who’ll hopefully bring along new material as well as big hitters from their still-great debut.

The biggest surprise is Raf Daddy (better known as the non-Hot Chip half of 2 Bears), who is set to play a dj set that looks likely to contain the kind of garage, 2-step and soul that’s currently leading the way in reshaping the UK’s pop landscape. With more acts still to be announced and the cost of bigger festivals soaring, Leefest is looking likely to be the underdog of this festival season.

Find out more here on the official website

Ned Powley

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