Ordinarily I wouldn’t think that a weekend couched somewhere between Croydon and Bromley worth spending my time on, let alone writing about for all to read. But Leefest 2012 – that’s different. Well deserving of its accolades and praise, this genuinely is one of the best festivals in the country, which, when there are 450+ running, is a big deal.
Having resigned myself to the fact that none of my festival experiences this summer were to be accompanied by anything resembling heat and summer, we cracked on, drink in hand, exploring the many stages and surprises that this 2500 capacity festival manages to pack in, some key highlights below…
We were pleased to see Bwani Junction on a bigger stage than our roof (see the videosfrom The Great Escape for more…), their reggae beat rock teasing the sun out from behind the clouds and their track Civil Wars again standing out as one to go big and make them that ‘Glastonbury institution’ that NME have predicted.
Of course, I made a beeline for Slow Club, and Rebecca and Charles did not disappoint. Playing material primarily from second album Two Cousins, interspersed with their deadpan Sheffield banter they seemed to be having as much fun as the crowd, and thoroughly deserving the response they received.
Radlands is starting to embed itself in the audience consciousness now, Mystery Jets will be pleased to have seen when they took to the stage on Saturday night. Of course it was Two Doors Down and (Half In Love With) Elizabeth that lit things up even further, from the pretty blazing level Blaine and the boys set.
Having seen the band a few times this year we didn’t stay for the end, but checked out Ghostpoet, an artist whose track Lines has been spinning round my head for a while now, but I’ve never made the effort to explore further. His unique style spanning spoken word and melodic music made the stage feel intimate, and was a real highlight.
So, another year, another success. Usually one wants to wish for ‘bigger and better’ things for something they love, and the organisers of Leefest are likely to be searching for a larger site – let’s just hope that with starry success they remember where all the best things start – the back garden – and keep in mind their motto – ‘You, the movers and shakers of our generation. You, think freely, think differently. You, provide the inspiration, the motivation. You, make things happen.’
Here’s to next year.
Check out the video of the weekend here!