Lovebox, Victoria Park, London

 

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Lovebox is a funny little festival, a slip of a thing welcoming a few thousand people to an eclectic selection of bands over three days.

There's not much to write home about among the Saturday line-up. Paloma Faith totters through her tired, white-bread soul standards to the disinterest of most, while Mark Ronson is no better, parping away to the sound of two summers ago. On the other stage, only Yeasayer and Empire of the Sun are really worth watching – something a bit different.

Headliners Roxy Music are a disappointment and further proof that it's never a good idea to get the old band back together. The old songs sound just fine, but the performance seems somehow inauthentic, a pastiche of past glories.

There's more to celebrate on the Sunday – with the easy highlight being Chromeo, who rip the place up with their Herculean Prince-meets-Hall and Oates shtick. There's nothing like rollicking solos played right from the groin by a man in a brilliant white suit...

Australians Cut Copy fill their space pretty well, their sound an elegant modern take on the work of Duran Duran. Their British electro counterparts Hot Chip do not, however, fair quite so well. Looking ever more like rock dads caught in the headlights of mystifying popular acclaim, they don't have the unifying presence an evening slot requires.

Grace Jones is meanwhile at her customary 90 degrees to reality, her costume changes running from art deco stegosaurus to stage-show Mufasa. Unfortunately, her set doesn't match her dressing-up box, and the songs, which sound so darkly majestic in the right context, seem callow.

Honestly, the best bit of the weekend is the Gaymers Bandstand, which features a succession of excellently off-the-wall acts from a brass band doing swing covers of "Karma Police" to a man dressed like a 1930s actuary expertly scatting to dubstep. Tuba solos are exactly the tonic for a scorching Sunday afternoon.

Comments