Pop: Jam in the Park Finsbury Park, London

Jam in the Park's headlining small, hairy attraction was in finer fettle than the Fleadh's and, where Bob Dylan should have been the day before, the phat cat in the hat rounded off a Sunday of languid grooves for the funk faithful. Jazz-funk jamborees often peddle fuzzy-headed "one world" peace and loveisms, a breezy lifestyle accessory for uptight professional types and public school loafers ("Wave your trust funds in the air, like you just don't care!") but Jam in the Park triumphantly proved as varied as the weather.

British soul rappers Urban Species, and in particular their feel-good hit "Spiritual Love", caught the afternoon's mood. Even so, you got the same nagging feeling watching them that comes with watching Casualty after ER - everyone is fiddling with the right instruments but somehow you'd rather Dr Ross was on the end of them than Charlie. Try hard as they did, Urban Species looked like understudies to the sublimely loopy Pharcyde. Pratting about like Finsbury Park was their LA backyard, the only dangerous thing about this nutty rap trio was their drive-by wit: "Ya mama's so wack, she gotta afro witta chinstrap."

Not much tickled Lamb, on the other hand. Their breakbeats and indie- girl-in-a-strop formula nonplussed a party crowd, who also largely ignored the innovative spin given by Ragga & The Jack Magic Orchestra to the "enigmatic boffins + barmy diva" angle. If you had ever wondered what Billie Ray Martin doing Bjork on Stars in their Eyes might look like, Ragga gave us a tantalising insight.

Back on the main stage, Neneh Cherry was rapidly confirming her status as the Judi Dench of Britpop. Given that your average jazz-funker does nothing more violent to a guitar than indulge in a little slap-bass now and then, the laid-back festival crowd bore Dame Neneh's "rawk" tendencies with commendable dignity. Still, it was anthemic renditions of "Manchild" and "Seven Seconds" that won your heart even if her range (X-Ray Specs to Gershwin) appealed to the muso within.

If Neneh had nothing to prove, then nu-soul wonder Erykah Badu took to the stage like she owned Finsbury Park. Though the intimacy of her Billie Holiday-with-beats virtues may have been lost, the presence of the 25- year-old, in white robe and head-dress, and the steely expressiveness on songs such as "Rim Shot" mesmerised the audience.

With such formidable support, no wonder Jay Kay looked like someone had nicked his favourite Stevie Wonder record when he appeared on the 40ft screens. Jamiroquai's heritage funk was always going to get a rapturous reception, but you sensed that the band wanted you to take them, like, seriously, man. For every great tune ("Cosmic Girl", "Virtual Insanity", "Space Cowboy"), we had to endure extended instrumental workouts and not one but two didgeridoo solos. Jay Kay needn't take his carefully preserved retro-groove so seriously. As he said to a fan hanging perilously from a tree: "Watch yourself, mate! No one dies at a Jamiroquai gig!"

Mike Higgins

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam