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Lovebox 2011

Blondie, Snoop, Kelis and Ms Dynamite keep the crowds singing in the rain around the G-Shock bus

Dazed hit Lovebox in London’s Victoria Park, where the atmosphere was somewhere between Glastonbury (due to the mud) and the friendliness of a large and particularly rowdy country fete. Friday’s highlight came from Metronomy, with their spiky guitars and wiry sense of fun making for an exciting set. Meanwhile, the Rinse/FWD stage played host to below the radar, bass-heavy sounds of the city. Ms. Dynamite in particular commands, both assured and charismatic, and putting other MCs of the day in the shade.
On Saturday, all talk around the G-shock bus backstage was naturally revolving around headliner Snoop Dogg. Despite some complaints about poor sound, when he does come on, it’s all 90s nostalgia fun, with a complete airing of his classic 1993 debut ‘Doggystyle’ – including the album artwork re-created on stage – making up the most of his strong two-hour set.

Apocalyptic weather set in over Saturday and Sunday, with the sheltered NYC Downlow stage proving popular for those looking for respite from the rain – DJ sets from Appleblim, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Ame impress on Saturday, with Horse Meat Disco running things on the Sunday, their crowd enlivened with colourful drag queens. Still, for those braving the outside, there was plenty on show. Kelis turned in an invigorating performance, looking every bit the diva in her sequined skeleton costume, with the slinky sass of old hits ‘Milkshake’ and ‘Trick Me’ still working her public well.

Late afternoon on Sunday soon approached and everyone in the G-Shock bus vicinity is in awe – Blondie arrived, still radiating that glacial NYC cool - with Debbie Harry donning the purple from the Crazy Colours range from the watch label, whilst Beth Ditto's choice of model was the Black Gold Starry Night. When the legendary band finally took the stage, the crowd were in virtually word-perfect sing-along mode throughout. A cover of the Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ seemed particularly fitting considering the battle with the climate of the last two days, and a reminder that everyone is still partying on.

Text by Tamara El Assawi