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After we had seen around half an hour of Gilles Peterson we decided to make our way away from the main stage and explore what the other tents had to offer. We had bought the Worldwide night session which was due to take place at Jazz Café, and which Gilles Peterson was playing at, so we thought it more worthwhile to seek out artists and DJs we hadn’t heard of before. In the East Tent was Peggy Gue, a female DJ who played what you would expect from a house DJ, nothing too different or unique. After her was Moses Boyd on the main stage. Boyd is another of South London’s rising jazz stars, who usually plays with his band ‘Moses Boyd’s Exodus’ but this time was on his own. His set consisted of sample-heavy instrumentals which he had created beforehand with his live drumming over the top. Whilst on paper this may seem rather vapid, it allowed him to improvise and draw the crowd in, and it turned out to be one of the best sets of the day.
After Moses Boyd we decided to get a beer. A pint of Amstel was £5, which wasn’t too bad for London prices, especially considering we were at a festival. We then decided to go and see house legend, Theo Parrish, at the West Stage. The set got packed out very quickly, as was expected, and soon the whole of it was undulating to disco tunes. For about an hour the set was flawless – the bass was deep and the mixing was sound. However, it soon began to falter. For some reason, the sound began to decline to the point where the beat was hard to make out, and after Parrish eagerly asked the Sunfall engineers to turn it up to which they shook their heads, the crowd began to dwindle out, myself included. Furthermore, the ground appeared to be on a gradient, which made for the crowd sometimes losing their footing whilst they were dancing and stumbling into each other. Overall, whilst it did make me excited to one day go and see Theo Parrish again, it was a disappointment, and that was because of the festival’s ineptitude.
It wasn’t all bad though – the main stage, fortunately, was where all the best acts were, and where, incidentally, the best sound system was. After Theo Parrish we made our way to see neo-soul pioneer Roy Ayers. If you are unaware of him, you may recognise his most popular tune, ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’, or those that he most heavily influenced, such as D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and Bilal. Ayers came out to a roaring crowd and swiftly got ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ out the way whilst simultaneously gearing the crowd up. He then went into full jam mode with an experienced and receptive band. Every band member came into their own when it was their turn for a solo, but the man that stood out was Ayers’ drummer, who propelled the band forward and carried himself a two minute solo.
Image Credits: FACT Magazine