It’s the end of the Summer and the festival season is almost over. Brighton SOURCE is at the third annual Shakedown festival at Stamner Park to check out the action across the three stages.
Brighton has seen its fair share of festivals come and go with the likes of Beachdown and White Air failing to leave a mark. Over the years Shakedown has hosted the likes of Katy B, Dizzee Rascal and Razorlight (remember them?) and this year the line-up looks better than ever.
Veteran DJ Krafty Kuts impresses in the Supercharged Arena and plays to a packed crowd early on. It’s a breakbeat masterclass and goes down massively well inside the tent.
Over at the Audio Arena there’s quite a different atmosphere surrounding Marlon Mahroyan whose moody industrial electro set caters for dance fans who like their music a shade darker. The sound has a similar apocalyptic aesthetic of later Fuck Buttons and it sounds enormous.
Over on the main stage Jaguar Skills shows his flash for theatrics. Dressed in a mask like a foot soldier from the Turtles, he plays from inside a massive 80s arcade machine. His set includes fan-pleasing mixes of Disclosure and Nas and the crowd feed off of his enthusiasm as he dances around like an electro Shinobi.
Recently seen at the Arcadia Stage at Glastonbury, Andy C and his RAM label-mates play a tent-shaking set in Supercharged Arena. The group are like a British drum’n’bass equivalent of Kanye West’s GOOD Music troupe – with Andy C’s experience and mentoring shining through the nostalgic set. The drum’n’bass pioneer manages to capture the 4am feeling at 6pm and his classic track ‘Mr Happy’ spurs an ecstatic reaction inside the rammed arena.
Sub Focus put on a show of stadium-sized proportions. Nick Douwma who used to be fairly hidden on stage has recently said that he wanted the shows to be more of a live performance. He certainly succeeds, at one point asking the crowd to raise their lighters in the air creating a cosmic scene to go with the anthemic ambience.
It’s been a massive few years for Rizzle Kicks. At The Great Escape 2011 they played a tiny acoustic show in Beyond Retro. They went on to duet with chart topper Olly Murs and most recently played the Yahoo Wireless Legends Of The Summer with the likes of hip hop legends: Nas, A Tribe Called Quest and Jay Z. Tonight they headline the Main Stage at Shakedown. The sound is a little flat and the crowd isn’t at its busiest but the boys work hard to stir a reaction, even if it does feel a bit like a Butlins red coat routine. Rizzle Kicks save their hits until later on and ‘That’s Classic’ is well received with mass dancing in the crowd.
The festival really closes in style though at the Supercharged Arena with electronic trio Nero. It’s an exhilarating set combining spectacular mash-ups and original material. Alana Watson’s vocals soar and the bass thunders through the tent. Combined with an amazing lightshow the whole thing comes off like M83 at their most cinematic and futuristic. It’s a triumph and the general consensus seems to be that this is one Brighton festival that is on the up.
Stamner Park, Saturday 28th September 2013
Words by Andy Baker
Photos by Mike Tudor @ Studio85UK