Bank holiday beats
SW4 2012 - Sunday

Despite Creamfields being trounced by the wretched mitts of Mother Nature last weekend, the second day’s proceedings over at SW4 continued without a care thanks to some dapper work by the Clapham Common groundsmen. Sunday promised brighter skies and less wellie wearing, resulting in a visibly increased number of attendees.

Following on from Saturday, the common was once more partitioned off into tents of similarly sounding monoliths of the electronic scape. Pete Tong and his gazebo full of raging dance played host to sets from heavyweights including Seth Troxler and housier slots from the likes of Maya Jane Coles and Eats Everything. Crowds were plentiful and the general vibe was one of satisfaction, yet there was also the expected comparison to the same tent the day before. To be fair, it was similar but nevertheless a worthwhile stop on your circuit of the fest every now and then. Many a time we poked our head in to be lured into the minimal 4x4 drum arrays of whoever was on.

Ram Records set up shop in the tent closest to the affairs of the main stage, blaring out a mixture of drum and bass/dubstep frivolities throughout the day. Being the sound of the moment, Ram was expectedly rammed for the entirety of the event showcasing UKF mainstays such as Flux Pavilion and Delta Heavy. Main man Andy C delivered an amazing display with visual projections galore and an equally impressive set full of technical improvisation.

Over in the Together space, the likes of Erol Alkan and Eric Prydz were on show mixing together the best of all the miscellaneous tit bits that the other two stages had left out. This tent was definitely a safe bet for anyone not necessarily after just one genre of electronica, as most of the DJs hopped and skipped between tempos. A shout out to headliners, 2manydjs, for this especially.

Meanwhile, the main stage was occupied around midday by the politically infused hip hop of Public Enemy. Dipping into classics like ‘Bring the Noise’, they also got the SW4 faithful throwing up their “V”s for peace in the midst of sun and Wayfarer glasses. Crookers, DJ Fresh and a UK festival exclusive appearance from Mr. Diverse himself, Diplo, kept things bubbling through the afternoon with uptempo grooves and danceable hits. Skream & Benga were particularly cherished in their efforts by the Sunday gathering, not least for their music, but also due to some crowd participation that incorporated a child. Whilst the infant jived and shot his arms around wildly on stage, spectators mirrored his movements producing a horde of 5-going-on-30 year olds in the audience for a song or two. Yet, it was Skrillex who stole the show late into the night. His stage would have fit snugly into any sci-fi/fantasy film as it did in South London, but the methodical twitching and shifts of his DJ set matched the enormity of his platform pace for pace. A multitude of fireworks, flares and pyrotechnics made sure that there were enough visuals for the late-nighters to feast their eyes upon.

Just the one niggling problem overriding the whole fiesta was a disappointingly quiet sound system. Not necessarily a fault of the festival organisers, but more a qualm with the local council whose excuse could only have been the prospect of a backlash from nearby residents complaining about noise levels. Many a time, any shouts from the audience out-decibeled the speakers themselves, which dampened the atmosphere a tad. Overall, a pleasurable way to spend the bore of bank holiday if Carnival wasn’t an option.

Words by Errol Anderson

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