Festival Preview: Lovebox 2012

Dave Newbury
By Dave Newbury Last edited 65 months ago
Festival Preview: Lovebox 2012

Lovebox 2012 tickets

Lovebox returns to Victoria Park this weekend for its tenth year and the best line up yet. Hot Chip, Grace Jones and event organisers Groove Armada will headline London’s biggest disco, and extra tickets have just been announced.

It’s more than an excuse for London’s lesser spotted midnight clubber to be seen in daylight; the pop kids have Friendly Fires and Rita Ora, and the hipsters left over from Field Day have Blondes and Crystal Fighters.

This year Lovebox is sticking to its dance roots, picking the best from London's club circuit, which ranges from drum and bass from Hospitality, banging house courtesy of Booka Shade and acid house breaks from Andrew Weatherall.

Lovebox doesn’t pander to buzz-blogs or glossy fashion, it just relies on a stomping good line up of pure disco bliss. We’ve selected ten must-see acts to make your Lovebox weekend this summer’s highlight.

Six top London acts

Hot Chip Friday main stage
Their fifth album In Our Heads is their best yet. It melds dance-floor beats and pure pop melodies with a proto-funk undertone. This week’s Heaven show was one of the best gigs of the year and propels them into the league of dance legends. Rarely does a band manage to get better with every release but Hot Chip achieve it effortlessly. By avoiding the brash pounding of many dance acts they have created the ultimate crossover appeal. This will surely be one of the highlights of this summer’s festival season.

Delilah Saturday main stage
Parisian born but brought up in Hackney, Delilah (Pamela Stoecker) has the urban environment at her core. Rather than just aspiring to be another Brit School pop singer, she studied music technology at City and Islington College and recorded in Tottenham, so we're assuming the 259 bus route inspired her music. She’s worked with Chase and Status and Wretch 32, which has allowed her to create soul-rousing late-night pop-step. Delilah’s debut album From The Roots Up is released 30 July.

Dot Rotten Saturday second stage
Since 2008 he’s bubbled in the grime underground, slowly building a reputation through mixtapes, and starting some beef with Bow E3’s Wiley. His sharp spitting and knife-edge production give a stylish sheen to UK rap which crosses over into classic handbag trance by sampling Robert Miles 90's mega hit, Children. By carrying a flame for sample-led rap rather than wobble-step productions, he’s marking himself as a modern rap star.

Maverick Sabre Saturday main stage
Maverick Sabre’s performance at last year’s Digital Music Awards was spectacular. His fusion of urban soul and reggae is catchy enough for the pop kids, yet is suitably punchy for the most hardened beat aficionado. In many ways he’s a younger Plan B or a good Finlay Quaye, yet manages to carve his own unique take on melodic rap.

Magnetic Man Friday big top stage
The Velvet Revolver of the dance world are back, hopefully with new material — but with Benga’s forthcoming album who can tell. Either way, their shattering dubstep will plough Victoria Park ready for relentless euphoria and neo-rave anthems. Their 2011 NME tour show at Brixton Academy show was obscenely loud, now it's North London’s turn to get the ear plugs ready.

Rita Ora Saturday Second stage
West London’s Rita Ora gets to spend the summer playing stadia in support of Coldplay, and her debut single got to number one in May, so she’s pretty much a bona fide popstar already. Her bass-heavy pop may be a bit too daytime-Radio 1 for hardened ravers, but the slick euphoric dance of R.I.P. is a sure-fire disco smash for the pop-pickers.

Essential acts not to miss

Chic Sunday main stage
You need a cold black heart not to love disco legends Chic. Chic's basslines are instantly identifiable, despite being parodied by everyone from Heaven 17 to Savages. Everybody Dance set the template for all modern dance, so Lovebox wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for Chic. We have recently lost Donna Summer and Robin Gibb so pay tribute to them and disco during Sunday’s set.

Blondes Friday Fact stage
This New York Duo make ecstatic rave that is euphorically minimalist. The 2012 eponymous debut oozes crystalline IDM and woozy electronica which drags mid 90’s psy-trance in to slick modern clubs.

Grace Jones Sunday main stage
She simultaneously sings and hula hoops, and she was in James Bond: Grace Jones is amazing. Yes she may seem a bit arrogant, if not scary, but she’s the disco Shirley Bassey and a phenomenal live spectacle.

Niki and The Dove Sunday main stage
At Camden Crawl, Niki and The Dove blew Londonist away. We’d seen them many times, but their early Koko show marked them as true musical pioneers. Their tribal electro pop is sinisterly majestic.

Lovebox takes place 15-17 June, Victoria Park Tickets are still available through Lovebox.net priced £29.50 for Friday, £49.50 Saturday and Sunday.

Check out all of London’s festivals with our guides to indie and rock, dance and RnB, and commuter belt festivals.

Photo by Robonline from the Londonist Flickrpool.

Last Updated 15 June 2012