Love Saves the Day, Eastville Park
25 - 26 May
Now in its eighth year, Bristol’s Love Saves The Day has carved out a high-intensity identity, in the space between the glamour of chart-topping main stage headliners, the euphoria of a sweaty house and techno knees up, and the unstoppable energy around UK rap and bass music. Some impressive design work transforms a city centre park into a 10-stage playground, where the hype levels are set to 100% from the moment the gates open.
British rapper Flohio is an early highlight, completely owning the stage with passionately delivered bars over synth heavy and synthetic rhythms. Ross From Friends’ soft-focus and hazy house music gets a lift from a live saxophonist, while Little Simz’s rich, soulful material holds her audience in a respectful reverie. Other performances are decidedly more playful – HAAi inserts moments of throwback 90s magic into a centre-stage set that veers from playful techno to a strange bootleg of Nirvana’s Can You Feel My Love Buzz. And between them, DJ Seinfeld and Peggy Gou turn a packed late Sunday afternoon crowd at the Paradiso stage into a euphoric sweatbox; when people are crowd surfing to Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, you know your set has gone spectacularly well.
Some savvy booking means that artists rapidly ascending to the big leagues get sweet spots on the line-up and major platforms. Not3s, on the sun-soaked main stage, gets full phones-in-the-air anthem treatment for his all-conquering breakthrough track Addison Lee. But it’s slowthai, prowling the Paradiso stage, who delivers the performance of the weekend. Racing through white-hot material from his album Nothing Great About Britain, released only a few weeks earlier but already received like a certified classic, slowthai’s nihilistic energy and stuttering punk-infused hip-hop is the indisputable soundtrack of the moment, and a frantic audience go suitably bonkers in response.
View the full gallery of photos from the Crack Magazine stage here.