Lovebox Festival Review: Disorder Magazine

Lovebox on Sunday 17th July, ‘Out & Out Fierce’ in London’s Victoria Park was frolicking fun in the midst of calamitous weather, revellers gleefully sliding around in warm mud were determined to have a blast, despite the torrential rain. Luckily by evening the rain held off to forget the sludge and enjoy. Sunday being ‘gay day’, festival goers were dressed in glam doll and tropical costumes; celebs Jodie Harsh, Pete Burns and even George Michael were wandering around.

There were dozens of decent stages, the most eye-catching was the bombed out hotel club hosting NYC Downlow, if fans were wanting a break from music there were fairground rides, even an impressive technicolour Ferris Wheel and chairoplanes in front of the main stage.The main stage hosted some of the best acts following one after another. One grumble from the audience was the poor sound system and that, not the rain, dampened the day a little. Another gripe was unless you coughed up £6 for a lanyard there was no way of finding out when all the acts were on, thank goodness the big artists didn’t disappoint. Jameela Oberman checked it out.

Marc Almond (Soft Cell)

In the afternoon, when the rain mellowed into patches, it was Marc Almond’s turn to take the main stage and he gave it his best shot. He was singing and dancing with flamboyance and treated the audience to Soft Cell classics, such as a rendition of Tainted Love and a wonderfully soaring Say Hello Wave Goodbye.

Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto (The Gossip) on the Lovebox mainstage

But it all seemed a bit tame until Beth Ditto’s show. Strolling on stage with a drink and fag in her hand, she seemed almost fragile at first; but then as soon as she started performing she owned the joint with her booming singing voice and gutsy stage charisma. Ditto’s set included bonus covers of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man and Madonna’s Vogue, the crowd went berserk, singing along in unison to every word.
Beth, with an entourage of male dancers, did a striptease down to her bra and knickers and shook her booty to glory. The audience also went wild for Beth’s solo song I Wrote the Book and Standing in the Way of Control; Ditto performed her songs with candour, singing her heart out.

Debbie Harry (Blondie)

Blondie was up next, looking as beautifully demure and cool as ever but wearing an uber artificial long blonde wig. Not as much of a show woman as Ditto, however, she quietly commanded the stage and sang a generous amount of legendary tunes, her voice as velvety as on record. It was a great sing-along and dance gig despite the drizzles of rain; we were treated to classics such as One Way or Another, Atomic and Maria.

Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters

Next up Scissor Sisters were a hit, full of delirious energy, the glam popsters, clad in bright costumes, pulled out all the stops for the show. Ana Matronic was clad in a bright rubber dress and the guys in what looked liked surfing costumes. Ana said she wore the rubber dress because of the thunder and lightning and did a call out to all the ‘craft bitches’ that made costumes for the festival, herself making a headpiece. Blasting out crowd pleasers, Filthy Gorgeous, Take Your Mama and Kiss You Off amongst others, it was fun despite the less than brilliant stage sound.

2ManyDjs, decked out in smart suits, were the finale to the festival, they started off with heavy bass and sounded sort of abstract rave at first but by mid set they mashed up fun remixes of New Order, The Clash, The Specials, Talking Heads, and the crowd loved it. Even a bizarre competition emerged between topless women who took turns to sit on a guy’s shoulders while swaying to the music. John Paul Young’s Love is in the Air was the last tune, with heaps of glitter bursting above our heads; it was a neat end to a worthwhile festival that has that special pizzazz.

2ManyDJs (Soulwax)

Words: Jameela Oberman
Pics: Nick Andrews, Blondie Pic – Kat Ugróczi

2 Responses to “Lovebox Festival Review: Disorder Magazine”
  1. Frank Bowes says:

    That sounds like a great line-up. I don’t get to see many shows now that I have kids, I should really take some time off to revisit my youth.

  2. Saul says:

    hi!,I like your writing very much!

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