Bandwagon noun (pl. bandwagons) 1. A large wagon used to carry a band of musicians in a parade.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Love Supreme Festival: Five Star Menu of Tasty Jazz Treats

Love Supreme Jazz Festival in Glynde
A refreshing blend of fresh-faced graduates, tiddly boppers and old-timers rocked up to the gorgeous countryside setting of Love Supreme Jazz Festival in Sussex last weekend. I joined the merry troopers on a sunny morning stroll past sheep and knee-length grass to Glynde Place from the nearby station. Other festival-goers opted for a novelty £2 tractor ride up to the entrance gates, with proceeds going to a local charity.

A clear highlight of the weekend was neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote. Fronted by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and big earring icon Nai Palm, they wowed Sunday’s spectators. I found myself grooving along in awe, jam-jar cocktail in hand, to ‘Nakamarra’ and ‘Molasses’ – the latter from 2015’s must-have album ‘Choose Your Weapon’. It seemed the cloud nine feeling wasn’t just felt by those peering up to the stage - “It was really beautiful to be outside and…have such a strong visual element to react to and respond to”, Nai later told me.
Melbourne's Hiatus Kaiyote
Earlier on at the festival, Young Pilgrims brought their big, brassy sound to The Arena, one of six entertainment areas. The feel-good energy, ramped up by front man Richard Foote jumping around the stage, didn’t disappoint. I later spotted a giant, orange circle floating its way through the crowd – turned out to be a snazzy Young Pilgrims sousaphone, marching around with the band and stimulating passers by.

Rory Graham, aka Rag’n’Bone Man, took to the Main Stage with his gravelly tunes ‘Hell Yeah’ and ‘Disfigured’. His pregnant chum swayed from side-to-side a few yards in front of me…no sign of labour despite the rousing blues, rock and soul... A slowed down cover of Mary Mary’s ‘Shackles’ struck a chord with the audience and he rounded off the set with some heartfelt a capella vocals.
Blue Eyed Hawk in The Arena
Saturday’s line up also saw Blue Eyed Hawk perform ethereal, minimalist sounds from debut album ’Under The Moon’, including a dark and twisted version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. Perhaps the group, featuring vocalist Lauren Kinsella, have drawn inspiration from woodland creatures, given the sounds they produce – truly magical.

GoGo Penguin trialled a couple of tracks from their forthcoming album, which follows 2014’s Mercury Prize nominated v2.0, and crowd-pleaser ‘Garden Dog Barbecue’ got heads bopping.

Those lucky enough to bag a seat in the VIP area had an acoustic sneak preview of Rebecca Ferguson’s later Main Stage performance - she sang a warming version of ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’. Her early evening set followed suit with several downbeat Billie Holiday numbers, and she came across as shy-natured in her fluorescent maxi dress.
Rebecca Ferguson's VIP Tent performance
The weather remained pristine for Chaka Kahn’s headline spot before turning stormy in the early hours of Sunday. Thankfully, trickles from the sky cleared up just in time for Hackney Colliery Band, who got feet dancing and arms waving with original piece ‘Bread and Circuses’ and their cover of ‘No Diggity’. They even played a version of Kanye West’s ‘All Of The Lights’, jokingly asking fans not to boo as they did for the controversial Glastonbury headliner.
Hackney Colliery Band kicking off Sunday's Main Stage line-up
Sunday went on to be packed full of music sensations – from Jarrod Lawson’s smooth jazz-soul to Lisa Stansfield’s ‘get up and dance’ numbers and headline act Van Morrison.

Love Supreme Festival 2015 dished out a menu of jazz, soul and blues that could only delight the senses, and my Saturday night pie and mash was pretty good too.  Here’s to hoping next year’s line-up is just as good.


Interviews with Hiatus Kaiyote, Rag'n'Bone Man & Young Pilgrims will be aired on Wandsworth Radio's Jazz Cafe show, which you can tune in to 2-3pm every Sunday, except for the first of the month

Photography by Sophie Ellis @ Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2015

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