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Beatnik's recap of Soundwave 2010: Day 1
Beatnik caught up with several of the artists at this year’s Soundwave Festival on the shores of Croatia. We also had a stupidly fun time; here’s our recap of Day 1.
Hosts – Broke N £nglish | Love To Fly | Mind On Fire Live | East Park Reggae Collective | Blue Daisy | Anchoesong | Broke N £nglish & Riot Jazz | Benji B | Toddla T & MC Serocee (No Show)
P4B | Danny Drive Tru | Charlee Brown | Confusion DJs | Nickname, Matman & Druskillz | Mr Thing | Zero7
Imagine this: you’re on the Mediterranean coast, looking out over the steep hills that surround it. It’s warm; so warm that the beads of sweat brought out a setting sun must be accompanied by a cold lager.
Your feet feel soft, slightly weightless. This is probably because they’re perched on a rock under the clear, green water, which is a tad cooler than the air surrounding you.
The sheer beauty of the scene would lead you to hum any suitable tune, but there’s actually no need to. About 15 metres away, there are some DJ decks, and behind them, a handful of world class record junkies that have been paid to make the selection for you. Just now, they threw on ‘That Shit’ by Jay Dee and A Tribe Called Quest. Perfect.
This was exactly how the scene was set for about 3000 blissful souls at the 2010 Soundwave Festival in Petrcane, Croatia.
Linking up with my partner-in-crime Ali, our writer Steve and a couple of friends outside Zadar the night before, I was more than ready for three days of work and three nights of play.
On Saturday, we were joined by our photographers Romain and Nicole, as well as Rob, whose temperament on the pen we knew would deliver something sharp about their experience at the Luton Airport (and it did). Unfortunately for that awesome quartet, they missed most of Friday’s action.
But if you were there then, around lunch time, you may not have been sitting next to us on those rocks. You could well have been playing volleyball, receiving a massage, or recovering from the boat party the day before.
Graff artists united by the wall behind the beach volleyball court, with legendary sketcher Inkie, Sri Mckinnon & Brodie Doyle drawing up something beautiful and improvised.
The wiser among us were already in front of the main stage. Early in the afternoon, while most were swimming, catching up on some down time or on some drinking, Manchester collective Mind on Fire emerged from the DJ booth to the stage, tearing said place down despite the relatively sparse crowd. Sporting their band tees that would many of the visitors started rocking over the next few days they started the party with raps and soulful vocals, wetting our appetites for the glories to come. These boys won new fans with each unique joint.
They were followed by the slightly more up-tempo and mighty East Park Reggae Collective out of Leeds – crowd movers extraordinaire. The first band bringing the reggae vibe to the festival they were the second of three great bands on the Friday, uniting where Man On Fire left off and Riot Jazz would later begin. Fronted by the uncompromising vocals of Anna Stott, the band boasted a heavyweight 4-piece horn section teasing newcomers from the sea.
Then of course it was the turn of Leeds 10-piece collective, Riot Jazz to instigate movement in everyone, security gards (almost, at least) and bar staff included.
Vocalist MC Chunky could not refrain from entertaining, busting one or two flows while accompanying the band’s neck-jerking cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ as well as their original material. Trumpets, trombones, sousaphones – you name it, it was in the mix.
As the huge skies faded into some intense shades of purple, fellow Manchester boys Broke’n'English took the stage. The trio’s commanding presence, the kind only shown by MC’s true to their title, added another dimension to the rowdy, rebellious jazz tunes the band had been blessing us with.
That Riot Jazz and Broke’n'English had delivered the best show of the festival became clear when the Manchester band left stage to the crowd’s roar after about 40 minutes, and the trio were left to rock it.
It was a task they undertook with ease–Strategy’s humorous freestyles based on anything from ‘condom’ to ‘Cheltenham’ amused everybody–but the absence of live instrumentation was felt when the brass band left said MC, DRS and Konny Kon to rock on their own, if only a little.
This was the moment when Manchester placed the main stage under seige.
As day finally turned to night, which takes a while to happen on the shores of Croatia in late July, it became clear that Toddla T was one of the many victims of the Luton Airport madness back in London.
But as Toddla suffered in the nightmarish airport, we were all good in Petrcane. Broke’n'£nglish Kon Kunnna spun anything from Snoop’s ‘Gin & Juice’ to Luniz’ ‘I Got 5 On It’ as the already lively crowd turned excessively mobile.
As expected, 1Xtra’s Benji B arrived killing his set but only then to improvise in true style for the next hour as he took the responsibility of filling Toddla’s absence. An infectious mix of house and dub step to soul and hip-hop classics perfectly suited the pulsating dance floor we had all turned the area in front of the main stage into.
For old time’s sake, he capped his rowdy set off with Roots Manuva’s ‘Witness the Fitness,’ rewound several times out of sheer necessity.
Taskmaster burst the bionic zit-splitter / Breakneck speed we drown ten pints of bitter…
The night barely ended before we got amped for day two.