Live Review: Love Saves Sunday 2013

When it came to the summer exam season, Bristol students were faced with one of the most important decisions of their year: Love Saves the Day or Love Saves Sunday? For it’s second edition, Team Love expanded the event across the whole weekend and while revision and sensibility meant we couldn’t go to both, there was no way we’d miss one of the most vibrant, jam-packed festivals in the UK this year. You’re only young once right?

Choosing which day wasn’t an easy decision. Saturday boasted a multitude of forward-thinking and esteemed producers in dance music, including Bonobo (live) or the dynamic Berlin duo that is Âme. Then local, Bristol offerings came from house and soul afficiando Jay-L and fellow BRSTL-released duo Outboxx to boot. Drool.

Despite this irresistible feast, we chose Sunday. Why? Because, because…Chic.

To evince Nile Rodger’s musical accomplishments with his recent Daft Punk collaboration would be to pay disservice to the immense contribution he has made to dance music over the last few decades. Leader of disco royalty, Chic, but also writer and producer of numerous songs that have made both music history and the careers of Sister Sledge, Bowie and Diana Ross. Thus the chance to hear these songs played by the man himself could not be passed up.

When Sunday rolled in, we embarked for Castle Park with avid excitement. The weather was as beautiful as it was horrible the previous year. Perhaps nature was compensating for the storm it had put us through last year: “My bad, here’s a scorcher”. The people were grateful and euphoric. Everywhere you looked LSS-goers were smiling and revelling in the sun, whether dancing at one of the many stages or simply chilling in the sun. These were good times.

Team Love did an amazing job with the park, filling every corner with music and vibrant decorations. Giant Beatles-inspired ‘LOVE’ signs, comfy straw bales, bunting and hearts galore. Merely walking around the site was a treat. Abetted by the fixing of logistical problems that had held it back last year – resulting in plentiful bars, non-existent queues and effortless navigation – the day flowed as smoothly as the drinks and moves.

Trap Magazine scored the best stage spot, and a sound system befitting their prime position. It was here that we caught the pint-sized B Traits playing a set of massive bass-heavy tunes, including Doctor Jeep’s Luv 4 Mesampling TLC’s classic No Scrubs

Stumbling across the Shambarber tent we were drawn in by the party tunes and stayed, happily dancing to disco and funk with hits from Prince (I Wanna Be Your Lover) and Bowie (Let’s Dance). It was hard to tear ourselves away from the groove, but we did so in order to catch two-thirds of Hessle Audio’s Ben UFO and Pearson Sound at the Crack stage. While visibly youthful, their play is far from childish. These young-men deserve all the respect they receive.

With so many quality acts filling the day, before we knew it the clock was approaching 10 o’clock a.k.a. Chic time. We were warmed up nicely from an excellent set at the Crazylegs stage by residents Spooks and Shaun P. Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop ensuing some seriously exuberant dancing and remix of the moment Behling & Simpson’s edit of Ciara’s Like a Surgeon getting things a little sexy, it was time Dance Dance Dance…

Spotted grooving moments before alongside Julio Bashmore on the main stage, it was time for Nile Rodgers to take centre stage. On came Chic, in all their coordinated white-outfit glory.  After an unfortunate sound-tech problem delaying their start, the band set the stage on fire. Total naturals, playing all the hits, including Everybody Dance, He’s the Greatest Dancer and I’m Coming Out. These star performers had the whole crowd singing out loud and dancing with euphoria. Disco helped creat dance culture as we know it today and Chic demonstrated why it will always remain at the very heart of it.

With Love Saves the Day taking its name from disco-pioneer David Mancuso’s first ever official loft party, it seemed fitting that arguably the greatest disco band of all time brought this phenomenal weekend of music to a close.

Good times indeed.

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