When you see a poster for an event that features a cow with an acid house logo for a face, you’re basically going to have to go aren’t you? Yes, yes you are. So off I went to the middle of Northamptonshire with forecasts of torrential rain looming across the weekend.
The Saturday saw us finally pitch our cheapest-tent-in-Argos a mere 2 hours after we’d started, thanks in no small part to our mallet destroying every peg we needed to get ourselves locked in. Regardless, we set off to the field after sharing our haribo [the actual sweets, rather than some new fangled drug] with our neighbours and got into the Electric Stew tent in time for Radioclit.
With Ears on hype duty and a nice cameo from Esau Mwamwaya, the duo were on fine form, even having Marina [formerly of Bonde] come out to give some flair to the proceedings, the highlight being Wiley’s Sorry Sorry Pardon What. From there we mooched over to see Ed Banger head honcho Busy P play in a tent that was basically the size of my spare room, laying out some dirty electro for us to wind around to. We then moved over to the main stage to see the end of the CSS set, which was a little more understated than the usual colour-fest the Brazilians put on. Nevertheless, we stuck around to see The Prodigy bust out their stuff, incorporating old and new to satisfy the younger generation of fans as well as the old school ravers.
A firework display behind us, we trudged back to the Electric Stew set and saw the last part of Sinden‘s set, which was full of basslines as you’d expect from one of the best DJs around at the moment. Annie Mac followed and delivered some nice tunes to bop around to before the Audio Bullys came on and literally forced us to leave. I’ll be blunt, they were shit. The good news was Goldie was on in the DnB tent so we caught some of his set before heading back to see the brilliant Kissy Sell Out [pictured, right] who included some Wham! and Beastie Boys in his set. Crookers followed and we caught a little bit of their booming tunes before finally retiring to bed.
That’s when the torrential rain kicked in, though our tent [lovingly named Brutus] stood firm and though we had to huddle a little closer than normal, my best mate and I stayed mostly dry. Waking up on the Sunday full of excitement, we hit the hot chocolate stand [because we’re fucking gangster] and headed into see Shortee open up with some headnodders and then witnessed the arrival of Plastic Little. Having a pretty unknown-to-most hip hop group on seemed a strange choice, but by the end of their set, everyone was dancing, so it was a job well done.
Then came the surprise package of the weekend, the 2 hour set from Benga and Skream [pictured, below]. Now, I like Dubstep, it’s great and comes from my manor – South London. However, thinking about having 2 hours of it made me worry that it might be a little much. No chance, the duo came out and played such a diverse set, a Klaxons remix included, that I wanted even more, pumping the air with pistol fingers and bumping around with a pocket of South Londoners.
Following that were D Double E and Footsie, aka Newham Generals, who brought 15 minutes of grime before the OG Dizzee Rascal came out, opening up with his best track I Luv U. Despite the crowd not moving until my mate and I moved into the middle and got them going, it was a great set, even the average Where’s Da Gs? sounding brilliant.
A breakbeat set from Freq Nasty followed before the highlight of the weekend came on – DJ Yoda‘s Audio/Visual set. From the very start, with his Star Wars style intro, the hip hopper mashed up great tunes with brilliant videos, the highlights being a medley of Carlton’s Tom Jones dance from Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Beeper by Sinden, Biz Markie being Biz Markie and mixing in Wearing My Rolex with Night. Absolutely the greatest thing I’ve ever been witness to.
We left the tent following Yoda and heard the mainstage had been shut down with The Chemical Brothers‘ set being cancelled totally, upsetting a lot of people. Not us though as we were always going to head to the Turbo tent for some camp Chromeo action [we couldn’t stop singing Bonafide Lovin’ for the rest of the night and next morning] and the French wonder duo that is Justice. We Are Your Friends rang out across the tent for a long while after the set had finished, drawing a close to a fantastic weekend.
Our motto for Gatecrasher 2008? Fuck tents, let’s dance!