When someone mentions Croydon, most of us conjure up images of Big Apple Records, a young Benga and Skream and all the other dubstep clichés that its spawned over the last 5 years; but there's a lot more to the South London borough as Kmag found out recently.
Nestled just on the outskirts of Croydon and Bromley lies Leefest, a small, intimate festival featuring a diverse mix of music and arts, and all in the name of charity. The festival is still in its infancy, but that wasn't evident with their aptly named dance tent, The Temple of Boom which featured the likes of Digital Soundboy's latest protégé Dismantle, Rinse FM's Marcus Nasty and Shogun Audio head honcho, DJ Friction. The main stage also played host to appearances from Ghostpoet, Jakwob and The Mystery Jets amongst other local and national talent. A pretty strong line-up for a whippersnapper of a festival.
Rinse FM's Marcus Nasty was on the decks by the time we made it to The Temple of Boom and warming it up expertly for Dismantle to follow at 9pm. He rolled through a host of his DSB tunes amongst others, but most notably dropped The Warp from his forthcoming The Warp EP to a pretty raucous reception from the young crowd. Over on the main stage, Jakwob had the crowd bouncing for his full set, finishing off in style with 'Electrify'.
Back over in the Temple of Boom one half of The 2 Bears, Raf Rundell, finished off the main acts of Friday with a bang. Playing through a proper mix of disco, party house and everything in between. Believe us when we say that tent went crazy when he dropped Butch's 'No Worries'. As the main arenas closed down, the party moved over to the Silent Disco with DJs mixing styles for everyone from jacking Ibiza house, 70s funk, 90s hip hop and a healthy dose of drum and bass and jungle. Lets just say we can't remember making it back to the tent Friday night, but we knew Leefest was already shaping up to be something pretty special.
After a bacon and egg sandwich cooked in a paella pan washed down with a healthy dose of Berocca, we were good to go. Saturday gave us the chance to explore more of the festival, which had a lot more on offer than we'd imagined. Everything from outdoor stages featuring shipping containers filled with sofas, shisha cafés with giant mushrooms as seats and even a clothing stall called Lemonade Money that was stacked full of some of the freshest clothes we've seen in a long time.
Saturday night was mostly spent laid out on the grass listening to bits of the main stage acts and then dropping in and out of the Temple of Boom tent. Come 9pm London DJ and promoter Sai stepped up and played one of the most eclectic sets we've heard in a while - spanning RESPECT through to some proper dirty wobble later on.
Before we knew it, it was time for what was always going to be the highlight for the Kmag crew; DJ Friction. Judging by the tent being the busiest we'd seen it all weekend; we weren't alone in having him as our festival highlight. And rightly so after the Shogun Audio boss delivered what can only be described as a proper tear out; playing forthcoming Shogun bits, his own remixes and teasing more of the classic cuts than we can even list here. It was certainly a suitable finale to a great little festival.
Words: Matt Brawn
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