The new festival curated by Gilles is on the site of the old secret garden party festival in Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire. An ideal setting that was busy but still had an intimate feel. The line up included an eclectic mix, of contemporary ‘up and coming’ bands/Dj’s and established artists from the Jazz/Soul/HipHop/Reggae/Dub/Electronica genres.
Gary Bartz was a joy to behold with a specially curated group including Dwight Trible, Saul Williams and Zara Mcfarlane. Gary is probably best known for the song ‘Music is my Sanctuary’ – the title track from classic jazz funk album produced by the brilliant Mizell brothers. However we were really spoiled for choice with the amount of talent across the stages and tents. Just a few names that delivered high impact shows included Nubya Garcia, Moses Boyd, Steamdown, Laura Misch, Lee Fields & The Expressions and the incredible selection of Dj’s with Theo Parish, DJ Krust, Errol & Rita and of course the Love Dancin tent featuring Dingwalls (see image below).
The Sunday line up boasted Dennis Bovell on the Rhythm Corner. Dennis presented a true and heartfelt short history of his legendary career in UK Reggae music alongside Zara McFarlane, could honestly have listened to that all day and be totally satisfied. So roll on 2020, this year has been unforgettable.
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The ‘hit maker’ is in town. Nile Rodgers is back and it is no secret that he refers to London as his second home. A true legend personified, especially when the term is often over used. Nile is curating the 2019 festival taking place from August 3 -11 which CHIC opened on Saturday. Over the 9 days Thundercat, KOKOROKO, Alfa Mist, Anitta, Johnny Marr, Dave Stewart and many others will perform as well as DJ Jelly Bean Benitez who will recreate the vibe of the iconic Studio 54 nightclub.
Nile is the latest in a prestigious list of artists to curate the festival including the likes of David Bowie, Patti Smith, Ornette Coleman, Robert Smith, James Lavelle plus many more.
Nile in conversation before the show was a special opportunity to hear jaw dropping and often funny stories which he is great at delivering. One of these was the background of how the song ‘Lets Dance’ was created involving both Nile Rodgers and David Bowie being recently dropped from their respective record label’s. David had asked Nile ‘to create a hit’ and shared the process of producing the song from beginning to end. This included playing a recording of David laying down vocals for the first time after hearing Nile’s version presented to him. This was the very first time Nile had shared this in public! David Bowie’s original music had a very strong Folk influence so Nile essentially re-wrote it. In the recording you can hear David unsure at the start of demo but by the end he has completely fallen for what Nile has created ‘This is it – we got it.’
The 2019 festival runs from August 3 -11 at the South Bank Centre, London.