Best London dance festival is easily LED - Hackney to host August 2010 electronic party

Posted: 9th April 2010
Calvin Harris - Image:

The East End of London is set to host a brand new clubbing festival during August, in a brave move to go up against the other dance whopper, SW4 held on Clapham Common (albeit with one day's difference). All we need now are two more festivals, one in the West and one in the North and this year's capital August Bank Holiday will be one big nightclub. Get your whistles out!

This latest addition to the calendar is the LED festival 2010 (or the London Electronic Dance Festival) that will run on 27th and 28th August. On the Friday there will be live appearances from Calvin Harris and Audio Bullys, as well as DJ sets from Tiga, Soulwax and David Guetta. Saturday has Annie Mac, Friendly Fires, Goldfrapp and two visionary acts from yesteryear, Aphex Twin and Leftfield. More acts will be added to the line-up in due course.

Standard clubbers and music-lovers tickets are available now and cost £37.50 for Friday, £40 for Saturday or £65 for both. Alternatively, you can swagger about with VIP tickets for slightly more than twice the money and get an exclusive cocktail bar, secret garden, food on tap, fast track entrance, fancy loos and seating. Whatever.

It's the music that counts and the real pull here is Aphex Twin, a mysterious man who doesn't appear too often these days in any guise. He started making music during puberty (which might go someway to explain how screwed-up some of it sounds) and took electronic to new levels with innovative sounds and beats, often created from home-assembled and primitive technology. His first EP in 1991 on Exeter's Mighty Force was a steamy mix of soothing ambient beats ('Analogue Bubblebath') and pounding horror-core ('En Trance To Exit'). Other landmark releases include 'Didgeridoo', 'Xylem Tube' and 'Windowlicker'.

You never quite know what to expect from Richard D.James - I witnessed him in Norwich playing ear-splitting break-beats before his PC caught fire. He just calmly wafted the smoke out of his eyes, coughed a bit and promptly turned the volume up for a track from 'Selected Ambient Works'. Trouper!

Paul Pledger