August bank holiday weekend is always a highlight in a music savvy Londoner’s diary. It’s the one weekend in the summer where the capital takes its partying to new levels with Notting Hill Carnival, and a host of other events scattered around the city. For South-West London, the weekend is now known for the annual SW4 Festival, an integral massive in the dance music calendar boasting an impressive lineup across two days. We were there last Sunday to check it out.
Read on after the jump…
In the lead up to the weekend there was a great deal of anticipation for the world premiere of Eric Prydz‘s Cirez D show. Eric Prydz remains a GDD favorite, mastering three genres by way of his three major monikers, the last of which – until sunday – was yet to play a show. Several thousand packed themselves in to the smallest tent, headlined by Adam Beyer‘s Drumcode label, for what proved to be an intense set of rolling tech-house with monstrous drops from Cirez D who was going hard on the CDJs.
Before Cirez D, we caught Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs lighting up the main stage with a spell binding live set, including a string of impressive vocalists all dressed to the nines in colorful headdresses. It was like the carnival had rolled from North to South-West London for an hour.
We caught another great set from the Queen of BPitch Control: Ellen Allien, before witnessing Swedish techno veteran Adam Beyer tear the Drumcode Arena to pieces. Richie Hawtin‘s set was a highlight of the day, even if it did feel a bit weird raging to techno at 6 in the evening while it’s still light out. Best sets on the day came from Steve Lawler and Simian Mobile Disco; Lawler for his mixing and sheer energy, while SMD’s track selection was on point.
Alongside a later finish, one area where the festival could improve is by not closing all other tents before the final set on the main stage. After hearing sets from Lawler and Hawtin, the last thing we felt like listening to was Pendulum, musically they’re in different leagues and there needs to be an alternative on hand for those still wanting to party but are not feeling the jump-up drum & bass. Leaving that issue aside, this year’s SW4 boasted the best lineup we’ve seen at a Central London event in recent years, Sunday was an awesome vibe and we’d like to thank Lock N Load Events for having us.