- Wed, 2012-07-25 17:23
"You can absorb, see, hear, meet, touch, climb and experience more in 24 hours at the Secret Garden Party than in any other place. The party is a catalyst for unleashing and inspiring your imagination. All you need to do is participate..."
Books growing out of trees, naked swimming, a giant fox, Brownie camp, thumb wars, boat trips, Trivial Pursuit questions hanging from branches, croquet, a swaying party bus, dance-offs, costumes (costumes, costumes and even more costumes) plus plenty of glowing festival-ready revellers, the Secret Garden Party dazzled as it celebrated its tenth birthday this weekend.
Easily the best festival site I've dizzied around - accessible campsite, rolling hills and woodland hide outs all surrounding a beautiful stretch of lake - decoration is the name of the game at SGP. Living up to the mantra above, every vast stretch and hidden corner of the site was lovingly crafted to suit each and every state of mind. Twisted branches framed Hyde and Beast as they lolled within the rules of heady blues rock, while projection screens and lanterns dripped from the walls of The Time Machine, an audio-visual mind-melt hidden inside a small geodesic dome.
Living up to its namesake, The Great Stage delivered laser toting headline sets. Little Dragon fell headfirst into a synth-smashing electro jam, Orbital firmly marked their territory as godfathers of live electronic music, while Caravan Palace (who we spoke to before the festival) convinced me to don a set of portable fairy lights and gypsy-swing my way through the crowd. A whole host of intimate musical destinations also snuggled their way inside the site, including The Living Room. Armchairs, picture frames and teapots aplently, it was there that Lianne La Havas performed a breathtaking, soul-aching acoustic set, leaving us certain that opportunities to watch her perform to such a small audience wouldn't be around for much longer.
So much to see, so much to do, the Secret Garden Party holds its charm in the vastly different experiences so many attendees will have left with, all sure they were part of the same event. With an abundance of musical highlights across the weekend, we thus present a 20 track Secret Garden Party playlist. Compiled with memories from our journey to the garden this year (in no particular order), press play and stream away those sore parts.
(NOTE: If you were there, no doubt your hazy recollections of the festival this year take on an entirely different shape. If you are feeling so inclined, you can share your festival secrets with us in the comments below. At some point, we just might send the best secret sharer a secret prize...)
1. Brassroots - Good Life
I'd be lying if I said I was standing (and seeing) straight during the Brassroots set at Wormfood's Valley of The Antics, still...festival rules, eh?
2. Lianne La Havas - Don't Wake Me Up
Effortlessly mesemerising, I knew Lianne's intimate acoustic set in The Living Room had topped my festival experience by the end of the first song.
3. Disclosure - Control ft Ria Ritchie
Minimal tendancies, early 90's grooves and garage rhythms fell across enough wobbly sub to shake the foundations of the Colo-Silly-Um.
4. Little Roy - Christopher Columbus
An instant hit, Little Roy captured more and more wandering ears as his set went on, mixing up Nirvana covers and festival ready classics like Christopher Columbus.
5. Vintage Trouble - Nobody Told Me
A joyful and authentic re-incarnation of classic motown soul with a white-suited, funk-daddy frontman in tow.
6. Orbital - Wonky ft Lady Leshurr
Testament to the length of their career, Orbital's set was a seamless audio-visual celebration of heady electronic pulsations old and new, from 90's acid techno to this track - a booming live highlight from their latest album of the same name.
7. Adam F - Circles
The man behind the legendary Breakbeat Kaos label set about proving why he's their boss. No frills, just bass.
8. Stealing Sheep - Shut Eye
Having recently featured the psych-folk trio on the Post Playlist, I was rather delighted to discover that live, their sound was rich and bubbling with idiosyncracies.
9. Hyde and Beast - (And The) Pictures In The Sky
Framed by a stage of twisted branches, the bluesy rock of Hyde and Beast (formed by a few members of The Futureheads and friends...) went hand in hand with our afternoon ale.
10. Soko - I Thought I Was An Alien
An enticing festival spirit, she invited audience members to join her on stage for this track, but only after promising to display their best alien dance moves...
11. Caravan Palace - Je M'amuse
The SGP stalwarts added an extra layer of bass to their set this year. Who'd have thought electro-swing would rumble quite so dramatically?
12. Little Dragon - Ritual Union
Exercising their penchant for experimentation, Little Dragon tumbled into a lengthy synth-jam freak-out mid-way through their set...
13. Hans Zimmer - You're So Cool
Huge shout outs to the Secret FM DJs for easing us in and out of the festival site this year. Premier tune selection and rather strange radio chat...
14. Jono McCleery - Fears
Any opportunity to witness the Ninja Tune electro-acoustic craftsman at work should always be taken up.
15. Alabama Shakes - Hang Loose
Bold and infectious, Brittany Howard led the Shakes to victory on The Great Stage Friday night, causing ripples of gut wrenching southern fried soul to surge throughout the crowd.
16. Cut La Roc - BassHeads
Housed within the mighty Temple of Boom, the Skint Records producer dropped the beat...
17. Yael Naim - Toxic
No Yael Naim at SGP, just a small blue airborne acrobat, twisting high above our heads to a hypnotising cover of Britney's Toxic.
18. Melodica, Melody And Me - Plunge
Simple sweet-toothed folk, joyful melodica celebration and rolling acoustic rhythms, the band were a welcome addition to more than one festival stage across the weekend.
19. Newton Faulkner - Pick Up Your Broken Heart
Billed as Mr. Autumnal, Newton arrived on stage and announced "The only difference between Mr. Autumnal and Newton Faulkner is that Mr. Autumnal is drunk...!" Intricate acoustic guitar, three-part crowd harmonies and a hay-fight followed...
20. Tag Team - Whoomp! (There It Is)
A guaranteed explosion of breaks, dubstep and party tunes, when the Dance Off wasn't hosting ridiculous shape pulling competitions, it was housing the biggest day time collection of festival stompers.
Hello to everyone I danced with / drew on / drank with / cuddled / high fived / lost / found / rambled at etc, etc. SGP2012 THANK YOU! :D