Sunday may have seen a change in the stage names but tired festival goers with weekend passes returned with their spring in their step, alongside those with day passes raring to go. Whatever the ticket situation, festival goers were ready to enjoy the last day of The Garden Party knowing that a much needed bank holiday Monday would allow them time to wind down.
We started off the Sunday with a performance by London-based DJ Romare. With a slot so early in the day at 3pm, it felt as though he didn’t get the sizeable crowd that he deserved, playing to a half empty tent that did eventually proceed to slowly fill up towards the end of his set. Nevertheless, he played a great set that was one to remember from the weekend.
Craig Charles, yes that Craig Charles, brought his much-loved funk and soul show to the festival in a two-hour set. The actor-turned-producer filled the tent with a cheery atmosphere, fuelled by jazz-house sounds that were the most ‘old school’ of the weekend. Although, perhaps ‘old school’ was not appreciated by everyone at the festival; apart from the Craig Charles fans at the front of the tent, there was a steady stream of people leaving the tent throughout his set, more so than throughout the other acts. It seemed as though some of the crowd felt obliged to see him because of it was Craig Charles, and then swiftly moved on to something more to their taste.
Deeper into the Sunday, much anticipated Julio Bashmore played a crowd-pleasing set. One of the more mainstream acts on the bill due to chart toppers ‘Au Seve’ and ‘Battle For Middle You’ Bashmore attracted a very large crowd, consequently meaning that you were normally stood in someone’s way or being pushed or shoved by groups of guys having the time of their lives. The crowd ferociously two-stepped to Bashmore’s older material such as ‘Au Seve’, whilst the man himself bopped along in his bucket hat. Bashmore balanced this with feel-good and soulful disco sounds from his summer release ‘Knockin’ Boots’, such as ‘Holding On’, which felt as at home on Radio One as during a DJ set.
One of the sets we were most looking forward to on the Sunday was that of Norwegian DJ Todd Terje. And we were right to do so, as it proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend. The Norwegian disco king brought his disco vibes to The Crack stage and got the crowd moving as the sun began to set behind among the colourful backdrop of the festival; coloured flags and bunting with the bright red lights of The Tetley sign beaming over the festival grounds. Terje finished his set with crowd-pleaser ‘Inspector Norse’, and the crowd went wild. He finishes his UK summer festival tour next week at Bestival and if you’re going, definitely try and catch him there.
Immediately after Todd Terje crowds ventured towards the Fact Stage to continue their dancing to the tech house and progressive sounds of Bicep. The tent had a great atmosphere during their set, and it felt as though after career-spanning residencies at prestigious venues in Ibiza and Manchester, the Bicep boys knew exactly how to work the crowd with a tasteful mix of their own tracks and those from other popular DJ’s such as Moderat, to deliver the promised brilliant set.
Little Dragon closed the weekend on the main stage. The electric-rock band performed classics such as ‘Ritual Union’ and ‘Twice’ to an impressive backdrop of brightly electric coloured diamonds. Meanwhile New Jersey born house royalty Kerri Chandler, the owner of Madhouse records did his thing on the Fact stage in true Kerri style, mixing together dance-style music with soulful beats that you couldn’t help but dance along to. It was clear that his extensive experience, and the releasing of over 100 records had contributed to outstanding performance by this music genius.
All in all, it’s fair to say that The Garden Party succeeded in accomplishing what it set out to achieve as a small-scale festival – bringing a festival experience to the centre of Leeds with the help of an array of musical talent. It certainly made for an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend.