We’re back for a second look at this year’s SW4 to investigate what Sunday treats they have to offer over the bank holiday weekend. You won’t be disappointed…
Once again, we’ll start with some of the big attractions to be strutting their stuff on the Main Stage, and they don’t come much bigger than Deadmau5. Surprisingly this will be his SW4 debut, and apparently his only London date of 2014, so get there early to avoid the diluted sound which is common place on the periphery of an open air dance stage. You can expect his show to span several genres under the house umbrella, but he’s in his element when he delves into progressive-house. Personally, I’ll be listening out for ‘Raise Your Weapon’, but he has a full arsenal of bullet tunes that will remove any remaining lethargy from a Saturday hangover. Like Saturday’s line up, the Sunday Main Stage plays host to a long-list of huge names, from returning artists such as Eric Prydz, Andy C and Pete Tong, to other SW4 debutants in the form of young Madeon, Wilkinson, Stanton Warriors, GTA and Karma Kid. There will also be a performance from SecondCity, whose track ‘I Wanna Feel’ will no doubt stir the crowd into anthemic levels of catharsis.
Next up we turn our attention to the birth of the Dream, Don’t Sleep Arena, hosted by Ellum Audio boss Maceo Plex (you may recognise his alter ego Maetrik), where he will be launching his brand new project. This stage is designed for lovers of the slighter darker sides of house – expect deep atmospheres, lavish sprinkles of techno and seriously heavy bass. With his new project pending, if curiosity doesn’t get the better of you, then maybe the stellar and diverse line up that Maceo Plex has put together will. Joining him is techno ambassador Marco Carola, the legendary John Digweed, the consummate entertainer that is Claude VonStroke and none other than Maya Jane Coles – the latter of which I simply will not be missing! Notable mentions should also go to SW4 newcomers Boddika, Danny Daze and Kim Ann Foxman.
This is a particularly difficult article to write, as I find my allegiances split far too frequently from one stage to another. But rather than sitting on the fence and suggesting the impossible (watch everybody), I’m going to lay down my intentions. If the Dream, Don’t Sleep Arena is something of an anti-main stage, then this next offering sits somewhere in the middle, and for my personal sensibilities it’s probably the most exciting as a whole package. Hosted and curated by the ever-inspiring Eats Everything, we are presented with a tribe of artists that are headliners in their own right. The most intriguing of which, comes in the form of head-to-head between dance stalwarts Simian Mobile Disco and house new comers Bicep. We all know SMD, but you might not be so well acquainted with the latter. Bicep have an innate ability to throw caution to wind, mixing forms of House, Funk and Techno seamlessly into a mix and keeping a devastating balance and punch. Couple that with the experience and pure belters that you’re likely to get from SMD and we’re in for a real knees up! Oh, and did I mention a few of the other beasts that will be spinning some tunes? If the battle for dominance isn’t for you, then I’m pretty sure Laurent Garnier, Skream (will it be dubstep or disco, we just don’t know), Heidi and Catz n Dogz will cock your head. I’m particularly intrigued by the opportunity to see D&B heavyweights Marcus Intalex and Special Request lock horns.
The final stage is hosted by one of the most versatile and informed DJ’s around – Mistajam. For those of you looking for a bit of extra bounce for the ounce, his Speakerbox stage could be the one for you, with a line up that touches on each of the styles he brings into his own sets. Let’s see what’s in store. Lovers of the new wave of R&B vocal infused house will lap up sets from the likes of MK, Gorgon City and Shadow Child. If however you’re looking for something at the upper end of the bpm spectrum, Netsky and Friction (who by all accounts nearly shut down the SW4 main stage in 2013) will more than deliver with their infamous roadblock D&B sounds. A huge scalp for this stage is hip-hop’s go to producer – Just Blaze playing an exclusive set. With his credit list reading like a who’s who of the world’s biggest hip-hop heads (think Snoop, Kanye, Busta Rhymes), this promises to be an absolute smasher! If you’re looking for something a little west of centre, Bristol’s My Nu Leng and Canada’s B.Traits will have the dish for you. To round us off though, I’ve saved the best until last. For anyone who cut their musical teeth in the late 1990s early 2000s, you’d have to have been living in a vacuum to miss the influence of So Solid Crew spin off act Oxide & Neutrino, who hit number 1 in the charts with their mash up of the Casualty theme tune and rips from Lock Stock back in 2000. Guess what, they’re back and playing for your pleasure at SW4. The pièce de résistance has to be one of the most monumental UK music scene back to backs imaginable. Creator of the iconic garage anthem ‘Sincere’; MJ Cole will be facing off against The Streets’ front man Mike Skinner. Having witness Skinner DJ in his early days, arriving on stage with nothing more than a bag of records and four cans of Stella he then proceeded to turn the venue on its head with his selection, this set has serious promise. I will not be missing this, and neither should you.
There is arguably more variation in the musical offerings on the Sunday, without losing any of the potency of the artists, which leaves only one question: can you pick yourself up after the Saturday’s antics…? Let’s go again!