Lovebox Sunday 2011: A round up
Can we call it Gayday? Is that catching on?
For the hardcore members of Team GT, we got there early (on time) and suffered the torrential bouts of rain. The most hilarious moment was during Azari & III where it rained so hard people were just screaming like they were in a cheap horror film. The pay off was seeing some amazing bands; being one of twelve people watching Feral on the mainstage, some girl with big hair and two amazing backing dancers, the bonkers Hard Ton (pictured above - who did the first of many Madonna covers and samples of the day) a bit of Monarchy, a bit of a bop in Downlow, a bit of Planningtorock (who looked like Rebekah Brooks playing Sylvia Plath in The Hours) a bit of MEN-TEH-BAND.
And while attentions were routinely diverted by the boys - hoards of males in tiny shorts and even tinier vests, most of who's pained expressions indicated they were freezing their little asses off for the sake of attracting a mate - it was ultimately the girls who stole the show, namely the holy trinity that is Kelis, Robyn and Beth Ditto.
Ah, Beth. She fell about a lot, flashed some flesh, muttered a bit and occasionally sang - all to rapturous applause, naturally - on the main stage. Was she wasted, or was she putting it on a bit? It was like 2007 all over again; nice how some things never change. One could argue that she didn't really deserve such a high profile slot when she's released so little solo material (all of which is glossy, moody pop of the highest order though, we like. If you haven't heard I Wrote The Book yet scroll down NOW); thus her set was comprised of a handful of covers, including, surprise suprise, another Madonna number. But then again, who's a more fitting poster-girl for Lovebox Sunday - the closest thing to a blockbuster gay music festival we have in this country - than Beth? She jumped into the crowd at one point and judging by the amount of men and women attempting to snog her face off it's clear she's still idolised.
For some odd reason Kelis and Robyn both appeared on the much smaller Gaymers Stage; the latter to a crowd far less gridlocked then one might have guessed (alas Scissor Sisters were on at the time). Kelis went down well despite sounding like she'd spent the last three weeks sucking the exhaust of her tour bus - we're guessing it was a sore throat (the rain can't have helped, poor love) but the truth of the matter is she sounded all the more edgy for it. We lamented the lack of songs from the early days of her career, but we hearted that skeleton body suit. At some point in the next year we predict the DEATH OF THE ONESIE and the rise of the skeleton body suit.
There was no Kelis and Robyn duet despite rumours, and after a largely dry evening Robyn's set was marked by a smattering of rain, but these minor points aside it was an a predictably blistering set from the sexy Swede. Boundless energy, that distinctive voice (as honed live as it is on record), a repertoire of songs that make you want to dance and cry at the same time ("It's a good thing tears never show in the pouring rain" - how apt): quite what it is about this woman that charms so strongly we might never put our fingers on but perhaps that's the magic of it. She's the thinking gay man's popstar of choice and nowhere was this illustrated more strongly than yesterday, by the sight of grown men twice her size looking like they were about to fall to their knees in awe.
WORDS: BOB HENDERSON / JAMIE TABBERERER PHOTO: BOB HENDERSON
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