It’s hard not to feel excited before a festival. A day of sunshine, great music and excellent company poses few drawbacks, so it’s no wonder thousands of people from Bristol and all over the UK flock to Love Saves The Day every year – and this was no exception. We were there last weekend to see what all the fuss was about!
As the clock moved ever closer to 12pm, streams of people filter into the streets all heading in one direction- the festival’s home of Eastville Park. The park was packed out, with the usual set-up of stages accompanied by a selection of weird and wonderful attractions, including a ball pool, a roller disco and even an inflatable chapel for those taking the name of the festival literally.
One of our first ports of call was the Lonely Hearts Club stage for Solardo. Arriving onstage in their trademark colourful, patterned shirts and backwards caps, Solardo make it look so easy behind the decks: bringing their deep and rumbling 4/4-driven tech-house to a packed crowd. The Mancunian pair, whose 2017 included huge releases on Hot Creations, Toolroom Records and taking their own label Sola Records to new heights, have an undeniable knack for crafting grooving, infectious club anthems – and that’s exactly what was on the menu for their 2 hour set.
Next up we headed to the main stage for Maribou State, with their fresh new live performance. Throughout the set, they showcased a diverse catalogue of songs, rich with live instrumentation and impressive guitar work from Chris Davids. Their soulful instrumentals are peppered with sounds from around the world and draw inspiration from indie, jazz and all known corners of the dancefloor. A particular highlight was the addition of Holly Walker’s smouldering and soulful vocals during Steal.
Closing the day was Palms Trax over at the Brouhaha stage. He can’t seem to put a foot wrong at the moment, and the current hype surrounding him was in the crowd. He typically began his set with some relaxing yet upbeat house. Then, of course, things went a bit crazy. The next hour and two hours went by in the blink of any eye, as we found ourselves dancing to slow jams and techno tempos all at the same time.
Normally the second day of a festival feels much calmer than the first, however Sunday was just a raucous – if not more. We started off proceedings over at the Centre Stage for Aussie DJ HAAi, whose manifold selection of wonky, hypnotic, and incisive house-techno variants demonstrated exactly why she is quickly becoming recognised as one of the finest selectors in the game.
After a quick break we headed over to the Paradiso stage for Berlin-based rising star Peggy Gou, who played to a packed out crowd. The South Korean artist delivered a high-quality DJ set, filled with broken beats and pulsing basslines, as well as some crowd-pleasing house classics such as Shakedown’s At Night.
Ending the weekend was Denis Sulta back at the Centre Stage. As always with Denis, it’s hard to know what to expect. Buying a Denis Sulta record and hearing him DJ are two very different experiences. He’s been known to mix sleazy house into cheesy pop and this weekend was no different. The Shapeshifters’ Lola’s Theme, Masters At Work’s Work (Milk & Sugar Remix) and Technasia’s I am Somebody all received an airing. There really aren’t too many who would get away with that, let alone be adored for it.
Love Saves The Day has set the bar high as one of the first festivals of the year. The production values in both design and in audio were on the whole impressive, with imaginative stages and exciting light shows. The artists on show didn’t disappoint either, with a varied lineup to suit everyone. Overall, Love Saves The Day is a well-planned, well-oiled ship that really does tick all the boxes.