One Love Festival 2011

September 4, 2011

One Love Festival 2011

Last year Dan Wiltshire‘s One Love Festival became London’s first reggae weekender in a decade by moving to Hainault’s striking serene Forest Country Park. For 2011 it returned with a bigger stage, a better sound set up, an abundance of flags – and a roster of headline acts chosen for being solid entertainers on these shores.

The festival’s sound system flavour stems from its Sussex beginnings – and was evident on Friday night’s main stage. An exception was singing drummer Blood Shanti and The Shanti – Ites whose beautifully intricate roots rhythms greatly benefitted from the crisp PA. The drums-decks-and-brass dubstep of Jazzsteppa then drew a huge audience that was retained by Mad Professor and his son Joe Ariwa reminding the people of the riots of two weekends past with cries of London’s Burning – a new track on the Curly Locks rhythm. Headliner David Rodigan also invoked the recent street violence by closing his crowd pleasing set with Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire. Later Rodigan was to be found in the always reliable Saxon tent chatting to Papa Levi – who promised he would take the mic on Saturday night. So instead Friday was topped off by the most interesting of the four big sound areas – the Unity Collective marquee – in the form of a lively dose of jungle from Congo Natty featuring Top Cat and Tenor Fly.

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