It would seem that the summer is tentatively upon us. As we cautiously apply the suncream and don our sunnies, the musos among us look forward to the always hotly anticipated UK festival season. Love Supreme is a celebration of all things jazz, funk and soul. The breath and depth of the line-up is always impressive, with Kamasi Washington, Corine Bailie-Ray and Earth Wind and Fire all gracing the stage of this year’s outdoor extravaganza in, which is set to take place on the 9th- 13th of June in Glynde Place, Sussex. But, before you get to the main course, it’s fitting to have a taster.
This year, the Roundhouse hosted Love Supreme’s first one-day event which filled every corner of the Chalk Farm institution with groovy, moving and frankly incredible music. Well, if the venue had any corners, it would surely fill them. Mr Jukes, a London local and ex-Bombay Bicycle Club member was set to head off this new event with his dirty, electronic, jazz-inspired production.
Along with live performances throughout the day, Love Supreme also wove film screenings and talks into it’s already packed lineup. The first event of the day was ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ a documentary that swiftly covered the life and times of the spoken word great Gil Scott-Heron. The piece was designed as a swift education of the people and the era that surrounded Scott-Heron and his art; paying homage to the man and his struggles. This light introduction to the world of spoken word jazz was incredibly interesting, and kept the festival fresh with a focus on multi-media expression in music.
If you happened to go outside or look out your window on Saturday, you’ll know that it was an absolute scorcher. This meant of course that the outside area of the Roundhouse was absolutely heaving, with punters drinking, chatting and generally grooving at the EHZ Stage. The first musical treat of the day happened occurred there, with an explosive experimental jazz set from Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin. Armon-Jones swept the audience away with his incredible ambient, yet rhythmic production, whilst Owin accompanied him on the keys. They were lively, they were funky, and the happy atmosphere of the central London summer scene was captured beautifully in their performance.
Skipping ahead and making our way inside, we come to Moon Hooch. The three piece band are famous for their absolutely driving music, which places the saxophone at the front and centre of all the madness. In an effort to excentuate the bass-tones in their sound, Moon Hooch have been known to strap traffic cones to the ends of their instruments; a quirky and inexpensive version of an effects pedal. The band did not disappoint; beating the audience into submission in the dark inner hall of the Roundhouse.
At this point, Mr Jukes and his band were but a few tantalising hours away, and the crowd had started to abandon the sun for the shady main hall. However, the biggest surprise and GIGsoup’s favourite act of Love Supreme came in the form of Corey Henry and the Funk Apostles. This new group, headed by Henry are on their way to delivering their debut album and were such a breath of fresh air. They were funky, lively and felt like the perfect tonic to the long and dark winter we’ve just been through. Henry commanded the keyboard with a fiery touch, guiding the audience through a trunk full of funk.
Mr Jukes brought a day of wonderful music to a close. The Bombay Bicycle club alumni burst onto the scene with his debut album ‘God First’ last year which brought together a mish-mash of jazz inspired production with some serious musical guest stars. Joined by the aforementioned Maxwell Owin on the keys, Jukes and his group moved the audience with his jaunty, electronically flavoured music.
Love Supreme at the Roundhouse has got Gigsoup fully in the mood for the festival season. It’s eclectic line-up and celebration of the history of jazz was beautifully woven together. Here’s hoping they take over again next year.