Smashed Music Goes Global

Posted on 06 August 2011 by Mizzle

With the UK festival season well under way, the last weekend in July 2011 meant it was time for the UK’s dance music centrepiece to get under way at Long Marston Airfield.

Global Gathering boasted another huge line-up, organised by Angel Music Group, was sure to please the 55,000-plus global gatherers tuning in their aural senses over the weekend.

This year saw the recognition of the rise and rise of the dub step and drum and bass genres, both breaking out of the underground over the last few years and into the limelight. This Global Gathering line-up offered big name UK top 40 regulars Chase & Status and Nero, alongside other acts such as Skrillex, Brookes Brothers, Doorly, Danny Byrd… the list goes on.

House music lovers needed no fear of a takeover though, with a plethora of house and trance DJs and producers gracing turntables, CDJs, laptops and whatever else DJs apply their craft with these days..

For once, a UK festival managed to avoid the rain – wellies were surplus to requirements, replaced by flip flops and pumps.

With the sun shining and the stages set, Friday began with me getting my bearings and stumbling towards the nearest tent from camp, Group Therapy.

This was a trip back in time, ten years ago, to the good old days of trance dominating dance music, with very similar floaty rises, sweeps and huge drops blasting out the sound system. Gareth Emery was in charge and had a three-quarters-full tent singing along to every word of his track Above & Beyond and Gareth EmeryOn A Good Day. Albeit the lyrics were displayed on the giant visual displays behind him.

With my trip back in time over, it was time to venture round the rest of the festival.

Five huge marquee tents were on offer, plus an outdoor mini-stage that Tool Room Records were hosting that night, and of course the main stage, where headliners Pendulum were playing live.

All in all, there was plenty to get your teeth into, even if that was not music based. There were plenty of fair rides to enjoy, and a wide selection of food outlets to fuel up at. The drinks selection was not quite as vast though, with Tuborg being pretty much the only lager on offer, plus a few spirits and bottles of VK Cherry in the boozy tents.

After grabbing a Tuborg off a wondering beer dispenser, the sounds of Fedde le Grande on the Tool Room stage were calling. This was dirty, big-room house, thumping out around 128bpm – which seemed slow at first compared to the fast-paced trance. Fedde was in the zone though, with crowd pleasing bloops, bleeps and bass dropping left right and centre.

With the sun setting, and time ticking on, after also experiencing an awesome dub step set from Plastician and P Money in the Rinse tent, it was time for WAX:ON Boys Noize, followed by Radio 1’s Annie Mac.

Both were on fine form, mixing some great records for a packed-out tent, the highlights being Boys Noize ending with his My Moon My Man track, and Annie Mac playing the Ibiza anthem by Stardust – Music Sounds Better! Then ending with a drum and bass and jungle mini-set with a few classics, M BeatIncredible received with a rapturous roar and lots of waving hands! Then into DJ Hype’s classic remix of the Fugees – Ready or Not.

Annie Mac’s five-star performance, coupled with Global’s stage and stunning visuals, meant this tent was jumping, and a great send-off to Global’s Friday night.

Richard Chapman