With acts pulling on hip-hop, R&B, dance music and more, All Points East’s array of harmonious and soul-nourishing sounds was the perfect warm-up for Jungle’s headline set. Their latest album ‘Volcano’ is just as eclectic; inspired by soul-sampling hip-hop producer legends Madlib and J Dilla, the band’s new music champions a feel-good hedonistic nature — and we get lashing of it at this year’s Saturday festivities.
By the time Jungle hit the main stage, most are still revelling in the euphoric experience provided by the queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu, whose mind-whirling high notes and brief alien seances headlined Main Stage West. Gabriels’ frontman Jacob Lusk recreates the exalted yells heard on their debut ‘Angels & Queens’. Other acts like R&B innovators Dylan Sinclair, Ragz Originale and Mercury Prize-nominated RAYE also shared their woozy, catchy tracks, sending us out of space.
Posed behind their respective instruments, Jungle’s leading men – Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland – bring out an ecstatic jam session. The set design isn’t extravagant, even Nia Archives’ Cupra Tent set, with her lurid and futuristic animation, was more aesthetically pleasing. Flicking between burning amber and bright white, the stage lights are the only pizzazz in terms of Jungle’s set-up, though Dreamville rapper Bas virtually appears when they play the uplifting and jubilant ‘Romeo’.
Each song is able to recreate the magic on record, and often takes it to even higher levels even better. The added flair to their live show, including sirens, wobbling echoed notes and static, is an elevated touch between the tracks. The best segue of them all is before ‘Cherry’ where they drop a gem from the 2006 film Rocky Balboa: “Then the time comes for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed.” Then the party resumes at full force.
Earlier this month, Josh Lloyd-Watson told NME, “People come to Jungle because they want to have a good time.” Mission accomplished, then. Ending on an encore of their super hits, you’re in awe of the sheer musical talents of the band.
‘Beat 54 (All Good Now)’
‘I’ve Been in Love’
‘Back on 74’
‘You Ain’t No Celebrity’
‘All of the Time’
‘What D’You Know About Me’