The 2 Bears
When The 2 Bears released their album in 2012 it was all I listened to for about a month, having been a fan of Joe Goddard’s solo productions and the output of Hot Chip that was a no brainer. However they fell off my radar for a while, until I saw them on the Bugged Out line up. I expected their set to be one of the ones I dropped in on, hung around near the back of the room, then left to go hear someone else on at the same time. What I got instead was without a doubt my favourite set of the weekend. I had been trying up to that point to not get lost in the music and rush off, leaving my friends behind and having to deal with the woeful signal situation in Pontins. All of that got left behind when Raf and Joe dropped “Let’s Go Dancing” by Tiga and Audion. I made a beeline straight to the front and remained rooted there for the remainder of their set. The vibes were good and the Bears kept things warm and easy all through the night which, as Raf reminded the appreciative crowd continuously, was still very young. Playing a number of unreleased cuts from their forthcoming sophomore album alongside old house classics and more current bangers the set was kept fresh while still being 100% about the party and having a good time. This set had me smiling all the way home on the Monday morning and was my surprise set of the weekend. Very excited to see and hear more of The 2 Bears in 2014.
I can’t write a write up of Bugged Out weekender without giving love to the hometown boys and worst boy band in the world Andy, Rich and Harry, collectively known as Abandon Silence. Having frequented their nights in the city since coming to university I felt it only fair to watch them open proceedings on the Friday night. The three kept things towards the techno end of the spectrum throughout their set, which will always keep me interested. With tracks ranging from “Baayi” by adesse to “Salsa” by Doubleheart the Abandon Silence lads warmed the room up nicely, and in my honest and completely unbiased opinion deserved a bigger crowd and a later set time. The three amigo’s would pop up in various places doing various different things over the course of the weekend however, including warming up at 951 for Jackmaster on the Saturday night, so without a doubt a lot of people ended up hearing what they had to offer.
Tired and weary, I dragged myself along to room 2 on the Sunday evening to ensure I caught all of Joy O’s set. Within seconds of the man himself taking over from frequent collaborator Boddika I was completely reinvigorated, pumping my fist into the air like I was attending a rally instead of a rave. Despite the temperature in room 2 possibly exceeding 1000 degrees Celsius (citation needed) I was compelled to venture closer and closer to the front, until I found myself bopping along at the barrier next to a shirtless man from Glasgow and the now infamous Party Steed (A stuffed horse who loved to rave if you haven’t heard of it). The track selection from Joy O was typically stellar, with most of his cuts being of the Acid tinged variety, and kept the crowd of dedicated party people going till the bitter end. The stand out track for me was the Marc Houle remix of “Birds and Bees” by Green Velvet and Phil Kieran which, when coupled with the fantastic light production people have come to expect from Bugged Out, was a near transcendental experience. After Joy O I physically could rave no more, but what a fantastic set to expend the last of my energy on. 10/10 as always.
Bugged Out thoughts
I arrived on my own on the Friday knackered from a day at university with a little trepidation in my mind about spending the weekend at a holiday camp that looks like it shares more in common with a Russian gulag than any concept of holidaying. I left with a smile on my face that still persists to this day when I reminisce and some memories that I will never be able to forget. The stellar line up of artists was in part responsible for this, but a bigger factor was how well represented the city I call my second home was. In my opinion Bugged Out weekender would have been half the festival it was were Liverpool not well and truly in the gaff, and to have shared the weekend with such a wonderful collection of people was perhaps the greatest part of it all. Roll on 2015 is all I have left to say!