We dropped our jaws with Maceo Plex at the Arcadia stage and go live with Leftfield at Glastonbury 2015

Glastonbury 2015… Where do I even think about beginning? Having spent some time speaking to the Decoded team and to save me from ranting on about the festival and how good it is it was decided that I focus on two of my personal highlights of the festival, Arcadia and the Leftfield live performance at Sonic in the Silver Hayes area.

If you have been to Glastonbury and experienced the Arcadia stage you will have some idea of what I am about to say but for those that haven’t I will continue. Arcadia in its most basic form is a stage/DJ Booth that is based around a spider, and is host to the Metamorphosis show that can only be described as jaw dropping! The stage is an installation and is something that only comes to life at night. The Metamorphosis show begins each night at 11pm and continues until 11:30pm from Friday to Sunday. My mates, girlfriend and I decided we would check out the show on the Friday night and hit the ground running.

Upon arrival at the stage we found Skream to be on warm up duties for the Metamorphosis show, and he wasn’t messing about. He was already banging out techno at 10pm and we were all very appreciative of his sound, and thought it was a great way to get things off the ground. The set progressed with pace before Skream decided to begin to drop party classics and old skool tracks which included the likes of Wham! If I am honest I am not sure why he chose to play such music after playing techno but by the end of his set I was ready for him to step away from the decks so we could all enjoy the show. Some folks probably enjoyed the more commercial sounds but to go from what can only be described as savage techno to Wham is a little crazy in my eyes (or should I say ears).

Arcadia

I won’t give too much away but the 2015 show is based around the idea that a giant mechanical spider lands on earth with a number of small (baby) spiders that capture humans and turn them into spiders (or something along those lines). I was too engrossed in the show to actually work out what was going on at the time, and if you have seen it you will probably agree. When I say the show is a full sensory experience I am not joking! I remember turning to the girlfriend during the show who’s jaw was literally sat on her chest at the time… I think she was one of many that was truly blown away by the whole experience. One of the most incredible parts of the show is when 3 of its performers used electrically conducted suits to create crashes and sounds with an electronic field… Poor explanation and I apologise but it is something that is not easily explained or put into words! Whilst this is happening the ariel gymnasts continue to perform on wires in, on, and around the giant mechanical spider in illuminated suits… It is a bit much to try and take it all in but that is not a bad thing. If you have not witnessed the show check out the Arcadia web pages, and I believe the team and mechanical spider and visiting Bristol soon!

Below is a video from last years show to give you some idea of what to expect…

After the show it was clear that everyone was pumped with adrenalin and ready for Maceo Plex to take to the decks. The man did not disappoint and it was quickly evident that he was going to stick to his more Maetrik sound which I could not have been more happy about. He weaved through the techno sounds of some of what must be his upcoming releases, and teased the crowd with some well thought out effects and sounds; all of which was whilst the giant mechanical spider continued to catapult fire in to the air and fire lasers from it’s insane looking eyes. Maceo Plex chose to end on his rather tasteful remix of The Smiths which was definitely well received and completed his set with an air of confidence and well thought out masterfulness. After the completion of his set we decided to head off to Shangri-La which is best experienced in person rather than described in print! Some things are best left in Glastonbury…

Leftfield_Glasto

On the Saturday night there was a choice to be made whether to go and see Kanye West or to go and check out Leftfield as part of their album tour (Alternative Light Source). For those of you that know me understand such a decision took about 5 seconds and we headed off to the Sonic stage to check out Leftfield. The former duo is now a one man band made up of Neil Barnes and we were treated to many sounds from the new album such as Universal Everything, Bad Radio, Shaker Obsession, and Head and Shoulders where Sleaford Mods lead vocalist, Jason Williamson made an appearance after his earlier live set at the John Peel tent.

To say the experience was incredible would be an understatement. The live instruments and drum used throughout were ear piercingly brilliant, and the bass wobbles that often rattled the head of the audience were received with rapturous cheers and clapping! Leftfield chose to end the live show with “Phat Planet” which was a great way to end a superb experience. If I was to be over critical I would have liked them to play “Open Up” but that is because I am an old fart and I like to relive my early rave years! I would put the experience up there with the Chemical Brothers this year, and would recommend that any music fans check out this live act. One of the highlights of the Glastonbury experience for me, and many others I am sure.


Ian French
About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and Progressive House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are fine cuisine, wine, and travel.