The Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival at Riverside Museum, 3/5/14

With last year’s festival being highly criticised for providing a threadbare minimum of festival essentials such as; poor Portaloo facilities, horrendous queues and rife overcrowding, the organisers, Electric Frog and Pressure, had a lot to atone for with this year’s set up.

Entrance to the festival is fairly straight forward, albeit after a small amount of queuing and a bag search.

 

This year the set up is fairly simple, two tents erected at either side of The Riverside Museum, with a small selection of gourmet food carts scattered in between.

What is noticeably different this year is the inclusion of numerous beer token stands, first aid areas, sectioned off Portaloo ‘gardens’ and perhaps most importantly for the Glaswegian crowd ample bar access – that was well staffed.

The festival attracts a colourful motley crew of characters, from the most discerning, bespectacled, moustachioed Hawaiian shirt wearing hipster, to the fluorescent, inflatable bearing rave child.

There are disco girls adorned with sparkling finery ready for the dance floor and old school acid house Dads sporting more wrinkles than your average African Rhinoceros.

This served to add to the frivolity of the afternoon’s proceedings and as a reminder that all kin can come together – especially in the name of good music and a good time.

Mathew Dear was the first act we were able to catch and the Texan plays to a tent partially occupied but the crowed begins to swell as his set progresses.

Playing, as most of his predecessor would do so also, a variety of songs from his own back catalogue and also from his more modern contemporaries.

Dear plays a minimal house set with a very even keel feel to it, which is to be expected on an artist billed early on as tempo builder.

Songs like ‘You Put a Smell on Me’ give his set a rock edge, whereas songs like ‘Her Fantasy’ showcase what Dear is more widely reputed for – his sparse, ethereal vocal style.

As soon as Montréal’s finest, Tiga, takes to the stage there is a perceivable change in the atmosphere, the main tent is more crowded and there is an audible thrum of excitement in the air.

Tiga’s particular brand of party music is synonymous with the twenty-somethings of today; it’s punchy, easy to dance to and each track instantly discernible from the next.

His set typifies what is currently popular in today’s dance music scene; playing tracks like Duke Dumont’s ‘Slowdance’ followed by his own signature track ‘Shoes’ instantly galvanises the crowd into some toe tapping action.

Other highlights include ‘Mind Dimension 2’, ‘You Gonna Want Me’ and ‘Turn The Night On’.

Chicago born Felix Da’ Housecat lumbers on stage prior to his own set to quickly whip the crowd up.

Being the only DJ to brave being vocal with the microphone, he quickly admits his love for Tiga and also, expectedly, his love for playing in Glasgow.

The Chicago House veteran plays a fast paced set, littered with back catalogue gems such as ‘We all Wanna be Prince’.

He plays his own souped up remix of Nina Simon’s ‘Sinnerman’ that provides a momentary reprieve; however the song everyone is waiting to hear is ‘Silver Screen’.

As soon as the first few decibels of the iconic tune are looped in the background, everyone starts to chant along; all hail a mass sing-along and unholy crush as dancers try desperately to edge closer to the stage.

The penultimate act on this evening’s main stage is Frenchman, Pascal Arbez also know as Vitalic.

Unlike his predecessors Vitalic plays songs from his own back catalogue and nothing more, his fast paced set, tinged with loopy, buzzy electro and hard hitting techno, seems to be exactly what the crowd is looking for.

With the main stage now overflowing with partygoers there isn’t a single inch to budge as patrons move back and forth to retrieve drinks it is difficult to stay in the relative same spot.

Luckily, the crowd by this point seem to have participated in more than a few ‘party libations’ and where in jovial spirits.

So if a few well-heeled boots happened upon the toes of your neighbour any irritation was quickly dispelled, with a hearty finger point in the air and an apologetic smile.

Highlights of Vitalic’s set include; ‘Poison Lips’, the eerie throb of ‘Flashmob’ and the distorted thrum of ‘Poney Part 1’.

Again the song that everyone seemed galvanised by is ‘La Rock 01’ from 2005’s seminal album Ok Cowboy.

Headline act 2manydj’s draw the biggest crowd yet, with people spilling in from all corners of the tent, the atmosphere quickly becomes hot and sweaty.

Thankful for the crisp spring evening the dancing continues, The Belgian brothers David and Stephen Dewaele pack their set full of crowd pleasing anthems from their remix back catalogue and also throw in some classic Soulwax tracks just for good measure.

Disco classics such as Robin S’s ‘Show Me Love’ were looped in and out of contemporary new releases such a Metronomy’s ‘I’m Aquarius’, showing just how eclectic the Belgian brothers tastes can be.

Doffing their cap to their days as part of Soulwax they include tracks from Nightversions such as ‘Krack’ and ‘Miserable Girl’.

Even although the night is drawing to a close, it is their infamous remix of MGMT’s ‘Kids’ that has everyone locked in embrace, singing unanimously into the flood of light being projected from the impressive visual display.

In the end Electric Frog and Pressure have provided a good line up of eclectic artists, in a great location with plentiful resources at the disposal of all attending patrons.

Kudos, for doing it right this year, we look forward to next year’s festival, which perhaps may have to be at another location that can accommodate the fluctuating demand for tickets.

Words: Angela Canavan

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