The Electric Frog September Weekender @ SWG3, 10-11/9/11Written by admin on September 14th, 2011
Undoubtedly hoping for a bit of end-of-summer sun, Electric Frog’s September Weekender look to round up the festival season with a packed two days of live music down at SWG3.
Apart from a brief spell on Saturday (where revelers are using the marquee for shade rather than shelter), the Glasgow rain does its best to dampen spirits, with a slightly bedraggled crowd drifting away at the end of Mogwai’s Sunday headline set.
Still all seem determined to enjoy the music, which included acts ranging from Jeff Mills to Wild Beasts. This was a game (er, festival) of two halves; Saturday showcasing some of the best of Detroit’s dance music legacy in Derrick May and the aforementioned Mills, who had help from Frankie Knuckles, Len Faki, Levon Vincent and Glasgow’s Slam, amongst others.
The crowd seems to be made up mostly of those who might have been around to experience this kind of music in early nineties warehouses, and they certainly hadn’t forgotten what it was all about. Any doubts about staging late-night music between two and 10pm were also quickly put to bed by a packed main stage from early on. There are even some Kevin-and-Perry-esque dance moves to be seen.
Len Faki set the tempo with an energetic two hours of European techno, build-ups and drops galore, although the main event, as expected, comes in the form of the two men from the Midwest. Channeling all of the Motor City’s soul, funk and disco history, first May and then Mills provided sets of a hard-hitting but much smoother variety, with a degree of subtlety that could only come from years on the DJ circuit, playing at clubs such as Berlin’s Berghain and Detroit’s The Music Institute.
Sunday’s line-up sees live bands a-plenty taking to the street stage, with a noticeably different crowd to the previous day and a deluge of almost biblical proportions to mark the occasion.
Meteorological woes were soon forgotten as punters sidestep the puddles, and dance their way through an early set by Glasgow’s electro darlings Errors, followed by a raucous outing from Mancunian post-punk legends The Fall.
Wild Beasts could be forgiven for quaking at the thought of following the belligerent tones of Mark E. Smith, particularly given the enthusiasm of punters, young and old, for the top-form set delivered by the latter, but their whimsical indie strikes a chord nonetheless.
The luscious drone of local heroes Mogwai brings open-air events to a close, while upstairs The Orb round off SWG3’s more electronically-orientated line-up, even throwing a snatch of bag piping into the closing mix for good measure.
Soggy yet contented crowds spill out of the festival, having been treated to a plethora of talent from both local and international turf. The Frog may be going into hibernation for this year, but we look forward to equally ambitious and eclectic line-ups next time around.
Words/Photos: Fran Lightbound and Nick Thomas