Manu Chao brings Lovebox day one to colourful close

Groove Armada also thrill at festival they founded

Manu Chao and founders of Lovebox Festival, Groove Armada, closed day one of the event last night (July 19) in a flurry of confetti and ping pong balls being fired into the crowd and firework displays.

Lovebox regulars since they came up with the idea for the event, Groove Armada played the penultimate set on the Main Stage including hits ‘Song for Mutya’ and ‘I See You Baby’.

They were joined on stage by carnival dancers and confetti, ping pong balls and giant balloons were fired into the audience while fireworks were set off from the roof during their ten song set.

Headliner Manu Chao and his band Radio Bemba previewed material from his new album ‘La Radiolina’ during a triumphant 19 song performance to huge crowds which proved how big his UK following has become.

Audience favourite ‘Bongo Bong’ saw fans waving balloons and Brazilian flags as the sun set over Victoria Park in London.

He finished his performance with a single song encore to close the festival before announcing to the crowd: “We will always come back London, always, thank you very much!”

The day had got off to a rocky start when Alphabeat were left to play to a nearly empty arena as ticket holders were let in to the festival nearly an hour late.

Later The Young Knives told the audience during their nine song set on the Main Stage that they weren’t against illegal file sharing despite their recent single ‘Turn Tail’ only reaching “about 130 in the charts”.

Singer Henry Dartnall announced to the audience: ‘I know you all want it, you just don’t want to pay for it and that’s fine. We’re still here to play for you.”

The threesome played crowd favourites ‘Weekends and Bleak Days’ and ‘The Decision’ during their afternoon set before finishing with new track ‘Died in the War’ which Henry claimed, “is going to be the one that breaks us.”

Over in the Great Escape Arena Natty was a surprise success, playing two extra songs when the huge crowd that he had pulled in demanded more.

And Stockholm’s Lykke Li said she was going to finish her performance off, which included hits ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’ and ‘Little Bit’, with something special before rapping her way through her own version of A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Can I Kick It?’

Elsewhere, Mylo played on the Strangelove Dance Stage as a surprise replacement for Frankie Knuckles who had to pull out, and Cage The Elephant were replaced by Das Pop when injury forced the band to cancel.