Delphic! Noisettes! The Skints! King Charles! When these voguish people grace the London green belt this weekend, they’ll be bringing a party to a land where no party was ever conceivable (trust me, I’m a local) – and with it a refreshing grassroots festival story in an era when the mower is well and truly out on those grassroots, economy-wise.
LeeFest began, like all good things began, with the hi-jacking of a garden when the folks were out of town. The inaugural event happened in 2006, when the eponymous Lee, with the spirit of The Inbetweeners coursing through his veins, claimed a little patch of south-east London suburbia for a party, and ordered in that all-important first Portaloo. ‘At the time we thought it was the coolest and funniest thing ever. Now, looking back, it was just a toilet.’
They’ve decamped to a field now, and you can expect about 2500 other revellers across five different zones. We’re excited. It looks vibrant and studenty, all the way up to the hip young talent onstage. Neo-baroque peddlers Clean Bandit have a scholarly vibe, and Public Service Broadcasting’s nifty sonic collages have that romantic air of doctoral students incarcerated for too long in subterranean archives. The whiff of student union snakebite is almost palpable.
Culture Or Trash will of course beeline for Fiction, whose new album The Big Other we adored. On Saturday night, it’s hard to imagine any better party-stokers than Noisettes, whose live shows are notorious.
All this and more, masterminded by a gang of bored teens in 2006. Beat that, Ferris Bueller!