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James Drakeford was in the audiance for this years LIVE FEST Festival. Here he tells SUPAJAM all about an indoor festival,  hearing the sad news about Amy Winehouse from Zane Lowe and 16 year old boys with surprisingly saucy lyrics!


Those who were at Glastonbury in 2010 will remember Dizzee Rascal's tribute to Michael Jackson, much like those who remained until the end of Live Fest 2011 will look back and remember Zane Lowe's tribute to Amy Winehouse, who died just hours before he closed the main stage at the 02 Arena in London on Saturday night.


Starting at a hundred miles per hour and raising the tempo throughout, the Radio One DJ really knows how to get a crowd going. Dance anthems spilled out one after another, and often remixed together, Live Fest was really going to close with a bang, a party atmosphere complete with an endless shower of confetti and silly string.


Then, just before leaving the stage, Zane Lowe urges the crowd: "For those of you that don't know. I want everyone to raise one fist into the sky for Amy Winehouse. A very sad day and a tragic loss to an unbelievable talent." En cue 'Back to Black' by Amy Winehouse as Zane leaves the stage. The 200 or so people still remaining just silent, stunned, not knowing what to say and not knowing what to do; very powerful, well and truly surreal.


After hearing the news of Amy Winehouse's death we were caught up in two minds. Do we go for Gary Powell's DJ set from The Libertines, or do we go to see Roll Deep? We all know about Pete Doherty's close friendship with Amy Winehouse, so it would've been interesting to see what Gary Powell did, but that wasn't enough to swing it for us. Instead we opted for the crew that bought us Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder, we opted for Roll Deep (who we can confirm DID dedicate their set to Amy Winehouse).


My only gripe with Roll Deep was that it was more like 'Rolling Quite Shallow', or 'just scratching the surface'. Don't get me wrong, I thought they were good. With the amount of collaborations they have recorded over the past few years I think people knew more songs than they realised. But still, it was disappointing that although thoroughly expected, we wouldn't be seeing Wiley rock up. Manga impressed as he led the group, but most of the set was played by just three out of the 10 members! They could have at least brought Tinchy back into the fold for old time's sake and given us 'U Were Always'. 


Earlier in the day we had the pleasure of finding some interesting bands at the Live and Unsigned stage at Indigo. Eventual competition winners The Trinity Band from Derby wowed the judges with their original song 'Supernova' along with a cover of 'Champion' by Chipmunk and Chris Brown, while Stoke-on-Trent band Aggyfro also played in the Urban/Pop/Acoustic final as they mixed catchy indie guitar riffs and powerful vocals with a Dizzee Rascal mash up of Bonkers and Dirty Cash (Money Talks).


Over on the main stage we stumbled across teenage grime act, Flow Dem Crew. When they entered the stage I couldn't help but think 'is this Blazing Squad?' but they proved me wrong. They were actually decent! It is no surprise that they are sharing the stage with the likes of Lethal Bizzle and Professor Green in their native Wales.


With sexual meaning behind lyrics such as "she'll be eating up my salad cream," it was hard to believe that the lads were just 16 and 17 years old, but their original tracks including "It's Not a Racial Ting" and "Get What I Want" really went down well with their fans.


So forget your wellies, tents, and burger vans, that weekend was all about Live Fest, the biggest indoor music festival this country has to offer.


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