Grace Jones, Roxy Music Headline London's Lovebox Fest
Grace Jones closed the U.K.'s Lovebox festival in London with a typically flamboyant performance.
The veteran Jamaican-born dance artist topped the bill on the final day (July 18) of the festival in Victoria Park, London. Lovebox, which launched in 2002, expanded from two to three days in 2010, running from July 16-18. Dizzee Rascal and Roxy Music were the other headliners. Roxy Music has also just confirmed a U.K. arena tour for January and February 2011.
Jones was 30 minutes late on stage - far less tardy than some of her performances - and opened with "Nightclubbing," her version of the Iggy Pop song that he co-wrote with David Bowie. There were multiple costume changes from Jones, with a variety of hats and headpieces, and during "Demolition Man" she smashed a pair of cymbals together.
She also performed songs from her 2008 comeback "Hurricane" (Wall of Sound), including "Williams Blood" and "Love You to Life," alongside classics "Love is the Drug," "My Jamaican Guy" and "Pull Up to the Bumper," during which she got down from the stage to grab the hands of fans in the front row.
"Don't pull the plug on me yet," said Jones ahead of the encore of "Slave to the Rhythm," clearly mindful of an approaching curfew. And she managed to perform the song while spinning a hula-hoop around her waist for the remainder of her triumphant set.
New Young Pony Club was also among the highlights of the final day of Lovebox. The dance-rock act played a well-received set in the blazing sunshine, featuring songs from their 2007 debut "Fantastic Playroom" (Modular) and this year's follow-up "The Optimist" (The Numbers).
Singer Tahita Bulmer put on a tireless display, while the rest of the band created muscular, driving rhythms that ensured the audience was not distracted by the many other attractions at Lovebox, including fairground rides and 10 other stages.
Hot Chip, Chromeo, Cut Copy and the provocative Peaches - singing from a wheelchair because of an injured foot - were also on the bill on Sunday. Kele Okereke of Bloc Party made a guest vocal appearance during Hercules and Love Affair's set. Okereke, who is currently touring a solo album, sang on their new track "Step Up."
Performers on the first two days included Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith, Yeasayer, Mystery Jets, the Maccabees and the Noisettes.
Duran Duran joined Mark Ronson and the Business Intl on stage on Saturday (July 18) for renditions of their old hit "Planet Earth" and Ronson's new song "Record Collection."
The festival had a daily capacity of just over 25,000 and Sunday appeared to be close to a sell-out.
It was the first year of the festival under the full ownership of U.K. entertainment retailer HMV, which took control of its joint venture partner Mama Group in January 2010. HMV also had a presence on the festival site selling CDs by artists performing at Lovebox.