Festival Frolics: Lovebox East London's Most Addictive Drug.

As the sprightlier sibling (at least as far as musical orientation goes) to Hyde Park's Wireless, a festival this year bloated with geriatric hip hoppers sprinkled with a dusting of lightweight Topshop indie, 5.2 miles East lies Victoria Park, and for one weekend in 52, Lovebox. Whilst Friday saw the Radio 1 A/B List reprazent and Sunday got electrocuted (emphasis on the 'electro') it was Saturday that straddled genre, era and gender, as Drambuie was downed and sticky moustaches adorned many a philtrum and a plethora of innovative acts graced stages, Rizla vans and bandstands.

Whilst The Clash infamously headed up an Anti-Nazi League shindig in Vicky Park eons ago, it was at last weekend's Lounge On The Farm that Southend orchestral doom mongers These New Puritans experienced a Clampdown, good'n'proper, their set obliterated, spliced down to three songs. It's therefore a relief in itself that at Groove Armada's annual eclectic hoedown Jack Barnett, brother George and the interminably perturbing Thomas Hein, backed once more by a brass duo are allowed to gallop through the likes of Three Thousand and a reconstituted take on Beat Pyramid 'greatest hit' (or as close as These New Puritans will ever approach one) Elvis without the voltage being zapped. That said, experiencing their twitching orchestrations in golden strands of sun is a little like showering your Special K with JD. Hologram is ineffably emotive, Barnett bounding about in artificial fog whilst the guttural drawls of Hein, twinned with the tribal dual drums of We Want War are bone-quaking. Scuttling away midway through Canticle, Barnett's about as likely to flourish into any form of bona fide frontman, as Liam & Noel are to return with a nu-folk collab record with Kele on backing vox, yet their irrevocably impressionable trenchfoot rock is nigh on impossible to tear your ears away from. Having witnessed Hackney hearthrob Paloma Faith looking more than a little burlesque on the Isle of Wight and threaten to drift away attached to two balloons nabbed from Wayne Coyne's gargantuan ball pool at last month's Glastonbury, despite dressing in an orange and green oriental fan, Faith looks unsettlingly subdued as she croons her way through Broken Doll, belts out a glammed up rework of Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful more than a semitone indebted to MJ, and shuffles about treacherously on six-inch heels to Upside Down. With facial expressions reminiscent of a sultry chipmunk gazing on the granola bar section of a Hackney Wick Tesco, she's infuriatingly capable of inciting undying endearment in the most mashed of cerebral matter, New York invoking unanimous adulation and the most rousing of sing-songs until The View's Kyle Falconer drools over Valerie. And Faith wasn't roped in to fill Wino's wine-splattered heels because...

Dusting off the Brylcream and the monochrome air steward outfits, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. brings the Miami Vice to Victoria Park, wheeling out almost as many guests as a Glastonbury Sunday, coming across a little like a bargain bucket Albarn in the process. Granted, the multi-faceted, superfluously multi-lingual disco sheen of Bang Bang Bang is impregnably excellent, even with Spank Rock standing in for an absent Q-Tip and MDNR's white rims adding a touch of Platform reader to the spick and span 80s aesthetic, yet the bespectacled bloke from Phantom Planet and an estranged Pipette once again make Ronson more jukebox than Juicebox. He can't quite believe he's onstage with Duran Duran at one point, bobbing through Planet Earth and supposedly few in attendance can quite believe the sycophantic schmaltz acted out before them either. Scoring far greater business acumen are Brookylnites Yeasayer, who bluster through a set chockablock with the tribal futurisms of latest LP Odd Blood, as a drummer in a bee veil bashes tom toms phyletically. The lupine howls of Madder Red, the impeccable falsetto-led off-kilter disco of ONE and the industrialised psychedelia of Mondegreen are mixtape mayhem-gone-sunset soundtrack, whilst a revisited 2080 lifted from debut long player All Hour Cymbals puts the respectable side of 'pop' back into Popjustice. Visibly less popular these days are Emperor Luke Steele's Empire Of The Sun, whose debut London show is subdued throughout, the Antipodean pop extrovert landing on British shores approximately twelve months after obsessions with his dreamy hallucinations and swordfish suits were initially cultivated. In the meantime, he's streamlined both his entourage, involuntarily disposing of the now-estranged Nick Littlemore and his show, as a couple of caped dancers threaten to get suckered into onstage fans whilst prancing about with tin foiled cardboard boxes strapped onto their skulls. Emerging as an intergalactic landscape emerges, album opener Standing On The Shore suddenly bursts from Steele's achromatic Stratocaster, as metronomic drums charge the Emperor's chipped baritone. A headdress topped with shards of broken mirror and a gold painted dog head superglued onto the frame of Steele's central podium however suggest that Empire Of The Sun only truly exist in one man's wildest of extraterrestrially indigenous fantasies... Less fantastical, far more fantastic are glam rock good Lords, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry flailing his forearms about appreciatively for nigh on two hours. Alongside the polyester suited and polished booted Phil Manzanera, one of few contemporary oboists/saxophonists not to induce instantaneous lunges for the mute button Andy Mackay and original Roxy drummer Paul Thompson (needless to say not to be confused with Franz Ferdinand drummer Paul Thomson, an orthographical pitfall of perilous proportions), the quartet (in the absence of Eno) are joined by so many helping musical hands of the session musician persuasion that they barely squeeze onto Lovebox' colossal stage. Launching headlong into Re-Make/Re-Model, opener to their self-titled 1972 debut Roxy Music stitch as many frills into their headline set as the xx have in their monotonously drab wardrobe, as a stream of kaleidoscopic stars hurtle henceforth from a screened backdrop. The honky tonks and oboe blasts of If There Is Something are more aptly adapted to Bond suavity than Grace Jones glugging G&Ts at the May Fair, a detuned More Than This allows Ferry's quivering vocal chords to hit the quixotic highs of the best slab of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack to mow down hooded Californians to, and the gallivanting slump of Ladytron, as contorting guitars tumble into saxophone bellows, is significantly more enthralling than its eponymous electro chancers could ever have hoped to become. Proceedings conclude with a rampaging bluster through a sumptuous Jealous Guy, a Virginia Plain run-through that oozes juvenile naivety, an incendiary Let's Stick Together and Do The Strand, as jaunty as Gang Of Four torn into symmetrical shards of corporeal body mass courtesy of a hacksaw. Whilst Love Is The Drug may be as moreish as Subway six inchers, it's Lovebox (the event obviously, not the dodgy genre-molesting Groove Armada record) that's the truly addictive element at this rather unique event at the heart and soul of the East End.