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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Citadel 2017

Victoria Park welcomed the magnificence of Citadel for a third year running.

With a reputation for finesse, we already had this summer Sunday down as one to impress. Bringing together a host of talent from across the world alongside its family-friendly atmosphere it didn’t disappoint.

The start of the London ‘one-day’er was dominated by Maggie Rogers’ energetic main stage performance and her dreamy brand of indie synth-pop. The ‘Alaska’ star showed nothing short of glowing enthusiasm for the crowd, setting the festival’s tone perfectly. This energy was maintained by the subsequent performance of RY X.  The bearded Aussie’s soft voice coupled with his full-orchestra produced gems, like ‘Howling’ that blissfully spun out across the audience.

Citadel prides itself on delivering talent from across the world and the opportunity to see Oumou Sangaré was not to be missed. Her seven-piece backing saw the illustrious Wassoulou singer treat the rain-smattered audience to a case study in punchy, upbeat African music.

Citadel even gave us the house music fix we needed (a task we’d usually leave to Lovebox). The phenomenal speaker set-up of the Smirnoff Mixmag bus and the Corona Sunsets stage saw the likes of Felix Dickinson, Amp & Deck and OK Jones blast out a vast collection of soulful and tribal bangers.

To finish off the eclectic selection, the clean cut Dan Croll delivered an intricate and glittery guitar set. His Ben Gibbard-esque voice easily made up for initial production difficulties.

As afternoon turned to evening, it was time for the festival’s biggest draws to take to the stage. Both these acts are more than familiar with crowds of this size having stormed the last decade with one critically acclaimed record after another.

Riding in the wake of his masterful sixth album Migration, Bonobo graced London’s crowd with a magical production of orchestral electronica. His euphoric sound was supported by a full brass and strings section as he glided seamlessly through a back catalogue of winning tracks from classics like ‘Cirrus’ to more recent hits including ‘Kerala’ and ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’.

The day’s finale saw the world’s most loved Oxford quintet take to the stage for a UK-festival exclusive. Right from the get-go, Foals were on exceptional form. Launching into rampaging opener ‘Mountain At My Gates’, frontman Yannis Philippakis proclaimed “It’s good to be home”. It took until ‘My Number’ to fully ease up the slightly stiff Sunday crowd and Foals came into their own. At their best, Foals are a real force, revelling in lo-fi breakdowns, angry riffs and mighty choruses. As anticipated, the set saw Foals pull a few surprises from their discography including the likes of ‘Black Gold’ and ‘Heavy Water,’ as well crowd-pleasers like ‘Inhaler’, ‘Spanish Sahara’ and ‘Red Socks Pugie’. The emphatic encore featured ‘What Went Down,’ followed by ‘Two Steps Twice’ as Foals delivered everything we had hoped for in a cerebral combination of pure polish and anarchy.

Citadel delivered in splendid form, a one-day festival at its finest.

For all the latest on Citadel, visit the Website.

Photo insert courtesy of Family PR

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