Jungle at All Points East review – a triumphant set from the pro party starters

 ( All Points East / Jennifer McCord)
( All Points East / Jennifer McCord)

For the past decade Jungle have been making music for letting loose. Their own blend of nostalgia-flecked funk, disco and beyond is joy-filled stuff, ideal for festival stages. The London duo’s fourth record Volcano, released earlier this month, is no different. Stuffed full of sun-drenched sounds and earworm hooks, it suited the revellers at their All Points East headline show just fine.

This was a crowd so hell-bent on having a good time, one of the biggest cheers of the day arrived when a sliver of sun revealed itself from behind apocalyptic storm clouds, following a thunderous downpour that meant several of the event’s mid-afternoon performances had to be called off.

As soon as music resumed, attendees piled under the cavernous canvas of the Cupra North Arena tent, where Bedford multi-hyphenate Lil Silva played to the audience’s desire to dance, his set its own ray of audio sunshine. Later on the same stage, rising jungle sensation Nia Archives delighted and her reworking of A-Trak’s remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Heads Will Roll, called Off Wiv Ya Headz, earned roars of appreciation.

East Stage, meanwhile, offered powerhouse vocals. Modern soul trio Gabriels lived up to their hype as performers, with charismatic frontman Jacob Lusk’s voice soaring over lush cuts from the group’s debut album Angels & Queens.

Later, Raye filled every second in her hour-long set. Breezily chatting with the audience between her genre-spanning pop tunes, she tailored her show to what those in attendance wanted; but it’s her Amy Winehouse-inflected vocals that really won over the crowd. Meanwhile, those who watched star booking Erykah Badu on the West Stage were aware they were in the presence of an icon. The neo-soul legend’s slick set was a sensational smash.

By the time Jungle arrived on stage, the audience were ready to be ushered through the Bank Holiday festivities. The two-piece (childhood pals Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland) were flanked by a polished live band, their performance accompanied by sleek minimalist graphics and a striking light show.

This suave stage set-up was fairly subtle, their onstage banter restricted to platitudes: either thanking or buoying up the crowd. Instead the focus was on their rapid-fire set, 25 tracks squeezed into the 90-minute slot.

Slinky new album cuts (Us Against The World, Candle Flame), and funky floor-fillers (The Heat, All of The Time) ignited the crowd, punters hoisted on shoulders, arms aloft. While this energy faltered during runs of lesser-known tunes, the ecstatic encore, which concluded with the group’s enduring festival anthem Busy Earnin, washed away the memory of sleepier moments.

A triumphant finale, it demonstrated what fans already knew. Ten years in, and Jungle are still pro party-starters.