Thousands descend on village as Love Supreme returns after two years away

Love Supreme burst back in to life with a weekend of jazz bliss
Pictures:  Mike Burnell
Love Supreme burst back in to life with a weekend of jazz bliss Pictures: Mike Burnell

THOUSANDS of jazz and soul fans flocked to Love Supreme over the weekend, as the festival returned after a two-year break.

Partygoers basked in unrelenting sunshine as some of the world’s top artists, old and new, graced the pastures at Glynde Place.

The festival billed this year’s event as its best ever, and it did not disappoint.

The air was filled with soulful vibes and gorgeous tones while people got into the groove on Friday. The main stage was packed out, while the smaller venues drew crowds after something more obscure.

The Argus: Love Supreme 2022. Photo: Mike Burnell
The Argus: Love Supreme 2022. Photo: Mike Burnell

Love Supreme 2022. Photo: Mike Burnell

Everyone was happy to be back in a field, embracing the feeling of community together. And the one pint that did get thrown across the crowd looked entirely out of place, as if its owner had ended up at the festival by mistake.

Pint-thrower aside, there was a warm feeling among everyone over the weekend.

There were families with small children, camping stoves left outside tents without fear they would be stolen during a midnight rampage. There were old school hippies who swapped the muddy fields of Pilton for a yurt in the green pastures of Sussex. And, of course, there were those for whom Love Supreme was their first festival experience – and what a great place for them to cut their teeth.

The Argus: Joe Stilgoe. Photo: Mike Burnell
The Argus: Joe Stilgoe. Photo: Mike Burnell

Joe Stilgoe. Photo: Mike Burnell

Jazz quintet Ezra Collective headlined on the Friday, as campers arrived late in to the evening to set up their tents ahead of Saturday – which promised to be a riot, and was.

Jubilation filled the campsite on Saturday morning, after an eerie calm took over the chit chat about the previous night’s fun. The feeling spilled in to the main area, as sunglasses and iced coffees to sooth sore heads were gradually ditched for cool pints and laughter as the day went on.

The Argus: Tom Misch on the main stage. Photo: Mike Burnell
The Argus: Tom Misch on the main stage. Photo: Mike Burnell

Tom Misch on the main stage. Photo: Mike Burnell

Joe Stilgoe and The Entertainers opened the main stage, and did so with style. Not many people can pull off a sequin jacket, but our Joe can. And his band are equally cool.

Jon Cleary played the South Downs tent, and managed to squeeze some fantastic dance moves out of the crowd, as they battled through the hangovers – his exquisite rhythm and blues almost hypnotic.

Moving to New Orleans from the UK at just 17, Jon has come to embody everything that is cool about the city. His style of rhythm and blues is unparalleled, his command of the tone unmatched.

The Argus: Tom Misch. Photo: Mike Burnell
The Argus: Tom Misch. Photo: Mike Burnell

Tom Misch. Photo: Mike Burnell

But it is not just about the music. There is some fantastic food at Love Supreme, too. Falafel salad, chicken noodles, avocado salads– you name it. The winner, however, had to be a gorgeous chicken, chorizo and chickpea wrap.

The day went past in a flash, as the sun began to drop behind the main stage and the evening was beckoning. It was time for Tom Misch - the album cover of his latest record, What Kinda Music, was projected on to the stage, filling it with lovely hues of warm reds and orange.

The Argus: Lianne La Havas. Photo: Tom Misch
The Argus: Lianne La Havas. Photo: Tom Misch

Lianne La Havas. Photo: Tom Misch

Tom took us through his now extensive catalogue of tunes, a peppering of early work was a treat too. But the real surprise came when Yussef Dayes – with whom Tom recorded What Kinda Music – took to the stage, and again when Tom’s sister, Laura, joined us for a track.

London duo Franc Moody are all about funk. They ooze it – and brought it all the South Downs stage. It is just properly good dance music which stacks up against the best in the business.

The Argus: Erykah Badu. Photo: Tom Misch
The Argus: Erykah Badu. Photo: Tom Misch

Erykah Badu. Photo: Tom Misch

Lianne La Havas played a delightful set on the main stage, her voice is heavenly and the ideal opener for Erykah Badu - who absolutely stole the show, and secured Love Supreme's place in the top tier of the festival calendar.

Before long, Sunday rolled around, and the end was unfortunately in sight, but people was still just as loved up as on the first day.

The Argus: Love Supreme. Photo: Mike Burnell
The Argus: Love Supreme. Photo: Mike Burnell

Love Supreme. Photo: Mike Burnell

As The Argus went to print, Soul Family were working through a blistering set of funk and soul on the main stage, with a great cover of Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground, and the festival looks forward to one last hurrah with Sister Sledge and Gregory Porter set to close Love Supreme – the ultimate feelgood festival.