Review: The Tab does Strawberries & Creem!
I say Strawberries – you say Creem!
With the sun shining over Cambridge, crowds of gown and town alike head west to Haggis farm for what looked to be the event of the year. It didn’t disappoint.
In stark contrast to the abject misery of exam term, the first thing that hit you as the festival loomed were the smiling faces. The main stage was busy from the get-go, with Cambridge’s own Cardinal Sound tearing it up in the sunshine with Serocee.
Cardinal Sound: “Absolutely smashed it, I’m a bit emotional!”
Serocee: “The crowd were wicked. This festival has come on so much from last year, it’s more than double. So good. Get them to book me for next year I’ll come back!”
Keeping with the local vibe, the best in Cambridge food and drink were out in force. Fancy a burrito? Nana Mexico were on site. A reasonably priced drink? Head to the La Raza stall. Nothing was too expensive and the queues moved quickly (apart from the facepainting, turns out Cambridge students love being plastered with glitter).
Star.One kept the crowd bubbling with their trademark style. These guys have worked with the Strawberries & Creem team in past and it showed – they were comfortable up on the main stage working the crowd.
Star.One: “Me and all the guys loved it up there today, the crowd were pure hyped, it looks wicked out there. Strawberries & Creem have killed it today. So many top artists, such a good vibe. The guys are pushing the Cambridge scene and I cant wait to see it get bigger and bigger.”
In all the rushing around backstage catering to the stars (the first thing reggae star Stylo G said on arrival was “Get me some hard liquor. Hennessy”), we managed to catch up S&C organiser and all-round BNOC Chris Jammer.
Chris: “To see all this come together is so so good. Everyone is here having a good time it’s wicked to see. Last year I felt like I knew everyone, now it’s grown and it’s only going to get bigger. Watch this space – we’re going even bigger and harder next year!”
For all the huge acts gracing the stage you could feel the crowd were itching for Skepta. In true superstar style he kept us waiting just long enough to build the tension before exploding onto the stage. The standard cries of “Cambridge are you ready?” thundered over the microphone. They weren’t ready.
We didn’t manage to get an interview with Skepta: some say he was ushered into a car by security – others hinted that Jeremy Paxman had told him not to talk to us. Either way his set was worth the wait, if only to hear a chorus of upper-middle class home counties accents singing along to grime.
The crowds lapped up the sunshine, Red Stripe and heavy bass lines all day.
Recent Cambridge graduate Ben Jones summed up the mood, “I didn’t think this was my sort of music but I liked it. It was a bit intense”.
The crowds stayed dancing through the headline act Grandmaster Flash and beyond. The sun kept shining, the drinks kept flowing and for the first time I’ve seen this year, Cambridge came alive.
From Haggis farm it was straight back into town for the afterparty at Fez. Welcome to the summer Cambridge, it’s looking good already.