Review: WADE 2012

The Tab checked out WADE and had a chat with student union regulars; The Wideboys.

Despite being Monte girls, we’ve found that Connaught events are always the best and were ecstatic to hear that they were putting on their very own festival.

Even with the disappointing weather, the festival turned out to be a great success. The inflatable assault course, bucking bronco and face painting stand took us back to childhood whilst the shisha tent and cheap alcohol served at the Connaught bar bought back memories of being 19, meaning that many students were drunk by 5pm….and hanging by 11!

We managed to steal some time with ABE, one of the first acts to perform during the daytime event. ABE are a London based UK hip-hop act duo who go by the names of Slumbabear and Hungry B. Front man Slumbabear briefly ran through their history: ABE are approximately 9 months old and the duo gig regularly. Their music is a fusion of rap and subtle melodies, with lyrics that gets to grips with urban culture, earning them a strong following.

The night time event was a mixed bag. Most people gravitated towards the Connaught Bar, which had a great atmosphere, but this failed to compensate for the fact that the dance floor was near empty right up until headline act The Wideboys took to the stage.

The Tab was lucky enough to gain some time with Wideboys. Despite an exhausting schedule promoting their latest releases Shopaholic, The Word and a forthcoming Ministry of Sound compilation to which they’ve lent their production talents, they were full of vigor and enthusiasm about playing to the Southampton crowd, sensing “great vibes” from our students. Wideboys have a special link to Southampton, owing their big break to Artful Dodger and a collaboration with local producer Dennis G, so were delighted to be back.

The duo have been regulars at student unions all over the country since their formation in 1997 and stated their worst experience to date was the time when a fire alarm went off mid-drop during a drum and bass track. (Fortunately this didn’t happen during WADE.)

On balance, the evening festivities were so-so. SUSU gauged exactly what students wanted, but with many already home for the summer and the weather leaving us wondering if summer will ever return, the turnout was never going to impress. Still, damn good effort.