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Review: Love Supreme 2023

July 13, 2023

2023 saw Love Supreme celebrate it’s 10th anniversary, and it’s fair to say the event has come a long way since it began back in 2013. Despite living just a few miles from Glynde Place, where the festival takes place, I’ve never actually been until this year. I’ve heard so many good things over the years, I was really excited to see what this now iconic celebration of all things jazz, funk and soul had up its sleeve. 2023 was the year I got to find out.. needless to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Love Supreme is now recognised as one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe. The event’s main appeal is the sheer quality of its music. This year saw Little Simz, Grace Jones, Candi Staton and The Gabriel’s (fresh from their Elton John Glasto performance) headlining. Reading through the scheduling for the weekend there are so many high calibre names to choose from its hard to know who to watch. Luckily the layout of Love Supreme is compact enough to allow easy movement from one stage to another. Let the music play!


Saturday – My musical experience at Love Supreme was partly dictated by my seven year old son. He came along on the Saturday and gravitated to what appealed to him. As frustrating as this can be when you have an artist you want to catch, I try to remind myself that I want to install a love of music and music events in my boy. So, on Saturday we caught The Cavemen. who were incredible! An energetic blend of African beats, meaningful lyrics and dynamic drums and trumpets was the perfect start to our afternoon. Good choice son. Next we enjoyed Incognito from the Ferris Wheel as I reminisced my Acid Jazz days in the early 90’s with classics such as ‘Don’t you worry bout a thing‘ and ‘Always there‘ echoing across the South Downs stage arena. Lastly we found Yaya Bey belting out her soulful blues from the Supreme Standards Tent. Just a joy to watch. That was it for the Saturday, little people don’t last long at these things. I vowed to come back on Sunday solo so I could do some proper, grown up festivalling….

Sunday – Once parenting duties were out of the way I headed back for my Love Supreme Sunday session. As I parked my car I could hear ‘young hearts, run free‘ belting out from the main stage. Candi Staton had arrived and the whole festival was singing along. What a greeting. I managed to catch the rest of Candi’s performance including You Got the Love. At 83 she needed some help from the audience to amplify her vocals, but there definitely was a whole lot of love for this legendary soulstress.

As the sun mellowed into early evening I decided to head back to the Supreme Standards Tent to check out Obongjayer. This was a new artist to me, but I liked the sound of his listing – a blend of afrobeat, spoken word, soul and electronic. Wow. He was incredible. Not just his music, but his stage presence, his performance and his interaction with the crowd. Totally mesmerising. Obongjayer will be the artist I remember most from this event. He blew me way.

I ended my evening with Thundercat. Arriving 30 minutes before his set wasn’t early enough. The crowd was huge and clearly buzzing to see this musical genius in action. Thundercat kicked off with a symphony of psychedelic bass, heavy drums and hectic keyboard – crazy as it sounds, it worked. When he sings his music reaches another level. His vocals are a sweet, mellow tone that melts the soul. I’m pretty sure he won over every single person in that big top.

I left Glynde feeling like I’d been in another dimension. It didn’t feel quite right being back home, sat on my sofa 20 minutes later. What a contrast. Love Supreme really is something else. I can’t wait to hear what they’ve got planned for next year. If you fancy coming along for 2024 Early Bird tickets are on sale now. See you there!

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