Music review: Junction 1 Festival, Morris Park, Glasgow

Despite main stage cancellations, DJ sets from Erol Alkan and Neil Barnes of Leftfield still created good vibes at the Junction 1 Festival, writes David Pollock

DJ Erol Alkan PIC: Charley Gallay/Getty Images
DJ Erol Alkan PIC: Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Junction 1 Festival, Morris Park, Glasgow ***

Saturday’s edition of the first Junction 1 festival in Glasgow served up only half the festival as billed. Set in the grounds of the Morris Park building alongside the M74 in Polmadie, a former furniture factory turned small business incubator complex, the festival’s large main stage area stood cordoned off and empty.

Attendees had reportedly received an email from organisers some hours earlier apologising for “technical issues beyond (our) control”. The day’s promised main stage bill of live sets from Soul II Soul and Nightmares On Wax, and a DJ set from Faithless’ Sister Bliss, now wouldn’t be happening.

What was left, then, was a Garden Stage of guest DJs playing under canvas to a small but dedicated crowd of perhaps a few hundred people, fringed by the usual festival array of beer bars and artisan food huts. This was – on its own terms and judging by the reaction of the audience here – going down well, not least because the bill still included some big names.

Nightwave, one of Glasgow’s finest young DJs, was followed by a DJ set from Neil Barnes of electronic stars Leftfield, which drifted in on a surprisingly loose series of techno grooves, toughening up as it went on and teasing the audience with a hint of his own group’s Release The Pressure without committing to the full thing.

As the sun set over the motorway embankment, headliner Erol Alkan arrived for his own DJ set, and these are never anything less than essential – a raw, organic fusion of electro, techno, disco and post-punk beats which appeared inspirational enough to send some women up onto shoulders, picnic tables and even the low tent scaffold. A few good vibes were achieved, despite other disappointments.