Solange lights up Lovebox festival in impressive return

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Solange (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Solange made a triumphant return to London’s Lovebox festival two years after her last performance was marred by health issues.

The star – full name Solange Knowles – left hospital after a three-day stint to play against her doctor’s orders in 2017.

On Friday an energetic and tightly choreographed show saw the 33-year-old rattle through a bevy of recent releases as well as hits such as Cranes In The Sky and Losing You.

Before her encore she told the crowd: “It was actually at Lovebox two years ago I started to lose control of my body. I started to go through some really crazy health issues.

“I remember being in the hospital that morning and them telling me I was not to perform or leave.

“And I remember bringing my black ass right here to Lovebox. But I have to say that Lovebox is a festival that I get to come and see all these black and brown faces. And I ain’t missing that shit for nothing. It feels so good.”

This year’s When I Get Home – her fourth and most ambitious record – saw Solange recruit talent including Pharrell and Tyler the Creator and eschew traditional song structures in favour of expansive new-age composition.

She has escaped the commercial success of older sister Beyonce while being consistently lauded by critics for her explorative take on Motown, jazz and ambient music.

Founded in 2002 by DJ duo Groove Armada, Lovebox has been hosted in a number of locations.

On Friday it returned to west London’s Gunnersbury Park for a second year, after Tower Hamlets turned down its application to continue in east London’s Victoria Park and Lambeth residents blocked a potential move to south London’s Brockwell Park.

The line-up featured a balance of US hip hop, R&B and dance music acts, including rapper J Hus who made headlines last year when he was jailed for carrying a knife.

The crowd were clearly happy his enforced hiatus was over, singing his lyrics word for word as he bobbed back and forth around the stage.

He played ahead of Solange on the festival’s main stage. Elsewhere, Cypress Hill performed their 1993 album Black Sunday in full and Kaytranada delivered a set of synth-laden hip hop.

Chance the Rapper headlines the second and final day of the festival on Saturday.

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