With the first day off to such a successful start I’m both interested and hopeful as to what day two has to offer. The first band on my radar are Savages who I’d heard rumblings about from various sources and so knew they were band I should check out as a matter of urgency and judging by the size of the crowd at this early afternoon show it seems like I’m not the only one who is keen to check them out.
Lead Singer Jehnny‘s androgynous appearance and Siouxsie Sioux-esque style vocals combined with the intensely dark melodic tones adds an air of mystery to the band which is compelling. They are joyfully dark, there’s that word again, but no other word describes them so fittingly and to fully appreciate that description you would need to catch them at one of their live appearances. Their Joy Division /Horrors sound appealing to my inner goth and ensure that on first listen I take them to my black heart. In fact it seems unnatural that they should be on so early in the afternoon.
It’s not often you get an all girl band that are this intense and bass player Ayse attacks her bass like Hooky on acid. She is like a woman possessed. This is definitely a band to watch for the future and I’m disappointed not to catch their full set having arrived later than anticipated at the festival but rest assured I’ll be catching them sometime in the near future as they are definitely a band to keep on my radar.
There’s just enough time to grab some food before catching the next band on the main stage, and unlike a lot of the other festivals that I’ve been to there is an abundance of wonderful foody type smells and a choice of festival food to pick from. The usual burger and chips style of festival nosh is not for this festival, why settle for that when you can have falafel, posh pizza or crunchie milkshake?
Next up on the main stage is Molotov Jukebox who bring both their Samba induced Jazz type sounds to the festival and also their charismatic and infectious enthusiasm. They ease everyone into this sunny afternoon and get everyone up on their feet and dancing – or swaying in the case of people who have been quenching their thirst with alcohol.
The onstage chemistry between singer Natalie and violinist Sam Apley is a joy to watch and the two of them never stop smiling throughout. They look like they are having a whale of a time and they are taking us all along for the ride. Their voices compliment each other perfectly. The sun is out and they urge us to make the most of it ” you never know, it could be the last day of Summer” , and you know he could be right.
They close their set with popular track ‘Trying’ and the chorus of “I’m trying so hard” could be used as their personal catchphrase as they came and delivered one hell of a performance.
Next up is Brooklyn based dance punk band Friends who have been described as one of the most influential sounds of 2012, and this seems evident from the amount of fans that they already have in the crowd that are singing along to their tunes. Fan favourite ‘Friend Crush‘ has the crowd grappling for a chance to hug lead singer Samantha as she throws herself to the mercy of the crowd.
Not a shy and retiring type as her onstage dress of what looks like PVC shorts and matching jacket and hat indicates but in this heat it’s a brave choice. She must be sweltering! Following on with other single ‘I’m his Girl’ the crowd remain in hyper mood and the energy levels are not dropping for a minute. Before you know it they are goneand for Samantha, it’s probably time to change into something more comfortable and appropriate for the heat.
Continuing the feelgood vibe that has been created this afternoon is soulful vocalist Lianne La Havas who brings with her an air of chilled out relaxation. Its easy to see why she is creating a stir in all the right places in the music business and has come a long way since her days as a backing singer for Paloma Faith, and now it seems to be her turn to take the limelight.
“This is a song about my ex-boyfriend – it’s an angry song” she announces before launching into ‘Gone’ a poignant tale about a lying partner. The striking lyric of “love is not blind, it is just deaf and it is dumb” accompanied by the lone piano indicating the pain in the song and the tone that she delivers it is reminiscent of the iconic Amy Winehouse.
Ending with the title track of her new album ‘Is your Love Big Enough’ the upbeat funky opening riff and catchy chorus is an ideal way to leave an impression on this festival crowd with her smile lighting up the crowd as much as the sun that is blazing down.
Time has now arrived for one of my personal highlights as Adam Ant and the Good the Mad and The Lovely Posse roll into town. This being the third time I’ve seen Him in the past twelve months I’m interested to see if He can make things different enough from the other gigs to hold my attention.
Immediately showing that he means business Adam thrusts his way through ‘Dog Eat Dog’ , well that’s certainly grabbing mine and the rest of the audiences attention for that matter as both myself and the rest of the assembled crowd ate enrapturedby this bold start.
He certainly is a striking figure in piratey garb, and when he is joined onstage by backing singer Georgie who has joined in the leopard print theme with a gorgeous leopard print Vivian of Hollway dress (info courtesy of her twitter account earlier that morning) they both look absolutely stunning.
A massive cheer goes up as ‘Stand and Deliver’ starts and the wistful looks on the faces of the crowd indicate that we have been transported back 30 years (30 years? It really can’t be that long can it?) and every single person is loving this retro ride into the past with Adam giving it as much gusto now than he gave it all those years ago.
Regardless of the trip into the past I can’t help but hope that it wont be long before Adams new CD ‘Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter’ is released as the live shows have really whetted my appetite for new material.
Slowing the tempo down with ballad ‘Wonderful’ showing that he is as skilled at performing a soulful ballad as he is the pop tunes for which he is known and loved.
Ramping the tempo right back up again with ‘Antmusic’ and ‘Goody Two Shoes’ the crowd show no signs of wanting this Ant Party to end. There’s not much talk between songs but Adam strikes me as a guy who lets his music do the talking and as he finally speaks to introduce a cover version by one of his favourite singers, I can see that it’s quality not quantity of words that matters as he does a storming punked-up version of T-rex’s ‘Get it On’ . Not only does he do a fabulous version – his choice of song prooves that he also has impeccable taste.
Finally bringing the Ant party to a close with ‘Prince Charming‘ , the opening chords of the song sounding amazing and not one person in the crowd needs to be reminded of the dance moves. He has once again put on a phenomenal show and you have to pity whoever has to follow it.
That task in hand tonight goes to Ocean Colour Scene who luckily seem to be well up for the task. Reminding us if why they have been chosen as headlining act for the night they start with ‘Riverboat song ‘ as if nudging us to say ‘This was a great song wasn’t it?
I’m not sure if it’s the ‘Wiggo’ effect, in that everything remotely mod since Bradley Wiggins success in the Olympics has got a rosy tinted glow, or whether we’ve just got nostalgic for a decent tune but tonight Ocean Colour Scene are sounding like they own the place and indeed for tonight they probably do the heaving crowd are bellowing every syllable of the song back at the band and then as he starts ‘Profit In Peace’ Simons throaty vocals seem to float on the air as if carried by the breeze.
As if acknowledging that this isn’t the only festival taking place this weekend Guitarist Steve Craddock gives a quick burst of ‘Fools Gold’ as and to the Stone Roses who are playing the V Festival (see Tanya’s review of the V Festival for further details ) the crowd cheer for them to do more, knowing full well that they would more than do it justice. As if acknowledging the crowds cries for a cover version they burst into a rousing version of The Beatles ‘Daytripper’ – probably closer to their own musical roots than the Stone Roses and the crowd are all up on their feet and singing along.
Continuing with the singalong theme they don’t leave without singing crowd favourite ‘The Day We Caught the Train’ With Simon’s cheeky personality making an appearance as he introduces it by saying “Sing along with the chorus – it’s in Spanish” a quote that has me giggling for ages on the drive home. The crowd oblige his request and our voices are now all hoarse from the constant singalong that this set has become.
They have succeeded in delivering a set which has not only pleased their old fans but has also i’m sure gained them a whole load of new ones too. A successful end to day two.