Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival 2011 – Day 3

Fun fact: the Isle of Wight is the first festival to be filmed in 3D, the on site Sky lounge is probably full of people trying to stay warm and enjoy the festival experience as rain hits the third day of the festival. But for those who brave the elements the main stage is the place to be, with both Liam Gallagher and the Kasabian front man, Tom Meighan, commenting on the Third dimensional aspect of the festival with appropriate hand gestures.

Two Door Cinema Club
Opening up the main stage were the indie rockers, offering a light early afternoon jam with sympathy for the drizzle laden crowd. They offered the perfect example of how an indie band can fill a main stage, while remaining true to their tightly arranged style.The first of an incredible line up they stood out with their modest words and tunes, getting the early crowd bouncing and singing along.

Pixie Lott
The weather had turned for the worst as the young soloist stepped onto the stage in an outfit made for conditions far from the actual weather. Her slightly nervous start could be excused for inexperience with the festival crowd, she first played a festival here in 2009 in the Big Top stage, but unfortunately it really didn’t lift anything, especially the spirits of the crowd. The early siting of an auto tune unit was also confirmed when she spoke to the crowd, thank god she wasn’t lip-syncing though, or I might have never have forgiven what I had hoped was the start of a different pop star. I still have hope for this genuine and modest girl, her preview single, No One Does It Better, sounded more orchestral and soft than previous tunes, the weather was perhaps unfortunate for her but that’s the British summer for you.

Plan B

The stage was dressed for the Defamation of Strickland Banks star, and on strolled a grey suited man to warm the crowd up. Using only human formed sounds he wowed the frozen fans with an eclectic mix of beat boxing drum & bass, dance, and popular music, using only a microphone. Then on strolled Plan B and we finally got the show we wanted, as he cycled through the hits on his avant-garde and edgy album. Perhaps not the best performer on the stage that day but he definitely brought a sense of solo performance with boldness to warm even chilled festival goers.

The Script

If Plan B warmed the crowd The Script offered a sense of connection that makes the word sympathy sound pathetic, almost all of them got out from the cover of the stage to get wet, almost hurling themselves into the front rows of the crowd. Their usual jovial  personalities made the festival seem almost sunny for a while, and they managed to get one of the biggest sing a longs of the whole festival, and I only say ‘one of’ because of the acts to follow. All in all The Script delivered their popular and catchy tunes with genuine brilliance but also were able to connect with the crowd during a day where most artists would have feared the daunting task.

Beady Eye

You never know quite what to expect from a Gallagher when they walk out onto the stage, both musically and antic wise, in Liam’s first festival gig with his new post Oasis band there were plenty of expectations. The mission statement from Liam himself was to become bigger than ‘the Beatles’ even provocatively choosing a similar typeface to them. Four Letter Word opened their set and those words continued to gush throughout the performance. I have to say I liked their style. Songs such as The Roller really sounded good on the festival stage Oasis never played. But I can’t help feel Oasis had been his chance to become as big as the Beatles. Even the crowd clamored for those old classics, and the band themselves apart from Gallagher and on occasion the drummer were nondescript and bland with no personalities to latch on to. Good? Yes, better than the Beatles? No not really at all. His sound needs to evolve for it to move further, though he is dressing for where he wants to get to so far.

Kasabian

When a band are late on stage, it’s bad. When they are late on stage in the rain, it’s unforgivable, but I could have forgiven Kasabian for murder once they were on. They strolled on to lights and Club Foot, an old favourite and it only got better, with Tom Meighan thanking the crowd at every opportunity. The wind seemed to die and so followed the rain as we plowed through a set list full of the very best that this great band has to offer. Throughout Empire and Shoot The Runner, LSF and Underdog the crowd where with them. They played new songs Velociraptor! and Switchblade Smiles  from their forthcoming fourth album, also called Velociraptor! set to come out in September. Showing the Kaiser Chiefs how to play unreleased material at a festival, they truly rocked the foundations of the stage, putting on a visual and audio spectacle. The animated Tom Meighan strode off stage for Take Aim, leaving Sergio Pizzorno to sing his mellow trumpet accompanied song, Meighan strode back on to take charge of the crowd again raising his glass to the 75,000 strong soaked crowd. Then came Fire, but only after the whole band departed from the stage before returning with lights and an intro playing what can only be described with the use of expletives; the flares lit in the crowd and the stage was framed by smoke as the crowd forgot the conditions around them. Awesome doesn’t do moments like this justice. The crowd sang for a reprise and kept on singing, leaving Meighan to take his time thanking them before departing. We were still singing the chorus as we trekked back through the mud.

So the Isle of Wight Festival, perhaps the best line-up this year of all the festivals:

Best Crowd Vibe: Chase & Status/Kasabian

Most Misplaced Stupid Awful Band: Parade (and they were in a tent on a sunny day without rain and I still hated them)

Best Song: Fire – Kasabian

Best Crowd Interaction:  The Script

Artist That Should Never Have Been Booked – Parade

Best Quotation: ‘I Hate F***ing vips’ – Iggy Pop (as he drags David Grohl onstage)

Best Dress: Pixie Lott/Liam Gallagher

Best Pleasant Surprise: The Stornoways/The Courteeners

Biggest surprise at being worse live than on a screen – Parade

Happiest band – Foo Fighters

That’s all for now. Hopefully CYHT will be at more festivals this year.

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