Ah, Bestival. Probably my favorite festival of the year. Run by Radio 1 DJ and Record Label boss, Rob da Bank. It year has it’s own theme, and on the Saturday there’s the fancy dress competition. Robbie has a good knack at choosing acts, and although, when they’re announced it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, by Sunday night, everyone has had a fantastic time.
On of the bonuses about Bestival, is that as well as being a music festival it put just as much effort and time to be a literary festival, film festival, silent disco and cabaret club. In a field. This means that even if the music isn’t to your liking (which is in itself a challenge, since the festival has over 20 stages) you can always spend a morning doing some yoga, and afternoon listening to some poetry, and an evening playing ping-pong in an ultra-violet shipping container.
Right. Onto some bands.
The Bandstand stage is usually commandeered by local bands. On Thursday night the stage was graced with Fine Lines, a folky, rock band, with haunting vocals and intricate melodies. They were a superb band to watch on a Thursday night.
Everyone was very excited about La Roux, performing in the big top late on Thursday night. In truth, I wasn’t too fussed about seeing her. However, I’m very glad I did. She had a great stage persona, talking to the crowd, getting them hyped up. I felt the night could have gone either way. La Roux appeared on stage in a shirt and full length chinos, which was a refreshing change from all the crop-tops and short short skirts we’re so used to seeing on 4Music.
Ok, so now we’re getting into some emotional territory. Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
are were one of my favorite bands. So you can imagine how I felt when they announced this was to be their last gig. Actually, I was fine with that. See, they had a three album deal with Sunday Best (Rob da Bank’s label), and they’ve produced three fantastic albums. I’m actually quite happy they’ve decided to quite while they’re ahead. It means we’re left with 3 album’s worth of songs, and 7 years of memories. (Or ya’know, release a multitude of bad records, and then sell their soul to popular talent show. I’m looking at you Ricky Wilson. Such a waste. Such a terrible waste). Rob himself introduced them in the Big Top on Sunday afternoon, which was unusual, and he made a speech about how great they were and blah blah blah, which was lovely. Their set was, as per usual, astounding. (Though I may be a bit biased). Pip posses a rare talent to switch from dark, harrowing lyrics during the songs to throw jokes at both Dan and the audience.
Though I like their music, a lot of it’s quite hard to dance to. Hannah Reid has a cracking voice, which means there’s always the danger that it will be 45 minutes of us watching her hit very difficult notes very well. And although that’s better than a poke with a sharp stick, we could get the same effect by spending £5.99 on a CD and listening to them that way. Unfortunately, I found that was pretty much what happened. People around me seem to enjoy it though, and I can’t say she’s not talented. But the whole show ended up with people looking up at four people on stage, in silence – much like this (credit goes to beeb & Glastonbury for that vid) – because no one has the self confidence to sing along – waiting for them to end. I’m glad I’ve seen them, but I feel no desire to see them again. I mean, Reid didn’t even take her coat off. Very little movement.
I’m going to end this on a positive. Foals. After all the dance-y bands, disco music, and singers with laptops, it was nice to see some people with actual guitars. The Foals know how to play a crowd. They came out, covered in glitter and those fantastic gold leggings. They started with ‘My number‘, getting everyone to dance the cold away. They managed to get everyone singing, to their less well known tracks. Defiantly Festival material.