Wednesday, 24 August 2011

V Festival: Armchair Viewing

Not that I caught much due to little television coverage, but I thought it'd be fun to do a little round up of some of the V Festival highlights. Or lowlights, as the case may be. I'm the first to admit that V isn't always my favourite festival, tending to favour a predictable and overtly poppy lineup, but I'm always open to new music and occasionally somebody suprises me...

Dizzee Rascal - From where I was sitting, Mr Mills appeared a little tired: too much pre-show partying maybe? However, you can't blame V, for he was an easy and safe booking, guaranteed to get the crowd regardless of how many times they'd probably heard it live before, Perfectly inoffensive, but perhaps Rascal needs to release something new in order to prove his validity in a genre that's currently pretty competitive.

Bruno Mars: Far more likeable when backed by a live band, it can't be denied that Bruno Mars does have a certain way with young and excitable crowds, who holler back his words at him throughout. A high octane version of 'The Lazy Song'in particular hit all the right spots.

Aloe Blacc: Probably more at the fault of V's sound issues than the man himself, but the sound for newcomer Aloe Blacc seemed significantly flatter than at his Glastonbury show last month. Perhaps due to a fickle crowd, the crowd lost interest during his set, perking up inevitably during 'I Need A Dollar' dollar but not doing much else. Unfortunate, but to be expected from a V crowd who tend to expect only the hits.

Example: The polar opposite to Blacc, Example knows exactly how to work a crowd that are positively intoxicated on the drop during the pinnacle of  'Changed The Way You Kissed Me.' Mosh pits spring up, pogoing is rife and the crowd stretches far beyond what the eye can see. A definite career definer to top off a chart slaying year.

Jessie J: Earning well deserved kudos for carrying on with her show temporarily handicapped, the hometown performance for Jessie J at the Chelmsford site well and truly paid off. She genuinely has a very strong voice which becomes even more noticeable when not hidden behind dancing and controversial gesticulations.

Tinie Tempah: Question: Does it ever get old? Answer: Nah, not really. Little more to say than that; an impressive live show, as always, for Tinie Tempah.

Plan B: Plan B's live shows seemed to have turned into more of a personal pleasure that an audience one, the on stage guitar thrashing and affable tussles during a frantic 'Stay Too Long' between bandmates showing a tight unit who are having the time of their lives. Will be interesting seeing how his next move, a return to rap, goes down with his obviously swelling fan base.

Arctic Monkeys: Benefiting hugely from some great lighting, and of course THAT slick new haircut, Alex Turner and Arctic Monkeys really have experienced a new lease of life. Far more on point live than they've ever been, they put on a straightforward full rock show regardless of the lads down the front looking gormless until they drop  'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.' An experimental choice of headliner that well and truly paid off

 Rihanna/The Saturday's: Both seemed to rely a little too much on their scantily clad nature and the high ratio of teenage boys in the audience, as the sound and tuning definitely wasn't great for two such high profile acts. Disappointing, especially in Rihanna's case.

The Wanted: Being able to stir up a mosh pit when you're a boy band is quite a coup, and testimony to the fact that 'Glad You Came' by The Wanted is undoubtedly one of the best pop songs of the year. The five piece might be ones to watch for crossover appeal in the coming months, especially considering the dance enthused elements they seem to be experimenting with.

N Dubz: I can't say I'm a huge fan, but in comparison to many females on stage at V this weekend, Tulisa's vocals were noticeably strong and managed to hold up the rather incoherent mutterings of Dappy and Fazer. A good show compared to how they were when I saw them years ago.

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