The sun came out on sunday, in a take no prisoners destructive beating down tireless breezeless way, so I decided to go and watch bands on outside stages in a reckless and cavalier fashion. It was worth it though because all of the bands on this day I saw were fantastic, and I had an excellent festival closing.
- Laura Marling
For a lone whispy vocalist, Marling commands a powerful presence. Her songs contain a spirit from old albion that feels very free and gave a metaphorical airiness to the ambience. She was backed by a very tight band who were used sparingly to great affect. She seemed genuinely happy that she had an audience and that we were enjoying it, which made the audience feel rather connected. There are not many performances that I leave with an overwhelming urge to give the artist a big hug.
- Paul Simon
There was a definite duality to this set. The first few songs were pleasant enough in a relaxed environment that was easy to chat over. However, when ‘Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes’ came in, the crowd’s interest was piqued. The pleasant, clean guitars floated over and amongst the audience filling all with an overwhelming joy of the summery setting. From this point on he kept them up with some hits (one or two old Simon and Garfunkel’s), and finished on a high with a satisfying climax of ‘Call me Al’.
- The Go! Team
There is no footage that can accurately demonstrate the power they have live. Watching The Go! Team Live is a truly electrifying experience, and ‘Buy Nothing Day’ is a truly spectacular song. However, this was an absolutely exhausting hour and a bit. They played the whole set with the volume cranked up to 11 and all of their bouncy crowd pleasers, they avoided more chilled songs like ‘Ready to go Steady’ which could’ve given us a much needed rest.
- The Low Anthem
I could not have asked for a bigger contrast with The Go! Team. The Low Anthem’s particular brand of personal, intimate Americana gels in a way that is slightly intangible. It was a very well judged set, starting with gentle acoustic songs that seemed to fit well with the audience, and then a few slightly more driving songs with a full electric band, and finishing with a mobile phone feedback solo. The crowd was wonderful and was 100% on their side; clapping tumultuously after every song, and being respectful during which made the gig a pleasure for all involved.
A fantastic festival closer. A truly joyous band to experience. Just watching 10+ people squeeze onto a stage and enjoy themselves is completely contagious. The crowd began square dancing and throwing arms over their companions shoulders. They were very tight and yet definitely maintained the impression that they were strafing the knife edge and could fall into chaos at any moment. All too quickly they reached their last song, which was a cover of The Clash’s ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ featuring Billy Bragg on Lead Vocals.