Day One of V Festival (Staffordshire) turned out to be amazing
V Festival (Staffordshire) 2010 review
published: Tue 31st Aug 2010
last updated: Wed 18th Aug 2010
Tickets sold out in 90 mins for this year's V Festival extravaganza. This was V's 15th year and what a year it turned out to be!
The weather forecast for the weekend, especially Saturday didnt look good at all so I packed the car for every eventuality. Wet weather gear, wellies, comfortable walking shoes, big jumpers, gloves, hats, you name I had it in the car.
After hearing about all the tailbacks on Friday on the local radio and that the estimated crowd was 90,000, I prepared myself for a hellish drive to get to the park. Surprisingly enough, the other eFestivals photographer and I got to the site in 25 minutes from the comfort of home (I just don't do camping), which was fabulous.
We left the car and made the trek to the arena, after going through numerous security checks and sniffer dogs we found our way to the ticket collections box office. Passes collected, wristbands on and off we went through the arena and off to the press tent. What a jaunt!
The clouds had already gathered in the sky and the outlook was grey, so it didn't look too hopeful for a day without rain. The press tent soon filled up, photographer after photographer. Line ups were handed out by the ever efficient PR organisers Cake, and the day gathered momentum.
The main stage saw the energetic arrival of reformed Skunk Anansie. With a new album out called 'Wonderlustre' they had a nine song banging set. Skunk was dressed in the most outrageous and memorable outfit of the weekend, the biggest knitted gold bolero jacket you have ever seen! The band were such a joy to watch and Skunk was so pumped up, she even jumped down to the pit, embarrassed the hell out of one of the camera men filming the event and jumped on the barrier to caress some of the crowd.
The booby prize for the most lack lustre performance was Plan B, although he had one of the biggest crowds of the afternoon and he had the audience eating out of his hand, I found the set a bit bland to say the least. I love his album 'The Defamation Of Strickland Banks', but this gig left me feeling numb.
The Arena was strewn with mainly young screaming girls. The heat got worse when Chiperty Chip came on stage. He asked all the crowd to cup there hands and make a 'C' in the air then started with his first number. For a young man with only one album under his belt, 'I Am Chipmunk', He's had many hits and had the crowd eating out of his hands.
He did say he'd just got back from LA after putting some tracks down for his second album. The audience didn't seem to care too much though all they wanted was the music and a good time.
The set was strewn with all his hits including: 'Oopsy Daisy', 'Diamond Rings', 'Look For Me', and 'Until You Were Gone'. Chip was a true crowd pleaser.
We moseyed on over to the Channel 4 stage where Eels were playing: I don't really have any knowledge of any of their back catalogue and had to admit on the day that I hadn't a clue what they sang or who they were. Our other photographer was disgusted that I didn't know anything about tracks such as 'Novocaine For The Soul' but each to their own I guess. I actually found the set very samey, although credit where credits due they are amazing musicians. Just not too sure about the white boiler suit and ZZ Top beard look of the lead singer known to everyone as E!
The grey clouds and rain disappeared later in the day so we stripped off our wet suits. I think we had lost half a stone in sweat in the process as wearing non breathable plastic wet weather gear from head to toe is just not good! If anyone thinks this job is glamorous, then think again. I had the worst blistered feet I've ever had and had never walked so much in my life.
It was another trip back to the sauna after that (the Nissan Juke Arena) to see Electro Pop act La Roux. I'd seen them before on the NME Tour in Birmingham and was suitably impressed. Front women Ellie Jackson didn't disappoint, with her chicken like dancing and vocal gymnastics the audience were in awe.
Hit after hit blasted out of the speakers, 'Bulletproof', 'In for The Kill' and 'Quicksand' were the more memorable ones. I kept staring at her quiff in between shooting but not one hair on her head moved an inch. Quality hair products for sure!
Another trip back to the Nissan Juke Arena to see Goldfrapp. One band Ive never actually got round to seeing live. I should be very ashamed I know, but at least I made an effort at V. I had heard good reports from various sources that this band rocked and bloody hell they were right.
Lead singer Alison came on stage in the most stylish dress. It looked like to me as if shed sat for hours watching TV and eating toffee pennies so she could keep the foil to stick on her dress. What an impact it made! It's no wonder she's one of the most stylish women in music. Made for great photographs too.
The sound was amazing and the bands were incredibly energetic. The lead guitarist had the tightest silver trousers on I've ever seen and the Violinist/ Kitair man was wearing a unitard type garment in zebra print. The band gelled so well. I just couldn't fathom why they weren't on the main stage!
A ten song set definitely whetted my appetite, getting the set underway with 'Dreaming', 'Alive', 'Rocket', and classy 'Number 1'. They finished the set with none other than the Goldfrapp favourite 'Ohh La La'.
The day was nearing to an end whilst I didn't want to finish listening to music my feet were ready to give up the ghost. Wearing wellies all day with the wrong type of socks gives you blisters, painful ones at that. Still, it was back to the press tent for a five minute sit down, then back off to the main stage to see Faithless.
I had eagerly anticipated the arrival of Faithless. I did nearly get to see them earlier in the year at Wolverhampton Civic but there was a mix up with tickets so I was left disappointed. All I can say is this band certainly know how to put on a show, from the lights to the music, the tracks to the lyrics, they totally rocked my mind. My partner has been telling me for years that they are one of the best bands shes ever seen live and I have to say 'never a true word said'.
The crowd went bonkers when 'Insomnia' and 'We Come 1' were played, the music just made you wanna dance and have a good time.
Next I had to decide what headliner I was going to see and in the end I plumped for Kasabian on the main stage. The crowd went back as far as the eye could see and as soon as the first bars of 'Shoot the Runner' were played they all went mental. Kasabian wanted to put on a massive show and put on a massive show they did before heading off for a twelve month break. Although I'm not a big fan of the band, they are amazing live and it's no wonder they get asked to headline so many festivals. They have zillions of fans and they are maestros of music.
Tom was his usual self, passionate and so up for it. Serge looked like he'd come back from a jog, with a shell suit and headband for attire; it was so not stylish.
The blistering set comprised of so many hits. I had forgotten just how many famous tracks they have released. 'Underdog', was a definite fans favourite, followed by 'Where Did All The Love Go', 'Swarfiga', fabulous 'Processed Beats', 'Reason is Treason', 'Mothman', 'hick as Thieves' and 'Take Aim'. Best songs of the night were all saved for the encore - 'Vlad the Impaler' and 'LSF'.
This band never fail to disappoint; love them or hate them they are so good live and they know it.
Day One of V turned out to be amazing so it's no wonder the tickets sold out so fast. Hopefully the line up for 2011 will be as good, if not better. I trekked off home to bed to get a well earned rest for day two and to hunt for plasters!
review by: Michelle and Trish Owen-Williams
last updated: Wed 18th Aug 2010
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