Black Sabbath delight and Hyde Park erupts on metal day

British Summer Time review 2014

published: Thu 10th Jul 2014


Thursday 3rd to Sunday 13th July 2014
Hyde Park, Park Lane, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, W2 2UH, England MAP
from £35 to £66.60
daily capacity: 65000
last updated: Fri 6th Jun 2014

So, with Day 1 out of the way, it’s onto the “metal” day which finds Black Sabbath headlining. The first thing that is noticeable as I make my way on site in gleaming sunshine is the different crowd. Gone are the hipsters and indie kids, and in its place I find a real mixture of the old and young. Yes, some of course are in standard-issue black with long hair etc, but the audience is more diverse than that. Clearly the music and line-up transcends stereotype.

First up on the Oak Stage are Soulfly who most defiantly blow away the cobwebs and clearly state their intent. Their brief set providing the perfect appetiser to the day ahead. They have been around the block a few times, but no-one can deny their rightful place in the annuls of rock history as Motorhead are next to grace the 'Oak'. Yes they have the history, the back catalogue but something for me was missing. It’s true that Lemmy Kilmister is not the most energetic of performers preferring to remain static behind his mike stand, so it’s up to guitarist Phil Campbell to 'carry' the show and bring some much needed zest and movement to proceedings. Something he does with aplomb as he makes use of every square inch of the stage. Having said that, and despite Lemmy’s recent heart problems he remains an imposing presence.

Having not seen this next band live for at least 18 years, as far as I was concerned, Faith No More  were my headliners. Dressed as men of the clergy, they waste no time getting straight into the hits, 'From Out Of Nowhere' grabbing you by the throat.. They bring some much needed vigour and urgency to the afternoon, a glorious 'Epic' is delivered and dispatched with precision working the crowd into hysteria as they chant/sing along. During a triumphant set, lead singer Mike Patton’s only mis-step may have been mentioning the Amercian Public holiday the 4th of July (which was today) to a very muted response. His retort being “Oooooh, that’s where we kick your ass”. Ending their set with 'We Care A Lot' , they came, they played, they conquered.

Soundgarden scaled the mainstream back in 1994 with the release of 'Superunknown' and tonight sees then perform this in it’s entirety and according to lead singer Chris Cornell, for the last time. It’s not long before Black Sabbath take to the stage. It’s been a day of re-acquaintance between band and fans, so its fitting that they should be the main draw for today. It’s Ozzy Osbourne’s wedding anniversary today, and it appears Sharon Osbourne has agreed to let him out to play with the boys. Something the massed throngs are no doubt happy and grateful for. This could be one of (if not) the last time this line-up plays live, so every moment is savoured. They end of course with 'Paranoid' as Hyde Park erupts. Is this truly the end? 60,000 fans hope not!

British Summertime is nothing but diverse, today the boybands are coming for us and resistance is futile. McBusted top the bill tonight, but before we get to that there is much to sample. Upon another seamless arrival on-site we are greeted by the news that the Theatre Stage has been closed for safety reasons.

Five were due to perform there today, its not hard to see why in a field of 60,000 that Five (amongst other big draws) would be heavily over-subscribed in a venue that perhaps holds no more than 400. So, they are off the bill, whilst some of the other artist moved to other stages.

Opening the Oak stage are urban street dancers Diversity, who much like everyone else has witnessed their incredible routines on the television. Having been very familiar with them, I wasn’t expecting much, however I was wrong. They were simply incredible with their jaw-dropping antics on stage. A fine way to get today’s show on the road.

As expected, today is very much a family day and has a nice relaxed feel to it. The sun again is shining (which helps). I do hear on my travels throughout the site mutterings about the price of food and drink etc, whilst I would agree to a degree with that sentiment, it is sadly to be expected at all these types of major outdoor shows or festivals.

Despite this, everyone is in good spirits and the screaming (I have never heard anything like it) for The Vamps as they take to the stage is incredible. It’s easy to see why they appeal to young girls, they have the looks, the moves and the pop songs that sees them crowd singing every word.

For a slightly older generation, it’s the next act that generates much the same (if not more) excitement. The Backstreet Boys have come to show how it’s done, their show is slick as you would expect and choc-full of radio friendly hits. There is a sense they want to be taken more seriously as Nick Carter picks up a guitar and they tell the audience how they are writing songs as they break into an acoustic set. It’s not long before they are back with the dance routines and pop hits, its at this moment the heavens open (for the first time this weekend) and we are deluged by a thunderstorm. This however is not enough to dampen anyone’s spirit.

And so, it’s the moment that mums/dads and their offspring has been waiting for as McBusted are lowered to stage from above in a full sized DeLorean. Talk about making an entrance. Pandemonium ensues as the hybrid of Busted and McFly leap, jump, bound and throw themselves all over the stage. Although no longer a “boy” band, some of their audience has grown up with them, some of the younger children present with their parents would perhaps not known what to make of some of the crude or sexually overt aspects of the show. But it was done with a cheeky wink, and went over most young children’s heads.

There was mix of hits from their respective back catalogues. They perform tirelessly for the crowd and even though I wouldn’t class myself as a fan, they were an exuberant joy to watch.

All in all, it’s been a very diverse but enjoyable 3 days at British Summertime. The weather of course helped, and despite one or two performances; it’s been a blast. Yes there will be some criticism over the closure of the one of the stages, or the wisdom of booking artists onto stages/venues far too small for them and also the size VIP hospitality/premium area. But overall (and judging by all the smiling faces) the majority left happy.

I look forward to see what they have in store for 2015.

review by: Kevin Pick

photos by: Kevin Pick

Thursday 3rd to Sunday 13th July 2014
Hyde Park, Park Lane, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, W2 2UH, England MAP
from £35 to £66.60
daily capacity: 65000
last updated: Fri 6th Jun 2014

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