Big Reunion proves highly satisfying with its choice of acts

The Big Reunion Weekend review

published: Tue 8th Dec 2009

Howard Donald

Friday 4th to Sunday 6th December 2009
Butlins Resort, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 1NJ, England MAP
£159 ticket with accomodation - SOLD OUT
last updated: Mon 9th Nov 2009

So the last day of the The Big Reunion Weekends draws too, which have seen once again seen some very good performances, Dizzee Rascal & The Wombats in particular. We arise mid afternoon to see Skegness has stopped raining but there are still many scattered lakes around the site. The Skyline seems to have more people than usual in the day. Many are feeding the bandits or having their photos taken by one of the many pay per photo photographers scouting the site. Some are just sat in the pub whilst others are having their faces made up at one of the many face paint / cosmetic type stalls. Some are even playing a huge nursery style Connect 4 game.

Angie Brown
Angie Brown is our first artist of the day at a very late 10.15; unfortunately for the second weekend in a row the Skyline has few people attending, losing out once again to the X Factor semi final, which is a shame as Angie Brown's voice is well worth a listen. If you don't know Angie Brown, well she used to perform on that reality TV show Club Reps, remember that? No? Well you might remember her voice being on Bizarre Inc's 'I'm Gonna Get You' or Motiv8's top ten hit 'Rockin' for Myself', so imagine the majority of early 90's dance hits featuring massive female vocals & you have Angie Brown. Gradually the Skyline fills out & Brown certainly gets the crowd dancing with her retro 90's songs.

The Holloways (dressing room)
eFestivals gets invited to a very special secret gig laid on by The Holloways in their dressing room, seems the festival held a competition & the prize was an intimate gig by The Holloways, well their dressing room is as intimate as it can get. They ask us what to play and someone shouted play some East 17, so a very different version of 'Stay Another Day' is played on acoustic and accordion, good stuff.

Last year's festival surprise was Chesney Hawkes & once again the Reunion have done a great retro spot with East 17. Having treaded the comeback trail this year, not in the same vein as Take That, they have however played some festivals, including Glastonbury of all places. The crowd in the pavilion has swelled massively with late 20 girls screaming a lot. East 17 come on minus the talented, piano playing tony Mortimer & we are left with the other three original members.

East 17
Brian Harvey, whose life seems to go from one disaster to another, looks in reasonable shape, as do Terence Coldwell and Jonathan Hendy. It's hard to believe that in the early 90's East 17 where bigger than Take That with over 20 million records sold, yet Brian Harvey is in a very depreciative mood. Referring to the Centre Stage he says "we thought we were playing in there, but they brought us out here, I don't think we have ever played in a restaurant before!" He then asks "what is this? A weekender or a holiday? It looks great. Wish I could afford a holiday here, but I am fucking skint!"

The singles get a massive approval including 'Steam', 'Deep', 'It's Alright' & the superb Xmas song 'Stay Another Day'. Brian Harvey's vocals are still top drawer & he genuinely seems to enjoy the female attention still.

Once Harvey & the boys have left the stage we head into the Centre Stage where once again Soft Toy Emergency are playing their brand of upbeat, female vocal led form of rock. Jen's enthusiasm shines through, whether she is singing with guts, dancing around the mic stand or telling us to clap, dance scream... I am really beginning to enjoy this band & will definitely hope to catch them again in the future.

The Wombats
The Holloways hit the stage, Alfie Jackson in his trademark red bowler hat. 'Generator' still has a freshness, the band seem so much more up for this gig; I guess it being the last of three weekends has helped the enthusiasm a little. A great little cover version of Lily Allen's 'Not fair' is different & yet special too. All good stuff which leads the way for The Wombats headline set. The Wombats also seem to have that little bit more enthusiasm for tonight Murph is getting into his groove thing & Tord on bass is excitable as ever. 'Kill The Director' and 'Let's Dance To Joy Division' are very good but set ender 'Moving To New York' seriously takes it to another level, with the band playing a long outro with some guitar smashing going on too, all very rock n roll.

Howard Donald
The Wombats end the Indie music for the night, DJ Rhino, tries to keep it going but the mass exodus for Howard Donald proves too much of a match. We too head for the Redz stage, which has a more club decoration than the social club feeling Centre Stage. Howard Donald has his head covered in a very long beanie hat & puts all his concentration into spinning the decks which he does extremely well. I noticed a few Prodigy beats in the mix which gets the audience excited, Donald's set lasts until 4.00 by which time we to decide to call it a day.

Once again the Big Reunion Weekend has proved highly satisfying with its choice of acts. Lets hope this continues in 2010, where hopefully we can all get reunited again.
review by: Gary Stafford

photos by: Gary Stafford

Friday 4th to Sunday 6th December 2009
Butlins Resort, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 1NJ, England MAP
£159 ticket with accomodation - SOLD OUT
last updated: Mon 9th Nov 2009


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