The Streets bow out at Big Reunion Weekend 2 after a decade career

The Big Reunion Weekend 2 2011 review

published: Thu 1st Dec 2011

The Streets

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011
Butlins Resort, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 1NJ, England MAP
£165 ticket with accommodation - sold out
last updated: Mon 7th Nov 2011

So the clocks have gone back an hour, british summertime is officially over & the Coca Cola 'Holidays are coming' ad has been aired on tv, yes summer is over, winter has started which can only mean one thing…. Big Reunion weekend, the UK's Biggest Indoor Winter Music Festival.

around the festival site (2)
With over 15,000 festival goers expected over the two weekends, Butlins embraces itself for its winter dose of out of control drinking, very little clothing being worn & if clothing is to be worn then fancy dress is the attire. This year's fancy dress theme seemed to be lots of computer gaming characters & men dressed in combat gear.

In the past TBRW has embraced a 360 degree music policy with past line ups featuring indie landfill bands including The Enemy, The Courteeners, The Holloways, The Wombats, The Twang in fact any band from the last ten years beginning with 'the' and then they have had cheesy acts Chesney Hawkes & East 17. Now I don't mind a bit of cheese & I don't mind a little white indie landfill & throw that in with a mix of R n B, DJs & club brands TBRW had it all in a very complimentary mix. So I was disappointed when the line-up was announced this year that there was no indie or any cheese. Maybe this is a reflection of the current music scene with indie music struggling to make an impact on chart side of the business. This however has not had an impact on ticket sales for TBRW with both weekends selling out, in fact weekend one was oversold by 700 tickets, this was rectified by the organisers selling the tickets half price without accommodation & a free upgrade to VIP status.

L
So onto the actual event, we arrived on Friday with a quick ticket wristband exchange & made our way to the Skyline Pavillion to catch up with Loick Essien but on the stage is a solo rapper who it turns out to be talented Luke Bingham rapping / singing his latest singles Can’t Move On & Nothing to Lose. Bingham struts around the stage with confidence & gets the small assembled Skyline crowd loosened up. Next on the bill is rapper L who I couldn't find anything about online, I guess searching for L online does make it rather difficult, anyhow with his glasses & floppy hat he struts his stuff, the crowd like him & he then makes way for Loick Essien, now having seen Loick Essien videos on the various music channels I was surprised to see him play with a full band twisting his songs into more soulful performances some I must say surprised me with their quality, definitely one to catch on another festival line-up in the future.

Devlin
Grime artist Devlin storms the stage, snarling, looking aggressive, like only Devlin can. I like Devlin one of the few white rappers who raps with conviction & passion, he really means it. Runaway being the highpoint of the set. Having announced Wretch 32 as the special guest to the line up it was disappointing his set had been delayed & moved to the Centre Stage, so we made our way there to be told his set may be delayed until 1.00am as he had been delayed, so with this information we headed to Jaks to see how 90s dance crew Ultrabeat where doing, Jaks was not as busy as I thought it would be & on stage was huge light box in the middle of the stage & occasionally the lead MC would make an appearance & then disappear again.. But the songs where all that mattered & Pretty Green Eyes & Feelin' Fine where all that mattered, with still no news on Wretch 32 we called it a night.

As we were staying off site this year we made our way to Butlins to see the matinee session comprising of those comedy duo from Dirty Sanchez's Pritchard Vs Dainton. Considering it was only 2.30 in the afternoon they drew a large crowd to the skyline. Starting the show with the banging of cans of lager on heads, the set already had a little too much familiarity to it & turned out to be disappointingly the exact same show they did last year, now come on lads surely you can come up with more knob & bum stunts in the space of a year between festival appearances. It was just really lazy & a bit of a letdown, we headed into Skegness to get some supplies & it would seem the majority of festival goers had the same idea with Skegness high street full of people wearing TBRW wristbands, which shows just how much festivals add to the local economy.

The Streets

Returning to the festival I turned up 9.00 expecting to see Rizzle Kicks on stage, another unannounced stage time adjustment had happened & it seemed Rizzle Kicks had already been on & on stage where The Streets, so missing the first song I made my way to catch the final, last ever show by Mike Skinner with them. This is the culmination of a decade career & here he was ending it at the TBRW, now I cannot think of a better place for The Streets to finish.

The front row was full of the chavs who hung onto every word Skinner uttered, Skinner keeps mentioning about tonight being special & only says those in the know, know. But I guess most of the crowd knew how special this was going to be. I have seen The Streets so many times over the years & are a band of ups & downs & you never really know what you are going to get, but tonight Skinner is on top form, asking the crowd to join in with a glitter bomb, he pours out cup after cup & shares it with the crowd. Let's Push Things Forward takes me back to those early naughty years, Skinner gets the crowd to get down for one last so low, which everyone obliges with. Dry Your Eyes Mate was just superb & Skinner goes for a crowd surf & then goes back to hand out more free drink. He salutes with his fellow band members along with Rob Harvey from The Music who skinner is joining forces with on their new project The Dot, which if tonight is anything to go by should be awesome. And as the lights fade Skinner waves & that's that The Streets are no more. After that every thing else paled into insignificance.

Ms Dynamite
On the Centre Stage, the venue is packed for Ms Dynamite who opens up with Dy-na-mi-tee, after that she fails to impress so we head over to Reds to find a very empty arena for Kissy Sell Out disappointed we head back to Skyline to get some food whilst we wait for Modestep to appear, with his hoody up & constant face down to floor he fails to make any eye contact with his audience & to be honest I find it difficult to engage with him, so we head back to Reds where Eddy Temple Morris & Majestic have a small captive audience, but to be honest even this was a struggle to keep any long term engagement going. So it was back to the Centre Stage for Chase & Status (DJ Set), which seemed to have got the crowd going but at 4.00 am I was desperate for some shut eye, it had been a long day & apart from the superb Streets was a day of disappointment.

I really really do like the Big Reunion Weekend and have been for four consecutive years now & have to say the line up this year was rather uninspiring, & the constant stage time alterations where a little to much. It pains me to say it, but boy do I miss those white indie landfill bands & that little bit of cheese, Big Reunion Weekend its over to you!!!!

around the festival site (2)
review by: Gary Stafford

photos by: Gary Stafford

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011
Butlins Resort, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 1NJ, England MAP
£165 ticket with accommodation - sold out
last updated: Mon 7th Nov 2011


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