Hot Chip are the perfect pick to end a first day bathed in sunshine

Camp Bestiva1 2012 review

By Gary Walker | Published: Wed 1st Aug 2012

around the festival site (1)

Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th July 2012
Lulworth Castle, Dorset, BH20 5QS, England MAP
weekend camping £175 - SOLD OUT, day tickets available
Daily capacity: 10,000
Last updated: Tue 24th Jul 2012

Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer gets Camp Bestival 2012 started on the Castle Stage, with the sun threatening to break through the clouds and put this washout of a summer firmly to the sword.

Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer
Dressed in public school blazer with an immaculate moustache, Mr B offers to "introduce some manners and whatnot" with what he terms 'chap-hop', and 45 minutes of entirely frivolous roistering and horseplay ensues.

Despite being rewarded with a small crowd, Mr B wheels out some amusing banjolele reinterpretations of hip-hop standards such as 'Rappers Delight', 'Mama Said Knock You Out', 'Straight Outta Compton (Surrey)' and indie classics such as Blur's 'There's No Other Way' and Primal Scream's 'Moving On Up'.

He recalls the time some "chaps" took him to a party in a field and plied him with sweets that "made me feel queer", before performing high-society takes on 'Move Any Mountain', 'On A Ragga Tip' and 'Out Of Space'.

His act is unlikely to extend to the realms of arena tours and greatest hits albums before the joke wears thin, but for now he gives Camp Bestival a thoroughly entertaining start to the day.

Delilah (1)
The Castle Stage crowd fills out for French-born pop singer Delilah, and she proves popular with a large gathering of teenage girls, and presumably their dads too if her figure-hugging leopard print catsuit is anything to go by. 'I Can Feel You' and 'Breathe', which has a dub-referencing bassline and reverb-heavy snare, are early highlights, before a cover of Sia's 'Little Man' which is given a liberal smattering of synth-generated steel drums and dedicated to the "old school ravers". Presumably, there aren't too many of them down the front at the Castle Stage today.

On songs such as 'Never Be Another' and a cover of Minnie Ripperton's 'Inside My Love', Delilah sounds not unlike Florence Welch or Natasha Khan, although the accompanying music is more chart-friendly and somewhat unremarkable. Taking shelter from the rising temperature, with the sun now having won its battle with the cloud cover, the Little Big Top hosts the first performance of the weekend of The Gruffalo, which proved so popular at Camp Bestival last year.

At 50 minutes, it's quite a lengthy ask of an audience of over-stimulated little 'uns and the reaction is a little muted despite the efforts of a Hispanic, be-sequined snake, hyperactive mouse, Biggles-inspired owl and, of course, the slow-witted but loveable Gruffalo himself.

Dodgy (1)
This reviewer was always of the opinion back in the halcyon days of the Britpop era that Dodgy were morbidly boring, and 15 years on, five years into a reunion that can't have troubled too many music lovers' radars, it appears they still are.

Dressed in denim and T-shirts, they churn out 45 minutes of mid-tempo, plodding acoustic guitar and piano numbers. 'If You're Thinking Of Me' is dragged out slowly with a piano opening, and goes nowhere in particular, before a pair of songs from new album 'Stand Upright In a Cool Place' – 'Waiting For The Sun' and the mid-tempo, plodding but with a slight country feel 'The Shadows'.

A plodding, mid-tempo cover of Frank Wilson's brilliant Northern Soul tune 'Do I Love You?' is, in fairness, not half bad before they waste a minute of their and our time with a drawn-out drum solo intro to 'Good Enough'. Still, at least it's sunny – mustn't grumble.

It's clear we're in the company of a seasoned professional as Adam Ant And The Good The Mad And The Lovely Posse's stage is prepared. Three colour-matched red stacks are wheeled out and two drum kits bearing the words respectively 'Adam' and 'Ant' are set up either side of the frontman, who arrives carrying off a very good visual impression of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Adam Ant And The Good The Mad And The Lovely Posse (1)
They quickly hit a good pace, the two drummers and a guest vocalist taking the numbers on stage to six, with Ant strapping on a guitar to add to a more dense and dark sound than in his new romantic heyday.

'Cartrouble' gives ample evidence that Adam's voice has held up very well over the decades and mental health issues that brought a hiatus to his musical career. 'Stand And Deliver' is filled with a chugging intensity heavier than the recorded version, and Ant finally removes his naval jacket to pogo through 'Ant Music' and a pretty spot-on cover of 'Get It On', which he dedicates to Marc Bolan – who he tells us he met in a London record shop at the age of 18 – changing his life in the process.

Camp Bestival Olympics warmup party
Over in the Big Top, a surprisingly large crowd witnesses Camp Bestival's Olympics warm-up party, which proves pleasingly wry and off-the-wall, with spoof 'Y-Factor' winners Heart And Soul, 20-strong dance troupe Swing Patrol, The Medina Ukelele Orchestra and BMX stunt rider Andrei Burton compered by Mr B.

The seemingly overwhelming desire of so many people to watch the London 2012 opening ceremony on the Big Top's screen means Hot Chip are greeted by a meagre crowd for their headline set on the Castle Stage, which is a great shame as they're the perfect party band and an astute booking by Rob Da Bank.

around the festival site (3)
The opening 'We Try', with its shuffling Latin beat, is brilliantly bittersweet and the first few rows are soon jumping around with abandon as 'One Life Stand' bounces into play and is merged into 'Night And Day' from new album 'In Our Heads'. The grinding electronic bass of 'Flutes' slow things down a little before the brain-invading, wobbly intro of 'Over and Over' sees Hot Chip turning the party screw again.

With the crowd thinning out further, a darkened 'I Feel Better' opens with Kraftwerk-like beats before yielding to the fizzing synth stabs and steel drums of its glorious percussive chorus.

They leave us for less than a minute before returning for an encore including the wonderfully infectious 'Ready For The Floor', which is cheekily worked in to Fleetwood Mac's 'Everywhere'.

Hot Chip appeared the perfect pick to end a first day bathed in sunshine with a joyous, camp, inclusive bass-heavy disco party. It's mystifying to see such a small crowd joining them.
review by: Gary Walker

photos by: Gary Walker / Rob Koster

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