Tinie Tempah, & Caribou close Evolution Music Festival in style

Evolution Music Festival 2011 review

published: Mon 6th Jun 2011

Tinie Tempah

Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th May 2011
Spillers Wharf, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2JR, England MAP
£35 for the weekend, or £25 for a day ticket
daily capacity: 33000
last updated: Wed 18th May 2011

The second and final day of the festival saw the site far busier than the previous day, and as the sun began to creep through, thoughts of it being a real summer festival began to seep in. With the picturesque location of the Newcastle, Gateshead quayside, overshadowed by history, the festival seems to have really settled into the festival calendar.

Viva City
Being a local to Newcastle, Viva City are one of those bands that seemingly have been around for a long, long time. Having toured the limited Newcastle gigging scene for years, it seems finally that the band are starting to go somewhere. With a supposed record deal in place in the States, with the band regularly touring there, this is the band's biggest hometown show to date, and my how they blow it away. Coming on stage with plenty of energy, the band launch into their set full of conviction. In a blaze of lights, the band's mix of electro, drum & bass, and breakbeats is very popular with the ever growing audience. They have the 'pop hook' to their songs now, and it seems that they've finally found a place to market themselves, and with their debut album out now, it's an exciting time for Viva City, who are now looked upon to lead the Newcastle music scene, especially since fellow Newcastle band, Detroit Social Club have decided to call it a day, following a performance later in the day.

Carrying on with the electronic feel of the Sunday, but at a much slower pace, Mount Kimbie, the London duo, took the stage showing off their ambient, dub styled electronica. Using samples, ambient soundscapes and loops to great effect, Mount Kimbie were highly impressive. The chilled, dreamy sound really sat in well amongst the sun shining down on the audience, and on tracks such as Would Know, everything seemed to come together all too well. They're very far from ever being considered to be a pop band, but their soundscapes are so impressive. Not quite in the same way that the likes of Washed Out and Toro Y Moi have produced music, but it would be easy to put Mount Kimbie under the glo-fi banner. Except with a much more British feel to it, more of present day music, rather than harking back to that of the 80s. A very impressive watch.

One of the biggest artists of the day was superstar Radio 1 DJ, Annie Mac. Taking to the stage at the criminally early time of 3pm, this certainly didn't prevent Annie from pulling out all the punches, and delivering a self-proclaimed "massive" set. Much like here radio show, the DJ took the rowdy audience through a whole host of genres including dustup, drum & bass, early 90s rave and the odd electro festival anthem. A really enjoyable set on a day which was dominated by the DJs, which can get all a bit tedious, Annie Mac, despite keeping it very commercial, worked very well in a festival environment, unsurprisingly.

Detroit Social Club
On a sad, yet triumphant mood to the day, the closing day of the festival also saw the final performance from local band Detroit Social Club. Having spent the last two years enjoying great success following the release of their one and only album, supporting the likes of Oasis and Ian Brown, it was with great sorrow that the band decided to call it a day, but what a performance they put on to send themselves out on. Bringing back former guitarist David Welsh for one last performance, the band raced through their set including the beautifully tender Chemistry, which was dedicated to frontman David Burn's daughter, as well as the riff heavy Kiss The Sun and 70s, psychedelia inspired Rivers & Rainbows. It's a sad performance, filled with emotion, but one it is also a sort of celebration, and it's moments like this that the band should be remembered for. Playing on a huge stage, which still seems too little for them.

Tinie Tempah
Leading to the close of the festival, the penultimate act of the festival was perhaps one of the most anticipated, and certainly one of the biggest UK acts of the past 12 months, Tinie Tempah. The anticipation and energy surrounding the arrival of the singer on stage was all very exciting, and the young, excitable crowd were going pretty crazy long before his arrival on stage, and he far from disappointed. Tinie Tempah is a strong, dominating, commanding front man, including a lot of the audience without too much effort. Very much like Iggy Pop the previous night, Tinie Tempah is a natural frontman. But instead of sleazy rock and roll, Tempah provides infectious, catchy R&B, pop tracks, that without fail, will make you dance and sing along to every word. Pass Out and Frisky demonstrate this to it's full extent, and to say that this might be one of those festival moments of 2011 would be far from the question.

With Plan B closing the main stage of the festival, it was the duty of the much lauded and highly acclaimed Caribou to close the second stage of the festival, and what a show it proved to be. It was quite simply inspiring and certainly the best performance of the festival. The musicianship, the music itself, the sound, and even the light show, all came together to provide the perfect ending to a very successful and musically talented weekend. Dipping into older material such as the dreamy Melody Day, the set very much concentrated on Caribou's new album, Swim. Having received such high praise following the release of the album, taking it to the road has also proved successful. As the strong baseline of Odessa kicks in over a wall of swirling synthesisers and pounding drums, it's really as if there's no place anybody watching the band would rather be. Set closer, and song of the weekend Sun simply sounded incredible against the background of the historic quayside, with lights bouncing off the overshadowing Baltic Flour Mill, it was all really impressive. As the swirling chords of Sun echoed out once more, over the programmed vocals and tight drumming, Caribou ended the festival on a bang. Roll on 2012.
review by: Anthony Hetherington

photos by: Georg Fertig

Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th May 2011
Spillers Wharf, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2JR, England MAP
£35 for the weekend, or £25 for a day ticket
daily capacity: 33000
last updated: Wed 18th May 2011


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