Thursday & Friday review

Isle of Wight Festival 2010 review

published: Wed 16th Jun 2010

Florence And The Machine

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th June 2010
Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2DN, England MAP
£130 adult weekend no camping, £65 for a child ticket (7-12 years)
daily capacity: 60000
last updated: Tue 15th Jun 2010

The Isle of Wight always seems to get it lucky with the weather. At the start of the week the forecasts were for heavy rain through most of the weekend, and on Thursday morning it looked as if this was going to be the case. However as the day carried on the forecast rain never amounted to that much and the evening brought on a dry but breezy opening for the campers.

Thursday opened in the Big Top with a handful of bands to entertain the early arrivals. This year's openers were the Jimi Hendrix tribute band Are You Experienced?, Semi Precious Weapons, The Members, and Squeeze.

Due to security guards not knowing which gates to send people through, we had an unexpected two-mile detour around the campsite, and missed the opening acts to arrive mid-way through The Members set. This ageing but energetic band from the punk era, delighted the crowds with a selection of hits and a rather good cover of Kraftwerk's 'The Model', finishing with a rousing version of 'Sound of the Suburbs', which given the festivals semi-urban location on the edge of a housing estate seemed appropriate.

Despite a damp day the campers were all in good spirits and were welcoming of the acts provided. Squeeze came on to much appreciation, and this was repaid with a set that encompassed a lot of their hits, including 'Up the Junction', 'Hourglass', 'Goodbye Girl' and 'Labelled with Love', climaxing in an encore of 'Cool for Cats' and 'Pulling Mussels'.

Squeeze

We had the luxury of being able to go home after the music, however the campers were subjected to more rain overnight. This quickly cleared Friday morning and although many could be seen wearing wellies the ground in the main arena was holding up well and dried out throughout the day.

Friday being the main opening for the festival for those not camping, there was a vast increase in numbers on site, and the main arena was opened. First on the main stage were Waterburner, who earned their place by winning a competition on Absolute Radio aimed at giving an old band one last shot at success. They proved to be worthy of this spot on the line-up getting the crowd engaged from the beginning.

Next up were Hockey, a US five piece, who were obviously in awe of the occasion stating "this is the biggest stage we have ever played times ten". The Isle of Wight crowd was appreciative of their indie pop style and the band gave a strong performance despite their awe-struck state.

The afternoon continued with the pop theme as Mr Hudson took to the stage, much to the excitement of the female teenage members of the crowd. His set was well executed, full of energy, and for me was one of the surprising highlights of the afternoon. Despite being not overly familiar with his work the songs were catchy and performed with energy and passion, which was mirrored by the crowd.

Mr Hudson

The Isle of Wight was due to make history twice this afternoon, firstly prior to Mr Hudson when there was a successful attempt to perform a record breaking DJ Hero performance. Then, afterwards, was a not so successful effort to record a rendition of 'Three Lions' to be played before tomorrows opening England World Cup match. Sound issues prevented Ian Broudie from performing his input for the song, but this did not stop the crowd from performing a heartfelt and rowdy rendition, and I am sure that there were many who were unaware that Mr Broudie had given up and walked off stage in a huff, such was the volume of the singing.

Back to the main proceedings next up were Doves who as always play a faultless performance, but although I do enjoy their music, I have to admit that one performance is very much like every other. We took this opportunity to take a quick tour of the site, and catch a local band in the Kashmir Cafe – Spike Oatley, whose country folk style was pleasing for the small crowd who were chilling out away from the more crowded areas.

We then wandered to Big Top to catch Shakespears Sister, who gave a strong performance, but the absence of Marcella Detroit is noticeable, as was their biggest hit 'Stay' which was missing from the set.

It was then a quick trek back to the main arena for the penultimate act of the evening, Florence and the Machine. For me she gave a good performance, but did not seem to be at her best vocally tonight. With a large orchestra and band behind her, her usually strong voice seemed to be slightly challenged, but the crowd enjoyed hits such as 'Dog Days are Over', 'Kiss with a Fist', and 'You Got the Love'.

Florence And The Machine

Although not an act I had seen or in fact heard of before the event, while waiting for Jay-Z to come on. I was impressed by the friendly manner of Daisy Coburn from Daisy Dares You, who took time out from her bandmates to spend five minutes talking with some of her young fans. I overheard her say that she had been given a real boost to see her t-shirt worn by someone who wasn’t a friend of a friend. Keep up the good down to earth side and I’m sure you will get to see more shirts in the crowd.

Main headliner for Friday was Jay-Z, who for those that enjoy him it was probably a good show. I have to admit that I have never really been interested in his music, and was more interested in the light show than him. But this is my personal taste and after the first couple of songs I decided to head back to see what was happening around the rest of the site. The walk across was hampered by the vast crowds that were watching Jay-Z’s performance, so I thought I could be wrong in my opinion.

Jay-Z

At the Kashmir Cafe we were treated to an outstanding performance from Dr Jones and the Blunt Instruments. A band made up of local musicians who perform regularly across the Island with a mix of their own songs and covers. Kashmir is one of the smaller tents on site, but they had really drawn in the crowd and had them all up and dancing which is quite an achievement as it is well known as being one of the festivals chill out zones.

From here we headed back towards the main stage for our route home, with a quick detour via the Big Top to see Suzi Quattro entertaining the crowds with her glam rock music and energetic style.

As we were leaving we were surprised at the large numbers heading out of the main arena back to the other areas and wondered if Jay-Z had finished his performance ahead of the 12am curfew. In fact he was still performing, but the crowd beyond the sound stages had thinned out considerably, leaving just the hard core fans packed in at the front of the arena. We caught one more song from him, which he was joined on stage by his friend Mr Hudson for their recent collaboration 'Forever Young'.

Overall it was a good start to the festival and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the weekend has to offer.
review by: Steve Collins

photos by: Steve Collins

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th June 2010
Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2DN, England MAP
£130 adult weekend no camping, £65 for a child ticket (7-12 years)
daily capacity: 60000
last updated: Tue 15th Jun 2010


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