Westlife top the bill at Midlands Music Festival

Midlands Music Festival 2010 review

published: Tue 27th Jul 2010

Westlife

Saturday 17th to Sunday 18th July 2010
Tamworth Castle Grounds, Staffordshire, England MAP
£50 for the weekend, £29.50 for either day
daily capacity: 7000
last updated: Thu 15th Jul 2010

I woke up to a gloomy Sunday morning, which is not a great prospect when you're about to go to a festival. Still at least I didn't have far to go to get to the Midlands Music Festival. It was at Tamworth for the second year running, less than half an hour away from home. The event takes place for the benefit of the Just 1 Life premature baby charity – a donation is made and a percentage of the ticket sales goes to this worthy cause.

With waterproof suits, umbrellas and wellies at the ready I was anticipating a day of hell! I’d skipped day one of the festival as it was full of 80's acts; this may be my era but I fancied a change. I wanted to see life from a youngsters perspective (hopefully I'm not heading for a mid life crisis just yet), so opted for pop fest Sunday. I also have to admit that Peter Andre is my guilty pleasure and I love Chipity Chipmunk!

I got to the car park after a wild goose chase, being told by three different sets of security that it was over there or over there. They obviously didn't have a clue. You pay peanuts you get monkeys! I was fuming when I finally got parked up. It had taken an hour to find out where I am supposed to be and then I had to carry cameras etc over two fields and climb a fence. To say I was angry when I finally got to the press entrance was an understatement.

around the festival site
The press tent was crammed with more photographers and journalists than you'll ever find at V Festival. There was no way near enough tables or chairs and it was like a sauna as the sun had come out to play by this point. I had great fun when the stars came in to the press area; I now know what it feels like to be in a rugby scrum, even at one point being knocked off a chair by a chunky photographer!

The line-up for today was quite a meaty one, if you love teenage pop that is. I predicted that the field would be rammed with pubescent screaming girls and I was right. Luckily I had packed plenty of ear plugs! Local Tamworth band Everybody Looks Famous kicked off the proceedings, the sound was awful and the vocals left a lot to be desired if I'm honest.

The next big thing (apparently), a boy band called The Wanted graced the stage. Oh my God, I have never heard such piercing screams in my life. There were murmurs in the press tent that they'll never make it, but who am I to judge. The band did their job by whipping the crowd up into a frenzy. There was about a five to ten minute gap in between each band which kept the crowd entertained. Also the less well known a band was the less time they got on stage. Some only got 15 minutes, which was often a blessing in disguise.

Wonderland
McLean came and went, then all girl band Wonderland came on stage. They were introduced by Kian from Westlife, then the penny dropped. He co-manages the band with Louis Walsh and his wife is in the line-up! Once you've seen one girl band you've seen them all, but these were pretty good. Four songs in and I was actually tapping my feet and humming along!

Baby boyband Connected from Britain's Got Talent fame were up next; oh how adorable are they. I just wanted to mother them all, I even said it in the press tent to them and was slightly embarrassed to say the least. I must admit I got carried away with the moment after cooing at them for the whole 15 mins they were on stage, I cant even remember what they sang!

X Factors Olly Murs made an appearance next. I must admit to being a closet fan. He's a lovely lad and was only too happy to oblige to smile for the camera. I wasn't too keen on him on X Factor but I've been won over for two reasons: 1] I have a colleague at work who is absolutely besotted by him and wants to be the next Mrs Olly Murs, And 2] He is actually talented and can actually sing.

I did enjoy his set, it consisted of a few pieces of new material which he's co-written, and included his new single which I love, 'Please Don't Let Me Go'. Obviously he did all his funky dancing and he was a joy, all the girlies loved him. Oh to be 18 again!

Taio Cruz
R'n'B star Taio Cruz came next. His set featured songs mainly from his 'Rokstarr' album. The 30 minute set whizzed by, this guy can actually sing, I loved him and even tempted to buy his latest work. 'Dirty Picture' was the highlight of the set.

London based Scouting For Girls played an absolute stormer. Although I'm not a big fan, they are three very talented guys and deserve their success.

They played all the crowd favourites including 'She's So Lovely', 'I Wish I was James Bond', 'This Ain't a Love Song', 'Heartbeat' and 'Famous'.The 45 minute set was stomping and the crowd lapped up every second of it. At one point you could hear "Will You Marry Me Roy?" coming from the audience!

Surprise of the day were Britain's Got Talent act Twist and Pulse. Can they dance or what! They absolutely blew everyone away and I'm sure that they got one of the biggest rounds of applause for the day.I was absolutely astounded at how good they were, wish they would've done more.

Chipmunk
My personal favourite of the day was 19 year old Chipmunk. I'm a big fan and he didn't disappoint. All blinged up with a massive gold chain, covered in tattoos and hidden behind sunnies he breezed through a fabulous set which included 'Until You Were Gone', 'Oopsy Daisy', 'Diamond Rings'. He had the crowd eating out of his hands. The girlies loved him, often cupping their fingers to make the letter 'C' in the air. Ahh how cute!

The whole place erupted when Peter Andre graced the stage. A 50 minute set included 3 dancers and a live band. Only Westlife and Mr Andre bothered to have a live band, all the rest was just one big karaoke sing along so gold star for him on that respect! I am a closet Andre fan as he actually cares about his fans. After the event I found out he had a meet and greet with two young girls with terminal cancer. It's an absolute breath of fresh air when stars give back and Peter Andre is one of those stars. He's a good Father, nice person and thoroughly lovely guy.

Obviously everyone loved him, he's a good looking guy and looks after himself and has so many adoring female fans it's untrue. Highlight of the set was 'Unconditional', this is his song to Harvey. A definite tear jerker.

Alexandra Burke
Worst costume of the day had to go to Alexandra Burke. Red shorts that Simon Cowell would've been proud of, (she kept picking them out of her bum all through the set) and a black basque which was awful, I think she may have got dressed in the dark! The shorts didn't do her any justice whatsoever, half of her bum cheeks were hanging out and it was not nice to look at.

A 30 minute set ensued with hit after hit, they included: 'Hallelujah', 'Broken Heels', 'Bad Boys' and 'Good Night Good Morning'. It's just a shame she thinks she's a Diva already, only allowing us to shoot 2 songs. You're no Diva yet Alexandra!.

All girl group The Saturdays walked on stage to rapturous applause.

They had multi coloured outfits on, not very nice really, and their make up looked like it had been put on with a trowel! On the positive side they can actually sing and sadly I was singing along. Their new album 'Headlines' is out on August 16th and they sang their forthcoming single 'Missing You' which is pretty good.

They actually opened with 'Just Can't Get Enough' which I love, followed by 'Issues', 'Ego', 'Forever is Over', 'Work' and 'Up'.

Westlife
Westlife were amazing, throughout their 90 minute, 21 song extravaganza. I was amazed to hear that they have now been in the business for 20 years, so it's no wonder that they are seasoned pros!

Dressed in biker's gear and ready to kick ass, they came on stage to 'Walk On', bursting on stage from behind a black sheet. Scream, Scream, Scream was all you could hear. There were so many posters and signs dedicated to each member it was unreal!

Hit after hit followed. 'Where We Are', 'What About Now', 'When You're Looking Like That', 'My Love', 'Uptown Girl', 'Swear It Again', 'Mandy' and 'If I Let You Go'. I was actually shocked at how many Westlife hits I know the words too! Oooopppss.

A few covers in the set got the crowd dancing and singing, Black Eyed Peas 'I Gotta Feeling' and Kings of Leon's 'Sex On Fire'. Both absolute stonkers. The Westlife guys have still got it.

Everyone went home happy, a good day was had by all and a lot of money had been raised for a good cause. What more can you ask for from a small festival like this one.

around the festival site
review by: Michelle and Trish Owen-Williams

photos by: Michelle and Trish Owen-Williams

Saturday 17th to Sunday 18th July 2010
Tamworth Castle Grounds, Staffordshire, England MAP
£50 for the weekend, £29.50 for either day
daily capacity: 7000
last updated: Thu 15th Jul 2010


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