After an early start and a 257 mile drive, many of which were caught in the standstill bottleneck over the Bodmin moors, the first glimpse of Newquay was a true sight for sore tired eyes. After checking into the hotel (yes, I know this is cheating) and getting a quick shower, we headed down into Newquay to check out the beach site.
Our hotel was equidistant between the dual sites running at Boardmasters with the sites roughly 5 miles apart. Much of the daytime action focused on the world class surfing competition taking place on Fistral beach. With a complimentary side serving of a huge half pipe set up to hold bmx and skateboard demos and competitions, with a plethora of stalls able to cater for your every surf clothing need also available.
The Fistral site was really well put together, this part of the festival was free to enter and was a great place to spend the day time hours, catering for all tastes and bank balances, there were plenty of food and drink options on hand. Ranging from your standard burger van, Mediterranean stall selling amazing paella, all the way to a permanent restaurant owned and run by Rick Stein overlooking the beach.
I plumbed for a nice pizza hand made in front of my eyes, and a pint of the legendary Cornish rattler cider, and took a seat to watch a couple of rounds of this knock out format, each round consisted of 30 minutes with riders catching waves and riding them out to the best of their abilities and taking their best 2 scores, and so on. An enjoyable way to pass a few hours, however I wished the surf had been a bit more epic, so the competition could really liven up a bit, this was to be a huge mistake as I would find out on Sunday!
After a couple of hours, we made the walk back into town to catch the shuttle bus up to the main music site in Watergate bay.
The shuttle busses were really well run with security operating at all stops to make sure the buses were never over crowded, however at peak times the queues could catch you off guard.
Tthis happened to us the first day, and due to under estimating the time it would take we almost missed Circa Waves set. Starting off the weekend with a nice jingly half our of perfect relaxing sunny day tunes the crowd really took to Circa Waves!
The second band I caught a glimpse of at the impressive cliff top Watergate bay site were Lower Than Atlantis. I had previously only heard their signature track ‘Here We Go’ and was a bit mistaken by their musical direction, I had always thought they leaned towards the heavier end of popular music, but they were a lot mellower than I had imagined, all in all a very strong performance though. After a quick wonder around the beautiful site overlooking the ocean, we soon found a really tasty homemade Thai food stall, all four of us filled ourselves with change from a twenty pound note, which those of you who regularly attend festivals will know this is no mean feat!
After polishing off the curry and side snacks we ventured to The Point stage, this stage was sponsored by Relentless, and over the weekend this turned out to be a savvy naming trick as the line up lived up to the billing!
Every act I walked past was certainly relentlessly pounding out the finest dance music all weekend. It was one hundred percent on point! And the one of the best performances I caught all weekend was by the DJ and producer Jax Jones. I have caught sets by many of the world's leading and most highly paid DJs this summer and very few came near to this performance. There was no premixing involved in this set, and the crowd were firmly in the palm of Jones’s hand!
With Jax Jones finishing up at 8pm I made a quick dash back to the main stage to see how Everything Everything would handle the penultimate set of the night on the main stage. A very proficient band, who put on a good set, but I couldn’t help but feel they didn’t connect with the crowd quite like many other bands did over the weekend. As critically acclaimed as they are, I think that maybe their lack of main stream radio play didn’t bring them into the conscious of too many casual music fans. One thing I did notice during the set is that the site which had not seemed too full during the earlier evening soon seemed to get a lot more busy, I put this down to the impending arrival of the dance behemoth that is Faithless.
With the dark drawing in fast the smoke machine flooded the stage, soon to be pierced with a barrage of laser light, pointing the way far out to sea! Before being accompanied by the deep punch and groove of the bass, drums and keyboard.
Starting their hour and fifteen minute assault on all senses, Sister Bliss, Maxi Jazz and Rollo Armstrong came out swinging! With a 5 minute instrumental rolling seamlessly into a gigantic version of God Is A DJ, with the wheels firmly in motion there was no escaping or stopping this juggernaut now. Closely following up with Suicide Bomber and then was to come the spine chilling moment of the weekend, Insomnia! There really are nowhere near enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe just how epic this rendition was, with a Friday night crowd 100% in the mood to give it everything Boardmasters 2015 had truly got underway, rounding off the night with yet another huge sing-along moment they closed the show with We Come 1.
I was very tempted to finish the night with Roni Size in the Unleashed stage, but I couldn’t get anywhere near the tent and the 6 hour drive down had taken its toll.
|continues in part 2... more >>|
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