Madness take Splendour one step beyond

Splendour 2009 review

published: Wed 22nd Jul 2009

Madness

Sunday 19th July 2009
Wollaton Park, Nottingham, NG8 2AE, England MAP
£10-30
daily capacity: 10000
last updated: Fri 17th Jul 2009

Splendour is back for a second year and after last years event we were promised something bigger and better this year so as I make my way to Wollaton Park the heavens open, thankfully by the time we're parked up and leaving the car it's a slow drizzle but still warrants the wellies and waterproof coat smugly sat in the boot.

around the festival site
'Bigger and better', well the event is a day shorter than last year- credit crunch or the council losing lots of money in the Icelandic bank scandal- who knows, but there are two additional stages though so enough to keep me entertained all day and the 12,000 ticket holders were certainly hoping so to. Things kick off with one of the many local bands to be showcased today with Dog is Dead taking to the stage, last year they played in the courtyard so a leap to the main stage in a year can't be bad, an even better moment as they were watched by their mums... bless.

Over on the second stage Captain Dangerous were also proving why they were back for a second year running, front man Adam Clarkson looked rather dapper in his suit, a better fashion statement than last years Spiderman outfit in my eyes.

The second stage was named the Big Top Tent, which was easy to see why as it looked like a circus tent and anyone who entered under the yellow and red striped canvas looked like they'd been at the fake orange tan David Dickinson Style.

One of my complaints from last year was the lack of food and drink outlets, this year it seems to have been addressed with the addition of more stalls on the top of the hill in front of the main stage, not sure the bars really needed the token system but being British I shouldn't complain, after all we're suppose to like queues.

Kid British
Kid British had been compared to many different bands but I think they have definitely found their own style, they managed to get a good sing-along to their rendition of 'Our House', some may say a brave choice seeing how many Madness fans were in the audience but it went down a treat, along with another fab cover 'Hot and Cold' usually heard from Katy Perry. The Rifles were next up and whilst the crowd were getting a good soaking they worked through their hits 'Local Boy' and 'Repeat Offender' a bit of sunshine was definitely needed for me during this set.

Imelda May
Imelda May took to the stage and I was instantly wowed, after a couple of tracks she spoke to the crowd with the most alluring Irish accent I've heard in a long time. The rockabilly beats were a surprise for me and I truly enjoyed the set from beginning to end. 'Love Tattoo' the title track of her album was a particular favourite along with 'Johnny got a Boom Boom' which I'll be honest I found myself mesmerized by her voice, a definite one to catch again for me.

One minute it's raining so hard but within 5 minutes it's so hot it is quite possible to steam up your waterproof coat but the spirits of the ever growing crowd are not to be dampened as I make my way back up the hill to the Big Top to catch The Yeah You's. I only caught these guys a few weeks ago in Coventry but loved them so much I've had them on the MP3 player ever since. They open the set with 'Ready to Love' I like this track for reasons that won't be popular, the intro reminds me of Eurovision which I love... sorry Boys. They manage to squeeze in 'Clifftop', '15 Minutes' their new single and 'Getting Up With You' into a very short set, I personally would have liked to have seen these on the main stage but it has stopped raining so a girl can't have everything.

Fun Lovin Criminals
So as Hugh Morgan aka Huey and the rest of the Fun Lovin' Criminals take to the stage the rain has descended again... boo. For me today they just went through the motions playing 'Scooby Snacks' surprisingly early into the set, but I'm not sure if this had something to do with the crowd not being over enthusiastic, even though they were treated to new song 'Mars' more of the crowd got into it as they played 'Fun Lovin Criminal' but unfortunately this was at the end of the set.

The Pogues
After seeing much shenanigans and hearing the pre-stage gossip, I was so looking forward to The Pogues taking to the stage. We were treated to a 5 minute intro before Shane MacGowan was helped onto the stage and had the mic stand placed in his hand for stability, there were a few people saying a drunken man wasn't appropriate for a family day out in the park, but hey if you see MacGowan on the line up you wouldn't expect him any other way. The mic stand seems to elude him on several occasions as he wobbles he way around he isn't note perfect but he remembers the words as he rolls through 'Rainy Night In Soho', 'A Pair of Brown Eyes' which given his current state is amazing, unfortunately I can bare to watch no more and make myself to see a rather more handsome Irishman by the name of Tim Wheeler.

Ash are headlining the big top stage, this is the first time I've seen them play live since the departure of Charlotte Hatherley, but as soon as they rip into 'Girl From Mars' I'm thinking Charlotte who? Wheeler introduces a new song 'Space Shot' to the very over filled tent, explaining that from September every 2 weeks for a year they will be releasing a single, so all you Ash fans out there start saving your pennies. Judging by how far out of the tent the crowd went that should keep the band in new shoes for a while. It was great to see Ash again, their enthusiasm never fails and the crowd lashed up every minute.

Madness
Speaking of lashing it's raining fast again but as I make my way through the sea of red fez hats there can be only one band remaining, the nutty boys themselves Madness.

The crowd are easily pleased they've been waiting for this all day and it isn't long before there is a huge mosh down at the front... oh yes, now we're having fun. From the opening bars of 'One Step Beyond' this crowd are aware that the QMC hospital is only two minutes down the road as they throw themselves around like teenagers they once were. All the hits were there 'Baggy Trousers', 'Wings Of A Dove' and 'House Of Fun', Suggs even mentioned the house at the top of the hill wondering how much it would cost him, Wollaton Hall is not for sale, although I'm sure it'd be more than happy to have this lots back in the future, as Splendour 2009 rolls to an end.

around the festival site
review by: Julie Weston

photos by: Julie Weston

Sunday 19th July 2009
Wollaton Park, Nottingham, NG8 2AE, England MAP
£10-30
daily capacity: 10000
last updated: Fri 17th Jul 2009


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