Bands seen: Boy George, We Are Scientists, The Courteeners, Kaiser Chiefs, Kings Of Leon, The Vaccines, Wild Beasts, Seasick Steve, Iggy And The Stooges, Pulp, Foo Fighters, Two Door Cinema Club, Kasabian, Manic Street Preachers
So after a rollercoaster of weather, the Isle Of Wight Festival drew to a close on Sunday night under a heavy cloud of rain much like the rest of that day. The festival started for me on Wednesday due to working commitments and the contrast between then and Sunday was quite sizeable. After what was a very hot Thursday afternoon we managed to get down to the big top stage to catch Boy George’s last song (a cover of Bowie’s “Starman”).
Friday came around with a morning of working and an afternoon and evening of bands. We Are Scientists entertained the main stage in the afternoon with the Kaiser Chiefs and Kings Of Leon wrapping up Friday night. Fireworks in an addition to an encore of “Use Somebody” and “Sex On Fire” sent the crowd back to their tents happy.
Saturday on all fronts was the day I was looking forward to the most. The Vaccines played a stonking set in front of a jammed packed Big Top Stage, reeling off hits from their debut album “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines”. It was a shame Wild Beasts played to about half the crowd as their new Album “Smother” is certainly as good as their Mercury Music prize nominated album “Two Dancers”. The evening rolled on and it was time for the 4 heavyweights of the night. Seasick Steve started it off with his American blues guitar playing and invited Dave Grohl to dance with him during one of the songs. Iggy was next and strutted around stage in his customary half naked attire energizing the audience and showing what fun he was still having at the grand old age of 64. Pulp took to the stage starting with “Disco 2000” and ending on a very raucous version of “Common People”.
Mark Beaumont from guardian.co.uk writes: “Jarvis Cocker – despite greying beard and geography teacher attire – is still charming, droll and demented, dishing out local Isle Of Wight trivia between tunes, striking stripper poses, doing some lanky vogueing and even handing out grapes.”
Foos followed and delivered hit after hit from each of their 5 albums. Grohl explained how they don’t do encores and proceeded to until they were thrown off. Each hit ramped up the energy in the pits until the final song “All My Life” which sealed a cracking performance.
Sunday was always going to be a bit of an anti-climax. The horrendous weather didn’t help! Many people had decided to cut their losses and go home however those who stayed got to witness a wide variety of different music. Two Door Cinema played to a very wet main stage crowd and their pop songs from their debut album “Tourist History” went without a hitch. The same couldn’t be said for stages later in the evening as John Lydon of “Public Image Limited” stormed off the big top stage complaining “I can’t hear a f%*king thing”. The sound didn’t seem to be quite right on the main stage either as the elements had given it a battering the whole day. Kasabian delivered a solid set with songs like “Club Foot”, “Shoot The Runner” and “Empire” sparking some life into a somewhat soggy audience. Manics were on slightly later under the big top and totally exceeded my personal expectations. A rendition of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” mid set seemed particularly apt and ending on “Design For Life” meant the weekend ended on a crescendo. A thoroughly enjoyable 5 days.