They say the best festival line-ups offer the majority a taste of the familiar with the chance of stumbling across possible future favourites - something that Rob Da Bank is no doubt fully aware of as for this year's ridiculously relaxed Bestival. Yet again he has fittingly curated a line up that melded vital new acts alongside those slightly more established and long-standing music legends.
With most festival goers still yet to clamber onto site, Friday afternoon offered many delights for those already in attendance. As certain bands were unable to grace the island with their presence, Metronomy played a hastily re-arranged gig in an intimate sized tent very early on. There recent line-up evolution which has seen them step slightly away from relying one hundred percent on programmed beats and add a real drummer has seemingly added a fresh vibrancy to their high class electro pop.
For those of a heavier disposition the afternoon also saw Dinosaur Pile Up reignite grunge’s torch-paper, the hard hitting rifftastic ‘Traynor’ mixes a pop sensibility to proceedings; if they keep to this blue-print it could see them become Britain’s long time answer to the Foo Fighters.
The midnight hour saw the demure Bat For Lashes play a seductive set of high class ethereal pop a swooning audience, gracing the stage wearing trademark style headgear she and her backing band prove a fitting end to a day.
A peak at Saturday’s schedule would have brought many headaches; Friendly Fires or The Horrors being a prime example of the conundrum of the scheduling conflicts. It was a weekend where the words “Mercury nominated” were often muttered, the more casual follower taking an interest where once ignorance lay and outlines why Speech DeBelle went onto perform twice over the weekend. Yet many of those attending out of pure curiosity could have left wondering why she has been so highly praised recently as her poetic soulfully jazzed up hip hop set seemed lacking in a cavernous tent.
One person not lacking in personality is of course the brash Lily Allen, who excels at being a crowd pleaser and literally has the crowd in her grasp as soon as she steps out on stage in her skimpy outfit. Playing to a now traditional at Bestival fancy dress adorned alien looking crowd her set which included the upbeat ‘Smile’ and the high-class pop of ‘The Fear’ offers a firm reminder that pop at its best should transcend boundaries and be something everyone can enjoy, there is little doubting that in a year which has seen the rise of many solo female artists Lily Allen has cemented herself as an out and out star and it would not be surprising if the future she returns as a headliner.
Later in the day Klaxons gave many people’s pulses a valid reason to quicken, with a set list that swung firmly towards material from their seminal debut rather then the new, singer Jamie Reynolds signalled that this performance marked “the end of Klaxons Mk 1” many will no doubt be awaiting the appearance of version 2.0. Headliners Kraftwerk have a near unrivalled influence on modern day culture, offering a cold, robotic set that mirrored the clear night’s sky they caressed synth noise after robotic noise from their emotionally empty horizontally positioned keyboards, audience pleasers such as ‘Rendezvous’ and ‘The Model’ pleasing those unfamiliar with the body of their work.
La Roux ushered in Sunday morning to an over spilling tent. Like a modern day version of Annie Lennox, Elly Jackson prides herself in having powerful vocals. A tradition of the day with Paloma Faith seducing an audience with a kooky Amy Winehouse-alike set mere moments after. Yet it was recent Moshi Moshi signings Casiokids that livened up a waning audience, often getting compared to Hot Chip yet now swerving to incorporate LCD Soundsystem eclecticism that got peoples feet moving and their heads bumping.
As many retreated back to the real world, Sunday took on a very subdued outlook, the evening offering Doves and Elbow for those still present, two bands who have quietly gone about their craft and racked up a reliable stream of familiar songs, serving as the perfect ending to a glorious sun-basked weekend.
See the festival in photos below: