This is the view from my “home” last weekend..
As you can see Bestival 2008 was a muddy affair.
I won’t lie, on a few occasions I found this pretty depressing. Like trying to put up our “home” in the rain and watching it fill up with water for example. Or witnessing the power on the BBC Introducing Stage cut out because the rain was falling so hard. Or maybe hearing that some of the acts I was dying to go see had either pulled out or been cancelled due to sinking stages. Oh yes..or maybe getting soaked to the skin, shivering, having to go back to my tent and getting into my sleeping bag to warm up meaning I missed Chromeo…all because my stupid H&M waterproof wasn’t actually waterproof!
However, all those little grumbles aside I still had an awesome weekend. My heart went out to Rob Da Bank and his team this weekend, this being the first rainy Bestival in 5 years must have been really hard work. So much effort is normally put into the beauty of Bestival, its so D.I.Y, so beautiful to look at, theres so many cute little tea stalls and tents seating areas which were just ruined in the conditions. It must have been heartbreaking watching all your hard work get washed out.
What amazed me the most was the vibe around the site, ok, so some people were bailing out early but for those who stuck around, there was a real sense of commaradery and determination to have a good time whatever happened. And that, we did.
Here are some of my highlights:
Santogold was CD perfect. Her vocals were spot on, her stage presence was intense and her dancers were captivating. Santogold was my number one must see for the weekend and she did not disappoint. I believe in Santogold.
Kissy Sell Out‘s live set was not what I was expecting. Armed with his keytar and supported by a drummer and Dan from Bolt Action Five on Bass and Vocals the stage was filled with energy. We were on the bar at the front of the stage and the water was almost up to our knees, people were sliding around in the muddiest coniditions of the weekend at this point but still managing to dance. My personal highlight of the set being their cover of EMF‘s ‘Unbelievable‘ which you can check out here on the BBC Introducing site. My lowlight however, seeing the power blow and realising I was soaked to the skin.
With his set in the Bollywood tent on Saturday night, A-Trak secured the number one spot in my chart of best live DJ’s. I was expecting a good set. But not that good. Pumping out track after track of pure electro goodness he then slowed it down with a medley of cut and pasted hip hop tracks which made the tent go wild. The energy buzzing around was electric especially as he showcased he scratching skills. This guy is a hero. An absolute hero. I’m still aching from dancing in my wellies now.
Thomas Tantrum are a band that I’ve bigged up quite a few times over the last few weeks or so. I was particularly excited as I hadn’t seen these guys play since our University days in Southampton. They certainly proved to everyone in that crowd that they are more than worthy of receiving the amount of buzz surrounding them right now. Their set was flawless, even with a short loss of power at the start. If you haven’t seen these guys yet or bought their album. Do it. Do it now.
Why The English Are Rubbish – Thomas Tantrum (YSI) (Alt Link Mediafire)
The turnout for The Shoes suprised me. I was expecting to have to cram into the Club Dada tent in order to see them but it appeared that alot of people had instead crammed into their own tents to avoid the rain. After purchasing my poncho though, I was alot happier so skipped down to the front. And after witnessing ‘Knock Out’ I was pleased I did. Incredibly entertaining to watch as you could feel the love for what they do oozing from the stage as they threw themself about, gave each other high fives and hugs wearing the biggest grins.
Saturday night also brought me to my second experience of Hercules and Love Affair live. After waiting 45 minutes for Amy Winehouse to appear on the main stage and being incredibly disappointed with her first two songs we decided that she certainly wasn’t worth missing Hercules for. This time it was much different. Their set was still perfect and sounded great. However I couldn’t help but think that they were a little bit lost in the Big Top. However that could be because we were crammed in about half the way back, I’m sure the people on the bar would disagree with me. I fell in love with their cover of Blue Oyster Cults ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ and also with the guy next to me who asked if his friends were joking when they told him that the hot girl on stage was really a man. When I broke the news I expected a typically male response but instead was greeted with “ah well, in that case shes an incredibly hot dude”.
You Belong (Riton Re-rub) – Hercules and Love Affair (YSI) (Alt Link Mediafire)
And heres a selection of some of the other acts we saw:
Amy Winehouse – A let down if I’m honest, although some friends who watched her whole set told me she got better near the end..I’m not convinced.
The Human League – I felt young for the first time in ages..they sounded great, but if I’m honest I was bored and only stuck around to hear ‘Don’t You Want Me’.
– I enjoyed these guys more than I thought I would. ‘Sweat Shop’ in particular was great with guest vocals from Har Mar Superstar.
The Count & Sinden – I was shocked at how 90’s acid house these two had gone. Accompanied by a male MC who was pretty shocking and a girl filling in for Kid Sister on Beeper, we left early to see A-Trak. The right choice I feel.
Sebastien Tellier – “This one, is er, about my, er, bisexuality. As strange as expected, but fun all the same.
Fresh Legs were a band we stumbled across by mistake on the BBC Introducing stage, I later found out they’re from Portsmouth. Definately worth keeping an eye on!