Sundown Festival 2013 Review

Although only a fledgling festival, it certainly wasn't about to skimp on acts, a festival boasting head liners such as Example and Jessie J certainly was going to put up a fight against some of the other smaller festivals of 2013. Although the Layout was a little jarring, (split into 3 sections, the top end featuring the main stage for acts such as JLS and Amelia Lily, the middle section featuring a second stage for more dance based acts,shops and food stalls including the Ska-BQ (which did the best jerk chicken burger I've ever experienced, but lets not get into that now) and the bottom end featuring a fun fair with the epically named ride, Super Bob.
Saturday started off as a sunny day with a breeze that lent itself to some rather unfashionable burn lines on bottom revealing shorts by some of the festival goers. Although a late opener everyone was in and ready for the first act, after some riling up by the the two compares, the duo (who were not dissimilar to Alan Partridge) roused the crowd with some chants and classic school disco Oggy,Oggy Oggies.
The first act to ascend the stage was a single beat boxer titled as Intensi T, he began to get the crowd going by playing the harmonica not dissimilarly to a steam train, with a bluesy edge. He wasn’t to far off a more industrial Ed Sheeran often getting the audience to join in with parts of songs that were on loop. The only drawback of this act was that he only had one original song, and although this stood out as his best track amongst the covers he performed he lacked the intensity that other beat box artists such as Shlomo or Rahzel had, however that is not to say this wouldn't come with time.
The first commercial act on today was Angel, who mixed up his set with a lot of 90's hip hop influences and covers such as Montel Jordan's 'This is how we do', however he saved his most popular song 'Wonderful' until last, much to the crowds delight.
Photo courtesy of Lee Blanchflower
Jaguar Skills was the unexpected highlight of the weekend, placed early evening on the main stage he mixed old school hip-hop, drum and bass and contemporary with his classic 8-bit video game feel, it was here the crowd started to limp a bit as there was a distinct lack of lyrics for the audience to join in with. Jag Skills soon picked up on this and started to work in songs such as the Beatles 'Come Together', to help pick the crowd up again for the rest of the evening.
Closing the Saturday night on the main stage was Example, his stage presence and exuberance of energy was enough to really excite the crowd as he launched into 'Kickstarts', after continuing with this high energy set including songs like 'Won't go Quietly' and 'Close Enemies', he slows the crowd down by playing 'Watch The Sun Come Up'; a classic festival pleaser. After slowing the crowd down he prepares them by telling them that he “wants circles larger” at which point the beat drops for his final song 'Changed The Way You Kissed Me', and all hell breaks loose.
After the excitement and heavy handedness of the crowd the day before, Sunday morning starts with a much more chilled out feel to it, with most of the crowd sitting on the floor on blankets, although there was the odd teenage girl adorned in UV paint denoting their love for Jessie J and JLS.
The First act of the day is De:Vide, a band featured on the Voice (given the Head liner, they of course gave shout outs to their mentor from the show Jessie J) They filled their set with a couple of their own songs, a cover of The Fugees 'Ready or Not' and not forgetting their audition track 'My Girl'
The Next major band to take note of was another TV Talent; Union J, amongst the screams so high pitched only dogs could hear, they managed to belt out their cover set, featuring Love Story by Taylor Swift, Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis  and last but not least their first single 'Carry You'.
However it wasn't until later on in the evening that the Union J boys got a real run for their money. JLS bounded onto the stage like a group of 4 overexcited puppies. Singing, dancing and harmonising so perfectly in time that any aspiring boy band would've had tears in their eyes due to their synchronicity. When they finally slow down for a moment  catch their breaths they managed to have a giggle with the fans by reading out the banners they have made for them, of course there are the usual 'JLS we love you Signs', but it wouldn’t be a festival in Norfolk without a sign saying “J.B ride my tractor” now would it? The boys then dedicate their final song to all the 'hot girls' in the audience as they launch into 'Hottest Girl in The World'. And of course it wouldn't be a JLS gig without a classic back flip from Aston would it?
Photo courtesy of Lee Blanchflower
After a half an hour wait and one very intricate stage build later, Jessie J storms on stage with a Rocked up version of 'Price Tag' while wearing a toothpaste green crop top and culottes. She then slows down the band and speaks about how there is no definition of perfection and how her fans should no try to be something their not, which leads into 'Nobody's Perfect', and 'Who you are', after giving the crowd a few moments to wipe away the tears (yes, really). She introduces the backing singers and lets them take centre stage as they are leaving due to the fact two have been signed independently, (which is easy to see why, when they then perform a medley of Michael Jackson and Beyonce's work it out). After a breakdown of old and new songs such as Excuse my Rude, Laser light and Do it like a Dude, Jessie splits the crowd down the middle and gets them to sing independent parts as she leads the crowd into her final song, Domino, which has everyone including the stallholders up and dancing, a positively perfect way to end Sundown's third year as a fully fledged festival, its definitely the one to watch for next year.
Photo courtesy of Lee Blanchflower

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