2014 saw a strong lineup for V festival. Previous years have seen the lineup cater towards a more commercial demographic, but this year included an impressive array of veteran artists, and new up and coming talent that would please the ears of the many festival-goers that would be in attendance.
The main stage opened on the Saturday with musical legend Nile Rogers and his band Chic. Most recently, Rogers has gained exposure for his work with French dance duo Daft Punk, but what most people are unaware of, is that he is behind some of the greatest hits ever released over the past 30 years. Unmistakably tracks such as “Everybody Dance” and “Good Times” were crafted at the hands of the American singer-songwriter, along with his sensational band. It was a pleasure to watch him play with such passion for the performance: a true musician.
Newton Faulkner’s set brought a nice change of pace to the afternoon as his began his set on the main stage, enticing the audience with his enchanting voice and his impressive guitar skills. The dreadlocked singer-songwriter would not usually be seen on the main stage at a large festival such as V, but nonetheless, he proved that the spot was well deserved. His UK top ten hit “Dream Catch Me” was certainly a crowd favorite among many others in a perfectly crafted set.
Rizzle Kicks, the cheeky chaps from Brighton genuinely appeared to be having the time of their lives as they bounced across the stage to a huge crowd at the MTV Stage. The duo looked euphoric to be in the privileged position that they’re in, as the audience collectively danced to their hit “Do The Hump.”
Paolo Nutini kept the crowd suitably entertained before the main headline act of the evening. His grizzly voice warmed the afternoon air with such tunes like “New Shoes” and “Pencil Full of Lead.”
The Sun had set across Weston Park as the crowd eagerly awaited the entrance of the headline act for the evening. Brandon Flowers lead The Killers onto the stage in a rather fetching glittery purple blazer that wouldn’t look out of place in a Gary Newman video.
The band made no delay in breaking into “Somebody Told Me” which resulted in the crowd bouncing up and down in full force. With such a strong back catalogue, more hits soon followed suit, most notably “Mr. Brightside” which surely has to go down as one of the most universally loved tracks of all time. The band was on fine form, and they delivered a set that was most certainly worthy of the headline slot they were given.
Day two arrived as many bleary-eyed faces emerged from their canvas living quarters. Despite the inevitable hangovers, the energy was still high as the last of the adrenaline worked its way through the veins of the revelers.
My afternoon began with a fantastic performance from the immensely talented Tom Odell. I first spotted Tom during his performance on Live with Jools Holland, so I was eager to see his set in a festival environment. I was sold. The combination of his incredibly powerful voice and effortless piano playing almost seemed to send the crowd into a hypnotic trance as the notes waved out across the horizon. His masterfully crafted melodies reminded me of a hybrid of David Bowie and Tom Waits: not a bad comparison to make! The highlight of his set was “Another Love” which most certainly drew the lighters from the audiences’ pockets.
I stuck around at the main stage to catch Leeds-based rockers Kaiser Chiefs, a personal favorite of mine. Front man Ricky Wilson sure knows how to keep an audience entertained with his energy and enthusiasm, running up and down the stage like an over-excited school kid to the unmistakable sound of their hits such as “I Predict A Riot” and new single “Coming Home.”
I ventured over to the MTV Stage to witness pop legend Blondie in action. Her performance was superb to say the least, entertaining the older members of the crowd with classics such as “Atomic.” It’s great to see an artist of Blondie’s caliber still wowing audiences with her performances. It surely is a testament to her determination and hard work.
I made my way back to the main stage to catch another British star take to the main stage. Acoustic wizard, Ed Sheeran never fails to impress me with his live performances. A strong set filled with old and new material from his most recent album, “X” kept the large audience entertained, whilst anticipating the headline act.
The audience could hardly contain their excitement over the anticipation of the last headline act of the weekend; the incredible Justin Timberlake. As he casually made his way onto the stage, to an almighty roar from the audience, he oozed class and confidence as the band kicked in and he began his set, filled with hit, after hit, after hit. Each note he sang was inch-perfect and his dance moves were a sight to behold.
In the same fashion as the previous night, the crowd made no reservations in signing their hearts out to hits such as “Senorita” and “Sexy Back” which resulted in an almost overwhelmed-looking JT as the thousands of voices screamed back at him in unison.
Overall, V Festival was an incredibly entertaining weekend. Every act that I was fortunate to see was on sublime form, and that (coupled with the hangover) made for some serious post-festival blues!