T In The Park 2015 Review

Although the ground was soggy, the air stayed clear for the majority of T in the Park, Scotland's biggest music festival. There had been a lot of anticipation with the change in venue from the usual Balado sight in Kinross. However it seems with a few “teething problems” set aside, Strathallan did not disappoint. With a promising line up of artists from Avicii to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds set to headline, there was a very diverse weekend of music in store for Scotalnd’s festival goers. 

The Cribs and The Wombats were the first to take to the main stage on Friday, offering a punk-rock vibe to get the crowd warmed up with their infectious energy. Tord Øverland Knudsen from the Wombats living up to his usual playful, crowd pleasing self. Meanwhile acts such as Blossoms and Indiana were pulling out all the stops in the BBC introducing and T Break stage.

Later on Annie Mac took to the Main Stage and had everyone up dancing for her first of two performances over the weekend. After her followed Hozier, performing his debut Album with hit song Take Me To Church amongst the set.

As Rudimental hit the main stage the crowd multiplied. Well known for their high energy live performances, drum and base group Rudimental put on a spectacular show, opening with Not Giving In. DJ Locksmith could not stop moving and his infection energy really rubbed off on the crowd. The DJ also pulled on the crowds heart-strings by dedicating a song to his son. Waiting All Night was a huge crowd pleaser and had everyone dancing and singing along. 

When Sam Smith took to the main stage, you could hear a pin drop over at the BBC introducing stage. The crowd were hung on his every word. He delivered a very sincere performance and stated how happy he is now he creates music true to himself. He thanked the crowd for helping this happen. Some reckon they even seen Sam Smith shed a tear during his performance.

Kasabian wrapped things up on Friday night headlining the main stage. As the countdown clock displayed on stage got lower and lower the energy in the crowd lifted higher and higher. With Bumblebee and Underdog being amongst the opening songs the atmosphere was electric from the beginning of the set right through to the end. Songs from Kasabian’s No.1 UK album Empire went down a treat and it was clear to see both the crowd and the band were having a great time. People headed back to their tents with Kasabian's bass line resinating in their bones.

There were a number of early risers on Saturday morning who turned out to see acts such as The Lafontaines and The Strypes play. Later on pop-rock group Lawson took to the stage, getting the whole crowd singing along to songs such as When She Was Mine.

Jungle were a real crowd pleaser in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent. A young boy took to the stage mid set and break danced which had the crowd going wild. Also performing in King Tut’s was St Vincent who delivered an intense and captivating performances. The set was accompanied by some spectacular lighting to add to the intensity of the performance. After St Vincent came Scotland’s pride and joy, The Proclaimers who attracted the widest age range. Delivering hits such as Letter From America and 500 Miles the Tent was full of good vibes and nostalgia.

A lot of young excited festival goers gathered to watch The Script on the Main Stage on Saturday Night. Well known for his tendency to leave the stage and come down to the crowd, Danny O'Donoghue did not disappoint the die hard front row spectators. Girls were screaming and crying and doing everything they could just to touch the Irishman’s leather coat. Danny stated he loved to play gigs in Scotland as it was close to home and had the Celts in the audience raise their hand. Performing all of the classics alongside the more recent hits, The Script attracted an enthusiastic crowd.

The Libertines, the first of the headliners to be announced when T in The Park released 2015’s line up, took over the main stage. The Libertines attracted a slightly different crowd, many excited to see the band play for the first time after their reformation. The band opened with hits such as Time For Heroes and Can’t Stand Me Now and played an encore including Up the Bracket and closing with Don’t Look Back Into The Sun. There seemed to be a great relationship between Pete Doherty and Carl Barât throughout the set which pleased the crowd.

Some of Scotland’s finest talent was on display throughout the weekend with acts like The Proclaimers, Admiral Fallow and headliners Twin Atlantic playing across the stages. Many people faced a tough decision on Saturday with Avicii and Twin Atlantic playing at the same time on separate stages. However it was safe to say whichever act was chosen would not have disappointed. Both acts offered an energetic, all singing, all dancing performance that not even the rain could hinder. The Swedish DJ, Avicii, offered a visually captivating performance with smoke, streamers and a spectacular lighting display. There was a rave taking place in Strathallan with people dancing and singing along to hit songs Hey Brother and Wake Me Up.

On the Radio One Stage, Twin Atlantic were offering heart filled seventh T in the Park performance. Amongst speaking of the honour and emotion the band were feeling to be headlining on a Saturday night, lead vocalist sam McTrusty also had the crowd sit on the ground and on his count stand up and go wild. With a wide range of new and old songs from what What is Light? Where is Laughter? to I Am An Animal, Twin Atlantic invested their hear and soul in the performance and had the audience captivated from start to finish.

The third and final day of T in the Park was kicked off by acts such as Saint Raymond, The Parsonage Choir and Ella Eyre. The View followed James Bay, whose good looks and great tunes both attracted many goey eyed females. It was great to see the amount of people out to see the opening acts on the final morning of the festival.

The Main Stage and Radio 1 Stage were both displaying tough competition on Sunday evening. Catfish And The Bottlemen, Kodaline and Jamie T all offered an indie/alternative rock performance Radio 1 Stage. In tandem on the Main Stage there was a slightly different vibe, with the soul singing group Alabama Shakes giving a spectacular performance and had people in the crowed shouting ‘We love you Brittany!’.

The crowd were extatic to watch Paloma Faith perform. She played a variety of songs, from her first ever single, Stone Cold Sober to the more recent chart topping single Changing. Although there was much controversy over Paloma’s revealing outfit, the singer-songwriter put on a great visual performance with her quirky stage set up, opposed to the black back drop the crowd had gotten used to across the weekend. This performance was not the first time the crowd has got a glimpse of Paloma. The brit appeared at the front of the stage the previous day to watch her “idol” Labrinth play and later stated he made her cry “actual tears”.

 
0S7A5519 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

Stereophonics opened with Catacomb and a small flame display and continued to wow the crowd with all-time favourites such as Graffiti On The Train, Mr Writer and Maybe Tomorrow. Stereophonic are no strangers to T in the Park and have developed a reputation that is certain to attract a large crowd every time. Just when it seemed the energy could not be elevated any higher, Stereophonic kicked it up a notch and played finished the set with 2005 No.1 hit, Dakota.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds were the grand finale on Sunday night. The band’s own songs got the crowd going, however it was the old Oasis classics that got the crowd going wild. People of all ages showed up to absorb the atmosphere and sing their hearts out. There was many an emotional Oasis T-shirt wearer when they played songs such as Champagne Supernova and The Masterplan. Noel communicated with the audience throughout the set and offered a more sincere performance many may be used to. The band closed with Don’t Look Back in Anger. A very fitting end to both the set and T in The Park, 2015.

Full Radio One Big Weekend Norwich lineup announced

On this morning's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast ShowScott Mills announced the line-up for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2015, taking place at Earlham Park, Norwich on 23 and 24 May – including Foo Fighters and Muse who will headline the event.

Some of the hottest UK and international acts will join them to perform at Europe’s biggest free ticketed festival which brings the whole nation together for one weekend of amazing live music.

Joining headliners Muse to perform on the Main Stage on Saturday 23 May alongside the already announced Florence + The Machine are 5 Seconds of SummerDavid GuettaBen HowardThe VaccinesFall Out Boy and Charli XCX.

Alongside Foo Fighters, who will headline the Main Stage on Sunday 24 May and Taylor Swift who has already been announced, Sam Smith,Rita OraGeorge EzraClean BanditOlly Murs and Imagine Dragons will also perform.

Snoop DoggRudimentalJess GlynneHozierYears & YearsElla EyreSlavesMallory Knox and Circa Waves will all perform onSaturday 23 May on the event’s In New Music We Trust Stage.

On Sunday 24 May, the In New Music We Trust Stage will host performances from Jamie TAlt-JSigmaCatfish & The Bottlemen,JungleJames BaySOAKRaury and Lower Than Atlantis.

Matt Bellamy from Muse said: “I’m very excited to play. The last time we played Big Weekend, for us it was a disaster, so I can’t wait to make up for it on this performance. I’m really looking forward to coming back and doing a great show. I’m pretty sure that we may unveil another new song that we will play for the first time which is pretty exciting.”

Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters said: “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to come out. I don’t really think we’ve ever played there before so I’m looking forward to it.”

Jess Glynne said: “My first Big Weekend in my own right and what a line up to be a part of. I can’t wait to play Norwich with my band and let you hear some of the songs from my new album. It’s going to be big.”

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be fantastic – great music, great fun and a great location.”

The line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage will be announced in Huw Stephens’ show.

 

Calvin Harris & Kasabian lead V Festival 2015 lineup

Global platinum-selling artist Calvin Harris and Iconic rockers Kasabian are today announced as the headliners for V Festival’s Virgin Media stage.

Taking place across the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd August 2015, the local lads from Leicester and the DJ from north of the border will be joined by a host of music heavyweights to ensure V Festival sees out its second decade in style.

Joining the headliners across the two festival sites in Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire will be a supporting cast of Britain’s finest talent and biggest names. Music lovers with this summer’s hottest ticket will also see performances from recent four-time Grammy and 2015 Brit winner Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, The Script, Hozier, George Ezra, Stereophonics, Brit winners Paloma Faith and James Bay, Olly Murs, Tom Jones, Clean Bandit, Kodaline, Ella Henderson, Nero and Courteeners plus many more to be announced across four stages at the two festival sites.

Making his debut on top of the bill, Calvin Harris said: 

V Festival is always an incredible time and I can't wait to headline it this year. See you there!”

Kasabian’s Sergio Pizzorno, said: 

“V is for victory, V is for voodoo, V is for vacuum cloud, V is for very very very very excited. See you in the fields!”

The hugely popular Glee Club Comedy Tent also returns as the festival’s fifth stage this year, with a hilarious line-up that will be announced in the coming months.

Over the festival weekend there’ll also be sets from The Kooks, Marina & The Diamonds, The Proclaimers, Jess Glynne, Andy C, Imelda May, Gregory Porter, Fuse ODG, Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Jessie Ware, Ella Eyre, Hannah Wants, Reverend & the Makers, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Annie Mac.

The glamorous V Style camping will also return for its fifth year. V Style is now an established part of the V Festival family, giving music fans the chance to experience the best of both worlds – enjoying a mix of music and comedy and relaxing at pampering stations and in ready built bell tents, huts, and luxury yurts.

Tickets go on sale from March 6th at 9am with fans advised to visit www.vfestival.com, where all official outlets are detailed. V organisers again stress to fans that purchasing tickets from unofficial outlets could lead to disappointment.

The full line up includes: Kasabian, Calvin Harris, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, The Script, Hozier, George Ezra, Stereophonics, Paloma Faith, James Bay, Olly Murs, Chvrches, Imelda May, Kodaline, Ella Henderson, Nero, Reverend & the Makers, The Courteeners, Marina & The Diamonds, The Proclaimers, Tom Jones, Jess Glynne, Andy C, The Kooks, Gregory Porter, Fuse ODG, Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Jessie Ware, Ella Eyre, Hannah Wants, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Annie Mac.

Kasabian, Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds & Avicii lead T in the Park 2015 lineup

Joining previously announced The Libertines on the T in the Park bill will be fan favouritesKasabian, who headline the historic first day at the festival’s new home. Swedish dance sensation Avicii will make his long-awaited T in the Park debut when he closes the Main Stage on Saturday. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are sure to deliver a finale of epic proportions when they bring the Main Stage to a close, and influential dance icons The Prodigy will headline the Radio 1 Stage on Sunday night. Both Noel Gallagher and The Prodigy will become the first acts to have graced the T in the Park stage in all three of the festival’s homes – Strathclyde Country Park, Balado and now Strathallan Castle. Long-time festival favourites Stereophonics will appear penultimate to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on the Main Stage on the final night. Superstar DJ and producer David Guetta, Sam Smith and The Script will also make a welcome return to the festival.
 
With some of the biggest names in music heading for Scotland this summer, T in the Park’s debut outing at Strathallan Castle is already shaping up to be an unmissable weekend:
 
FRIDAY 10th JULY: Kasabian, David Guetta, Sam Smith, Rudimental, Fatboy Slim, Hozier, Annie Mac, Hot Chip, The Wombats, Gorgon City, Duke Dumont, Jessie Ware, Fuse ODG
  
SATURDAY 11th JULY: Avicii, The Libertines, The Script, Twin Atlantic, alt-J, George Ezra, Jessie J, Courteeners, The Vaccines, Labrinth, The Proclaimers, St. Vincent, Enter Shikari, Seasick Steve, Jungle, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Idlewild, Jess Glynne, Charli XCX
  
SUNDAY 12th JULY: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Prodigy, Stereophonics, Jamie T, Paloma Faith, Above & Beyond, Alabama Shakes, Kodaline, Catfish & the Bottlemen, Clean Bandit, Oliver Heldens, Ella Henderson, Modest Mouse, James Bay, Years & Years, Peace
 
Kasabian are huge crowd favourites, and when the lads return to the Main Stage this July, they will become the first act to headline Strathallan Castle. Currently in the form of their lives both on stage and on record, their latest album 48:13 became their fourth consecutive no.1 album. The band described the album as being “about the crowd, the fans. That moment we share onstage, where they’re giving as much as you’re giving, it’s so special, so it’s a love letter to that moment and to those people.” T in the Parkers will be able to share that moment this July.
 
In 2014, Swedish songwriter and producer Avicii cemented his place as a true superstar recording artist/DJ with the success of his genre-defying debut album, True. The album blends the earthy sounds of folk, country, and bluegrass with soaring pop melodies, funky disco jams, and driving house beats. His 4x-platinum stomper Wake Me Up hit no. 1 in 81 countries and became the most streamed song of all time on Spotify. He’s also just released single The Nights and has a brand new album in the pipeline. Having played to millions at major festivals like Miami’s Ultra Music and Lollapalooza and at the world’s biggest clubs, Avicii will add T in the Park to this illustrious list when he makes his debut this July.
 
Avicii said“Really looking forward to get back to Scotland for one of the best festivals in the world! Can't wait for July 11th!”
 
Noel Gallagher will go down in T in the Park history this July as one of the first artists to play at each of the festival’s three homes. Oasis played the festival’s very first outing at Strathclyde Country Park in 1994, and headlined Balado in 2002. When Noel returns in 2015 with his High Flying Birds, he’ll complete the T hat-trick. Chasing Yesterday is out on March 2nd and marks a new chapter and sound for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.  It’s the first album to be produced as well as written by Noel and features a much broader array of instrumentation than ever before; the result is a rich, expansive and multi-layered record, drawing from a range of disparate influences – from west coast rock to classic rock’n’roll and even some space jazz!
 
David Guetta has played a pivotal role in turning dance music into the chart-topping juggernaut it is today. His impact is impossible to underestimate, and he can be considered among the elite group of super-producers whose sound is synonymous with an era. His landmark new album,Listen, proves he remains at the top of his game. With residencies at XS and Encore in Vegas, Ushuaia and Pacha in Ibiza, he DJs to millions around the world each year – next stop, Strathallan Castle.
 
The Prodigy have cut a solitary path through the noise-scapes of electronic dance music. They’ve dropped five epoch-defining studio albums, including 2009’s world dominating Invaders Must Die, and delivered unforgettable live performances that have taken electronic beats into unchartered territories, inspiring legions of artists along the way. They return in 2015 with a brand new albumThe Day is My Enemy. Huge fan favourites, they will join Noel Gallagher in the T in the Park history books as they become one of the first acts to have played all three of the festival’s homes.
 
One of the UK's most successful bands of recent years, Stereophonics defined the sound of British guitar music from the late 90s onwards. They have released 8 studios albums, 1 double live album and 1 greatest hits album and have combined sales of over 9 million albums. The band made a triumphant return with Graffiti on the Train in 2013, which became one of the bestselling LPs of the year, and was an ever-present fixture in the Top Twenty in the first six months of its release. Their hotly anticipated new album is due to be released later this year. Fronted by Kelly Jones and his distinctive, classic vocal, the band have come a long way since being signed back in 1996. After touring relentlessly to support their debut album release, they picked up a BRIT award for Best New Group in early 1998 and have never looked back. 
 
The band said: "We are really looking forward to being back at T in the Park this year for our ninth appearance at the prestigious festival and are excited to perform at the Strathallan Castle for the first time!"
 
Since winning the BRITS Critic’s Choice award and topping the BBC Sound Poll at the start of last year, Sam Smith has gone on to become one of the biggest breakout UK male artists in recent years. His multi-platinum selling album In The Lonely Hour debuted at no.1 in the UK charts and has sold over 5 million copies globally, making Sam the only artist in the world in 2014 to sell 1 million albums in both the UK and US. Last year he picked up four MOBOs, Best New Act at the Q Awards and Favourite Male Rock/Pop at the American Music Awards, before becoming the biggest winner at this month’s Grammys, including the prestigious prizes for record and song of the year and best new artist.
Since Dublin three-piece The Script hit the no.1 spot with their self-titled debut album in 2008, they’ve gone from strength to strength. Their 2012 worldwide smash Hall Of Fame took them to stratospheric levels of global stardom, with record sales in excess of 20 million, achieving multi-platinum status around the world. Their fourth album, No Sound Without Silence, is the sound of a band firing on all cylinders and channeling the momentum of their last, rocket-powered campaign.The band said:“We are really excited to be playing T in the Park this summer. We’ve had a lot of fun playing at T in the past, and the Scottish crowds always offer us a huge welcome.”
  
Rudimental are fast becoming T in the Park favourites. The pioneering melting-pot collective rocketed to fame with the chart-topping Feel the Love in 2012, returning to the no.1 spot months later with Waiting All Night, before swiftly following up with a number 1 debut album. Now one of the most in-demand acts on the summer festival circuit, they’ll bring their feel good tunes to T in the Park. 
After a soaring performance on the Main Stage at T in the Park last year, Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic have enjoyed a phenomenal year selling out venues around the country and releasing their album Great Divide which debuted at number 6 in the UK Chart. Picking up gongs including ‘Best Indie Single’ at the AIM Awards for their single Heart and Soul’ Twin Atlantic have perfected stadium-ready emo-pop with their anthemic sound, and will play an epic headline the Radio 1 Stage on Saturday night.
 
Twin Atlantic’s Sam McTrusty said: "For our seventh appearance at T in the Park we shall be headlining the Radio 1 stage on Saturday. Expect a landmark performance from our band to christen the new T site. If you've been at any of our previous T in the Park sets you will know that this festival brings out another side to our band and has always helped push us to the next level. It will be an honour for us as well as a massive memorable party. This summer will be the last chance to see us for a while and we hope you will be there to be part of the celebrations."
 
Singer-songwriter Jamie T returned after a 5-year absence with Carry on the Grudge last year. The record was hailed as “consistently enthralling” by NME, and he’s sure to receive a warm welcome back from T in the Parkers. 
 
Fatboy Slim’s return to T in the Park has been a long time coming. The legendary DJ’s live shows are an explosive mix of his own patented brand of “party acid house” and complex audio-visual production. Having last played T in the Park in 1999, he’ll surely receive a hero’s welcome.
 
alt-J returned last September with the hotly anticipated follow-up to their first full-length release, 2012’s Mercury Prize-winning An Awesome Wave. The latest record from the intrepid British art-rock quartet, This Is All Yours, is similarly clever and conceptual, proving the band are capable of both boldness and restraint, and earning them nominations at the 2015 Brit Awards for Best Album and Best British Group.
 
Hozier’s poetic lyrics and hauntingly beautiful voice has earned him a huge fanbase and a reputation as one of the biggest breakthrough artists of recent times. Reaction to the release of his debut EP, Take Me to Church has been phenomenal, and he’ll make his T in the Park debut this July.
 
George Ezra is one of the biggest breakthrough stars of 2014. His critically acclaimed debut albumWanted On Voyage has sold over a quarter of a million copies, reaching no.1 for the first time in October. It capped a remarkable twelve months for the singer-songwriter who has gone from virtual unknown to internationally renowned star, taking in three sold out UK tours, top 10 singles in 10 countries, a top 5 album in eight, 33 million views on YouTube, and over 70 million streams on Spotify.
 
Annie Mac is Radio 1's queen of dance music, and due to become the new presenter of its weekday evening new music show next month. She’ll get the party started with her dazzling selection of the best new 
dance music.
Rising from hotly tipped producers to their current global standing, Above & Beyond are the only dance act in history to win Essential Mix Of The Year twice (in 2004 and 2011). The London-based trio have remixed greats like Radiohead and Madonna, played to one million people on Barra Beach in Rio de Janeiro and are much loved for their epic, immersive and interactive live shows.
 
With a repertoire packed full of feel-good festival anthems, The Vaccines’ high octane tunes are sure to go down a storm. The band scored a no.1 album with their second record Come of Age,with their forthcoming album English Graffiti due out this year.
 
Labrinth’s breakthrough came with his guest spot on Tinie Tempah’s smash hit Frisky. Juggling production work for the likes of Ms. Dynamite and with working on his debut album – the acclaimedElectronic Earth, he hit the no. 2 spot with hit single Earthquake and topped the charts withBeneath Your Beautiful featuring Emeli Sande. His hotly anticipated second album Take Me to The Truth is due out this year.
 
Huge crowd favourites, The Proclaimers are set to bring their singalong anthems to Strathallan for the fifth time. Due to release their 10th studio album in April, the band’s return to T in the Parkcomes after the success of the movie Sunshine on Leith featuring music from the band and a globe-trotting world tour. 
 
Dutch electronic producer Oliver Heldens knows how to get a crowd going and is sure to bring that party atmosphere to his performance at this year’s T in the Park. Capturing the attention of major DJs and producers, the talented Heldens also impressed Tiesto in 2013 with his track Geckowhich was later released on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom Label. 
 
The Wombats’ infectious alt.pop platinum debut album Guide To Love, Loss And Desperation won them legions of fans. Their indie dancefloor smashes including Kill The DirectorLet’s Dance To Joy Division and Moving To New York will surely prove popular this summer.
 
The band said: “We can't wait to get back to the mayhem that is T in the Park! It's been too long…”
 
Gorgon City’s are one of the most exciting new acts in the ever-flourishing landscape of British club savvy pop. Polished, powerful and party-minded, their Top 5 single Ready for Your Lovefeaturing MNEK was one of the dancefloor hits of last year.
 
Jungle’s irresistible report-to-the-dancefloor sound has generated a huge buzz, plus a BBC Sound of 2014 nomination. They sold out their US tour on the back of a SXSW appearance, before they even had an official record out in America, and will make their T in the Park debut this July. 
 
Another hotly tipped newcomer, James Bay is the recipient of this year’s BRITs’ Critics’ Choice Award, and came second in BBC’s Sound of 2015. He releases his debut album, one of the most hotly anticipated of the year, The Chaos and the Calm, next month.
 
Jessie Ware’s debut album Devotion became one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2012, lauded by everyone from Pitchfork to Heat Magazine and nominated for the Mercury Prize. She released her second album, Tough Love, in October, scoring another Top 10 record.
 
Fuse ODG fuses pop sounds with African rhythm and percussion to create an infectious afrobeats sound which has taken the UK charts by storm. He’ll bring his summery tunes to Strathallan Castle, including top 10 smash hits T.I.N.A, Dangerous Love, Antenna ft Wyclef Jean and Million Pound Girl, ft Sean Paul.
Featuring on huge hit records in her short career, the soulful Jess Glynne has leant her vocals to Clean Bandit for their chart topper Rather Be and Route 94’s My Love showing off her star quality. Her solo record Right Here was also a top 10 hit and those hits are sure to please the crowd at this year’s festival.
 
Fresh from winning a 2015 NME Award in the Dance Floor Filler category, Charli XCX’s catchy pop has seen the artist be thrown into the realms of worldwide success topping the charts, working on hit collaborations including Icona Pop’s I Love It in 2013 and Iggy Azelea’s Fancy in 2014. Her latest single Boom Clap has seen the star hit the top 10 spot in the UK and USA.
 
Peace are one of the UK’s most exciting guitar bands today. Selling out numerous dates throughout the country armed with a live energy and sense of spontaneity, they are one of the most sought-after live acts in the UK. Their heart-on-sleeve indie anthemics, enthusiastic and youthful zing and an ability to write uplifting, soaring choruses make them a welcomed addition to this year’s T in the Park line-up.

Acts revealed for Disclosure & Rudimental present Wild Life Festival

WILD LIFE was created by Disclosure in early summer 2014 as an extension of their hugely successful live and DJ shows. What began as tiny and very sweaty east London parties, soon grew into a global prospect within a matter of months and found Disclosure curating events in major cites across the world and hosting stages at various festivals in the UK, EU and US. These included WILD LIFE line-ups at Glastonbury, Unknown, Exit Festival as well as bespoke events at The Greek Theatre in Berkley, Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Detroit and a summer residency at Space in Ibiza.

Now to 2015 – less than a year later, they have reached out to their good friends Rudimental in order to put together their most exciting event to date…

The first ever WILD LIFE festival – right here in the UK. The two day event, solely curated by both bands, will be held in the grounds of Brighton City Airport on June 6th & 7th 2015.

The intention of WILD LIFE has always been to curate line-ups comprised of artists and DJs that Disclosure love which they then turn into incredible parties in exciting locations around the world. With the integral input of Rudimental, they’ve brought together musicians from different genres and eras – from hip hop, techno, pop, UK garage, as well as old and new house legends – for this inaugural WILD LIFE festival. 

Disclosure said:

"We’re both so excited to announce the creation of WILD LIFE Festival! And so so proud to have been able to curate an amazing line up along side our good mates, Rudimental. What a weekend this is going to be!"

Rudimental added:

'To be able to curate our own festival with our favourite acts in partnership with our friends Disclosure is a dream come true. We are expecting the weekend to be unforgettable and to make history with this collaboration is a real pleasure'.

ARTISTS REVEALED SO FAR:

DISCLOSURE / RUDIMENTAL / SAM SMITH / GEORGE EZRA /

WU TANG CLAN / ANNIE MAC / SETH TROXLER / JAMIE XX / DAVID RODIGAN / MAYA JANE COLES b2b HEIDI

Bestival 2014 Full Review

There is nothing like the utter glee of throwing off the shackles of work and life for one final splurge of hedonism at the festival season’s last hurrah – Bestival. Seasoned Besti-goers have sat back and watched the Glastovians, Creamfielders, V-lovers and Reading-heads toddle off for weekends of muddy silliness, and smirked a wry smile at the thousands of Moss-alikes in their tedious wellies-with-knicker-shorts combos. Now, the waiting game is over and Bestivites the country, nay world over, are flocking to the Isle of Wight for four uninterrupted days of pure high summer mayhem in the beautiful setting of Robin Hill, by hook or by crook (well, by ferry, hovercraft or swimming really…) they are chasing their bit of paradise.

Thursday saw campsites being opened early due to the large number of eager beavers waiting at the gates, and better parking organisation around the Yellow parking area meant that everything ran super smoothly getting in. With an array of campsites to choose from there’s a home-turf for everyone, and tribes are picking their areas, giggling with memories of campground legends from years past. The sun is already out as tents pop up, and the arena is beginning to buzz. Heading up to Peace Hill, sun-soakers are taking in a lively performance from Juke and The All Drunk Orchestra, with glittery hippy types up and dancing like loons immediately. 

Many Bestivites count snacking on delicious butter-slathered corn-on-the-cob a rite of passage up on Peace Hill, but there’s also stunning Lobster and chips brought in from local Vetnor, fabulously flavoured ice creams (honey and ginger anyone?) and the very acceptable Bestivale available for the discerning gourmand. If you’re looking for a mental challenge, there are talks at Bestiversity all weekend, and the Science tent has many interesting experiments to try out with the help of some extremely knowledgeable scientists. Heading for a wander up the hill, Tiny Town is a giddy little exercise in hiding in kids playhouses to scare the living daylights out of each other, and the wooden Maze is surprisingly complicated, good for a race around and it’s always comical to bump into someone dressed as a Panda or Palm Tree, at speed.

Despite the woods and Bollywood/Port area being closed for Thursday, there are lights and sounds everywhere, with a million things going on. Caravanserai is a little wonderland through a magic door, you can sit in the sawn-halves of gaudily decorated proper caravans to drink your cocktails, have a boogie on the Carousel dancefloor or cuddle up with your mates in the Wurlitzer seats for a while. Next door is The Feast Collective, a new addition to the Bestival family. The big tent hosts a myriad of incredible food outlets to satisfy any craving – handmade maki rolls, raclette oozing over… everything, baked camembert, hearty goulash, Indian street food, great British pies, American loaded hotdogs and even incredible soft-shell crab burgers. The quality of food around the Bestival site always amazes, but this is truly a step into the weird and wonderful. To compliment all this, there are heaps more benches and tables out than in previous years and the music coming from the newly housed Polka Stage in the Travelling Barn is excellent. If none of that is quite enough, watching the sun shimmer on the record-breaking and truly incredible gigantic Disco Ball installation, or getting an eyeful of ‘Christina’ at The Grand Palace of Entertainment, or maybe some first night music like the odd brilliance of The Correspondents, or classic Beck to tip you over the edge into your Bestival adventure. 

Friday sees the opening of Bollywood and The Port, the dance/electronic capital of Bestival. The Port is a huge ocean liner type installation where DJ’s play from the roof along with dancers, firebreathers, a couple of giant mermaids and arial acrobats suspended from a crane above the crowd, it’s like everything that could be hilariously weird to the terminally trippy has come together in one heart-pounding bass heavy place. The Sunday Best shop and cocktail lounge is selling jam jars full of icy mojitos, Bollywood is violently bright and brilliant, with people draped over the box seats underneath shimmering coin-laden umbrellas and the Helter Skelter/Wall of Death/toboggan run combo downfield is a big kids dream. 

Heading into the deep dark woods there’s a noticeable increase in the number of giant net hammocks hiding amongst the trees, where naptime is a genuinely acceptable event for grown ups in the middle of the day. Glittering lights, waterfalls, playparks,  hidden pools and a massive synthesiser installation to play with are just some of the things you can see in The Ambient Forest, before you burst into a clearing at The Amphitheatre. Spoken word artist/rapper Kate Tempest’s pre-show interview is witty, intelligent and truly captivating, hearing her talk about her work and life is a real insight to a genuinely talented individual. Back at the Main Stage, secret act Lethal Bizzle is hyping up the crowd with an attempt at a mosh pit and The Harlem Shake. Up next Laura Mvula’s beautiful vocals soar across the arena but there’s not much of a crowd, whilst over at The Bandstand, Motif are playing to a sun-baked audience and getting jazzy.

Back at The Amphitheatre, Scroobius Pip’s Satin Lizard Lounge is kicking off with spoken word artists Harry Baker (with a hilarious rendition of Ed Sheeran’s A-team based on desserts), the nervous ball of energy that is Tim Clare (we loved ‘Noah’s Ark and Grill’) and the raw, honest words of Kate Tempest.The evening sees the main stage light up for Disclosure, and a guest appearances from Eliza Doolittle for ‘Me & You’ and Sam Smith for ‘Latch’, gets the arena bouncing, but headliner Outkast come across a bit flat in some places. Hits ‘Ms Jackson’ and ‘Hey Ya’ have everyone up and screaming but more rap-based songs don’t quite hit the mark. Heading over to The Big Top, newly reinvented La Roux (with her band who are performing at a big UK festival for the first time) draws a huge crowd for her soaring vocals, and both new and old tracks go down a storm, particularly ‘Bulletproof’ – one of those perfect hazy Bestival night moments that everyone will remember.

Fancy dress Saturday is sort of a misnomer at Bestival now, everyone dresses up all weekend anyway, but Desert Island Disco is the theme and everyone seems to have embraced the sparkles, sequins, rainbow and afro combination with wild abandon. Though the theme isn’t as clear as previous years and there aren’t as many ‘big’ costumes as we’ve seen before, everyone is joining in, and there’s a pleasingly distinct minority of the sort of people who buy “Festival Fashion” that seem to come in droves at other festivals. An early start and crazy booking for Welsh Reggae-Metal band Skindred, who usually hit up festivals like Download at Donington Park and have a distinctly black-tshirt wearing fanbase. They absolutely tear it up on the main stage, gaining many new fans with current album tracks such as ‘Ninja’ and anthem ‘Warning’ – getting the crowd to join in for some t-shirt whirling for their ‘Newport Helicopter’. Despite a sparse and lazily sunbathing crowd, pop princess Sophie Ellis Bextor surprise all with a solid set featuring hits and covers, notably Moloko’s ‘Sing It Back’, as well as ditching her red-ridinghood dress halfway through for a theme appropriate saucy grass skirt costume. Joking “If the giant disco ball were to fall on me and kill me, it would of course be… Murder on the Dancefloor” she ends the set with a giggle. Bestival stalwarts and kings of comedy The Cuban Brothers are always the funniest thing you’re going to see all weekend and this is no exception. Lewdness, rudeness, downright dirtiness, nothing is out of bounds for Miguel and co. but the music and the dancing holds up, Archerio, Kengo and Dominico one up each other with B-boy and breaking moves whilst Miguel takes his keks off and gets busted by security whilst quipping that he used to “do too much nose-whiskey” and telling everyone to “touch each other in the correct manner”. Kengo/Kenny (“the bastard”!) comes out in a white jumpsuit to do a touching rendition of Whitnney’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and the finale of three Cubans doing a press-up tower with Dom barrel-flipping over the top is truly impressive.

Over in The Big Top, a very special event is the final show of Dan le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip, before they head off to pursue their own individual projects. Personally introduced by Bestival curator Rob Da Bank himself, the duo come busting in with ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ Dan and Pip show why their three album collaboration has been so successful, as the crowd go mental. Pip laments “The first time that we played was here in this tent. We weren’t even allowed on the stage, we were in a DJ booth on the front and it was really late”. ‘Sick Tonight’ is powerful and has everyone singing along despite the speed of Pip’s verse and the pair joke “Can they jump and clap? Yeah! This is Bestival it ain’t no fucking Reading or Leeds crowd!”. ‘Get Better’ is a fan favourite and their first ever song ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’ (with a little addition of ‘Thou shalt not question Rob Da Bank’) is perfectly executed. Sharing a hug and final photo on stage, Dan and Pip go out with a bang. It’s the end of an era and Bestivites who’ve been with them from the beginning are right there with them.

After a recharge up at The Solace Tent, and an open-mouthed stare at the sheer size of Bestival from the hill-top, it’s down to the main stage for the ambient and soulful London Grammar, followed by headliner Foals, whose sound gets a bit lost in the noise of the surrounding tents. The grassy area outside The Polka Club is ambushed by the tartan clad New York Brass Band playing a rousing rendition of ‘Happy’ and The Big Top is packed from the inside of the tent right out to the food outlets surrounding for Basement Jaxx. Many are questioning the decision to put Foals on the main stage and Jaxx in the tent, as the sound is severely dampened from the outside, and from the view that Foals did not hold a particularly dense headline crowd earlier compared to the thousands who are trying to get into the Big Top. ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Red Alert’ almost lift the roof off the tent and security try in vain to get those who’ve shinned the poles for a better view, to get down.

The final day at Bestival has come, and Sunday’s vast lineup of music, poetry and activities is no less full or impressive than the last few days. Clean Bandit take to the main stage for an amazing sunshine filled electronic set with the crowning jewel ‘Rather Be’ belting out across the arena and proving to be the perfectly apt lyrics for the Bestival crowd who are hugging each other close; “We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have travelled land and sea, but as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be”. Due to the cancellation of Busta Rhymes, the main stage crowd is instead treated to another member of the Bestival family, DJ Yoda – whose hilarious AV show and samples from movies and TV are played on the giant stage screen, along with a flashing line of text proclaiming “I am not Busta Rhymes’.

 

Major Lazer play a raft of current mixed up current hits such as Oliver Helden’s ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ and Keisza’s ‘Hideaway’ whilst club dancers thrash about on the stage and Diplo pretty much steals stage gimmicks from everyone (Skindred’s Newport helicopter as seen earlier in the day, neon ticker tape canons, even the Zorbing ball a la The Flaming Lips and a frankly embarrassing attempt at a circle pit…). In the Big Top one of the most incredible shows of the weekend – Chvrches completely makes up for the aural assault of Major Lazer, with swooningly beautiful vocals and the kind of electronic wizardry that makes you feel like your heart is trying to get out of your mouth. The tent wasn’t full, but the people who made it in there can count themselves lucky to have caught an absolutely stunning set from the Scottish band.

Sunday headliner Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers was beset by a band tragedy – guitar tech and long time friend Terry Brauer having died just before the show began, and Nile broke into tears a number of times during the set. Despite this, it was the great disco showdown that we had been promised by Bestival, Nile’s incredible discography speaks for itself and the sheer quality of Chic shone through. Hits a plenty had everyone pulling out their best Saturday Night Fever style moves and winding up Bestival in the best way possible, pure unadulterated party. The closing ceremony saw the giant disco-ball hoisted into the air via crane, glittering in the spotlights, and a barrage of incredible fireworks lighting up the arena over Peace Hill, and anyone who grabbed a pair of shimmery glasses from the physics area of the Science tent got an extra special psychedelic show on top of it all.

Of course, nothing’s ever really the end at Bestival… The woods are calling with secret parties and DJ sets, The Port is aflame and going strong, The Grand Palace of Entertainment is still as indecent as ever, and ‘Almost Famous’ is being screened in The Amphitheatre… we’re going wherever the night takes us, for one last time this year…


Photos by James Bridle

T in the Park 2014 – Sunday Review

As the weekend starts to shape up as my favourite year at T in the Park the sun makes a re-appearance with 23 degree heat and the line up continues to impress. Starting off my day with Sam Smith, singing the song that he credits for him being signed “Lay Me Down” left me with chills and an uncompromising appreciation for Sam Smith. Not only does that man have a beautiful voice he has such a genuine honesty to him and his song lyrics that make him undeniably likeable.

Jess Glynne who you might know from the Clean Bandit song “Rather Be” performed on the T Break stage, having only ever heard her before I was surprised to see she has an edgier, darker look than I expected. Already having huge success with Clean Bandit and Route 94 she’s starting to propel with her own work which has strong similarities to Katy B’s music, so if you’re a fan of Katy you should definitely look further in to Jess.

Bastille, introduced by the charismatic Greg James from Radio1 were some what of a personal disappointment. Technically they were solid and unblemished but there was a sense of forced enthusiasm from the band which set the foundation for an unatmospheric and dreary set.

Feeling my day was lacking a bit of crazy I went to see King Charles and he didn’t disappoint. Rocking dreadlocks, a thin (verging on creepy) moustache and an all white jumpsuit (Yes girls, the same kind of jumpsuit you where on a night out, get drunk and end up wrestling with when you need to pee) he graced the stage and lifted up the atmosphere in the tent dramatically. King Charles is an upbeat, pop-folk singer/song writer/guitarist/cellist and general mad man who won the International song writing Competition in 2009, who has since released and album and toured with Mumford and Sons. Obviously still enjoying what he’s doing, King Charles is an absolute joy to watch.

After yesterday’s praise of Dundee band Copper Lungs I decided to go see another Scottish band starting to make a name for themselves, Vigo Thieves a band from Wishaw just outside Glasgow are a 5 piece who, last year became the first unsigned band to sell out King Tut’s two nights in a row. Carrying on from this success and supporting The Fratellis earlier this year, Vigo Thieves have a kind of 90’s feel to them with band member Chrus Gorman providing compelling synth/piano hooks and vocalist Stevie Dukes holding on to note after note. With up and coming dates over the UK you don’t have an excuse not to go see them for yourself.

Now a T in the Park favourite, Tinie Tempah, blew up the Radio1 Stage, able to hear the crowd from his set all the way from the main stage I went to take a look closer. I’m sure I lost 3 pounds and gained 4 bruises in that crowd. There is honestly nothing I can say to do his set any justice so here’s a mere 3 minute clip to give you an idea. 

I’ve said it time and time again but the atmosphere at T in the Park is nothing but contagious and it has to be one of the best festival crowd experiences in the world.

With Tinie Tempah leaving such an amazing vibe buzzing around the Radio1 stage I decided to stay for Disclosure and if you’ve ever thought they’re “just” DJ’s you should go see them play at one of their 39 festival slots this year. Between them, brothers Guy and Howard can sing, play the drums, guitar, bass and piano, if it’s something these boys are lacking, it definitely isn’t talent. With a stage set up unlike most DJ’s where you can only see their head bopping about, Disclosure had a more casual and intimate set up. Opposite one another and set up with their own decks and chosen instruments, the crowd were able to see everything the boys were doing. Bringing on guest vocalists Eliza Doolittle for “You &Me”, Aluna from AlunaGeorge for “White Noise” and closing the show with Sam Smith and “Latch” Disclosure brought their A-game to T in the Park and gave Balado the best possible send of it could have asked for.

In my opinion T in the Park just keeps getting better and this year especially, had one of the best line ups it’s ever had. With organisers not only securing some of the biggest names in music they also took in to consideration the best of UK’s up and coming acts and it’s this consistency that gives people the confidence to buy early bird tickets for the following year without knowing the line-up. With next year being the first ever year at the new picturesque site of Strathallan Castle everyone’s curiosity is sure to get the better of them and I imagine tickets will go even faster than usual. Loyal to T in the Park or even just curious to see what all the fuss is about, make sure you secure your ticket for next year here. http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/T-in-the-Park-tickets/artist/28658

Parklife Weekender Review 2014

Temperamental wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of 70,000 festival goers at last weekend’s sold-out Parklife Festival, which now in its fourth year, saw Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, Disclosure and Sam Smith prove to be essential highlights.

Arriving at around 1pm, SFG headed straight to the Hospitality tent for some early afternoon drum & bass with flashing strobes, courtesy of Logistics and later, Camo & Krooked.

Heading to the main stage for Kiesza, who is accompanied by two male dancers, her 90’s influenced choreography and funk tracks prove an early treat. Giant In My Heart fuses disco and funk perfectly, before the Canadian ex-navy recruit takes to the piano for a stripped down cover of Haddaway’s, What Is Love, showcasing her powerful vocal range. Ending with number one track, Hideaway, she lifts everyone’s spirits despite the grey clouds looming up above. Catchy “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” and house-y beats provide the first sing-a-long of the weekend (with many more to come), before the track is mixed into Gorgon City’s deep-house edit. Now recording her debut album, expect another catchy chart-bothering track to go viral in the coming months.

Spending around 20 minutes struggling to find the Colonnade presents: Drop the Mustard stage, where the majority of the main house draws performed, SFG caught some of Hot Natured’s, Lee Foss’ Ibiza-cum-Manchester house set at the hilltop Kaluki stage. Eventually, finding the Greek coliseum-like Colonnade stage, SFG caught house duo Waze & Odyssey’s set, including their now infamous house remix of R Kelly’s timeless classic, Bump & Grind as well as a remix of Robin S’, Show Me Love. Later at the Colonnade, it was Route 94’s turn on the decks. Performing a mostly obscure but impressive house set, with the exception of Defected Records releases, Fly 4 Life and Tell You Why, the young London-based producer drew a large crowd, with one fan feeling the need to scale a tree, receiving a smile from the producer and applause from the audience below. But it was number one house crossover hit, My Love, which saw everyone take out their iPhone’s to record the sing-a-long moment before 94 imminently takes his sound to Ibiza for the summer.

Pacing back to the opposite end of the site, to the Red Bull Academy Presents stage, Gold Panda’s hotly-anticipated set proved essential for the eyes and ears. Synth-led electronics impressed the large crowd during cutting-edge debut album offerings, Vanilla Sky, Snow & Taxis and early track Marriage before a chopped up reinvention of fan favorite, You, with its pitch-shifted vocals circling around the tent.

Back at the main stage, Grammy –winner, Foxes, attracted a large crowd with tracks from her debut album Glorious, including Youth and recent single, Let Go For Tonight, while another Hot Natured label-mate, Richy Ahmed, continued the Amnesia Ibiza-ready house vibe with 808 hi-hats and drum machines aplenty during his mid-afternoon Kaluki stage set.

Later, the sun shined while Radio One DJ Annie Mac drew the biggest crowd so far with a house orientated set including Ten Walls’ new track, Walking With Elephants and Gorgon City’s collaboration with Laura Welsh, Here For You as well as Second Citys’ I Wanna Feel which rocketed to number one two weeks ago. Later, before Sigma’s, Nobody To Love, she tells the crowd to, “grab your friend, boyfriend, or a total stranger”. Its sets like these, demonstrating which tunes to play to get thousands of people dancing, which stand testament to why she is such a hot DJ commodity.

Rudimental, who, trumpets included, perform album tracks, Spoons and Baby, show a softer side to the Black Butter Records collective. Dedicating Not Givin’ In, to his son, DJ Locksmith pulls on the crowds heartstrings before the drum & bass beats kick in, but are soon cut off due to a technical problem. It’s all back to normal though after the crowd chant “Rudimental, Rudimental, Rudimental” to give them the support to carry on, which they do oh so professionally, continuing with album tracks, Free, and later, Feel The Love.

It’s A$AP Rocky however, who delivers the best and most charismatic performance of the weekend, as a more than deserving replacement to Kendrick Lamar, who cancelled his slot. Weed promotion, referring to women as “hoes” and a whole lot of swearing, but what else would you expect from song’s titled, Hella Hoes and Fuckin’ Problems which are performed with a fifteen-man-strong A$AP Mob watching him from the side of the stage. Bassier and rowdier than on record, Palace and Wassup take the Now Wave tent to Rocky’s hometown, Harlem, New York City. “Put your hands up if you smoke fucking weed ‘cos that’s what I stand for”, demands Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, before Purple Swag where he toys with the crowd saying, “are you people ready to get turnt up or what?” New A$AP Mob track, Hella Hoes, results in a mosh pit before taking it to a “whole new mother fucking level” during Skrillex-produced Wild For The Night and Lana Del Rey-featuring Hands On The Wheel. Thanking the audience for getting him so far, he exclaims, “I can’t wait to get on them rides tonight” before a quick run through of his part in final track, Fuckin’ Problems. If you ever get the chance to see A$AP Rocky live, TAKE IT. You won’t be disappointed.

Weaving back into the middle of the main stage crowd for Saturday headliner, SFG didn’t know what to expect from the legendary Snoop Dogg’s headline set. “Who’s getting blazed in the house tonight?” asks Snoop’s DJ during a ten minute prelude to the iconic rapper coming onstage. Dressed in a USA stars and stripes jumper and yellow shades, Snoop stalks the stage with everyone taking his picture. He dedicates Supa Dupa Fly to “all the girls in the house” before rapping his part on Justin Timberlake collaboration, Signs, and his brief part on Katy Perry’s, California Girls. The only thing he could be blamed for, is looking relatively bored and indifferent, but it is Snoop Dogg after all, why should he be bothered?

Ending the night back at Kaluki in Marc Kinchen provided early evening house, in his number one remix of Storm Queens, Look Right Through, which is quickly followed by his Medicine remix of Shadow Child's, Friday and his edit of Hot Natured’s, Reverse Skydiving.

Sunday would prove to be better weather on the whole, aside from one insane downpour during Warpaint’s set which saw everyone flock to the nearest tent.

Opening the Disclosure Presents: Wildlife stage, Kanye West-collaborator Pusha T, performed tracks from his acclaimed debut album, My Name Is My Name as well as his part on the aforementioned Kanye hit, Mercy. Stalking the stage, which looks like brown lego bricks stacked high, Pusha runs through the trap beats of King Push and Nostalgia. Promising a new album in the not-so-distant-future, he continues with Numbers on the Board, seeing arms in the air pulling back and forward – an impressive debut at Parklife for the hotly-tipped ex-Clipse rapper.

Next up, are classical-cum-electronic Cambridge graduates Clean Bandit, who remained at the top of the charts for a month earlier this year with their single Rather Be. An early afternoon set time doesn’t seem to affect the eager crowd, growing by the minute. Arriving onstage to classical music alongside two guest vocalists, the quartet open with older track, A&E, before Dust Clears, with Jack Patterson leading the vocals over a synth-y beat. Tracks from their debut album New Eyes soon follow. Up Again, begins as a hand-swaying, blissed-out production before drum beats and classical chords intrude, culminating in a full on drum and bass climax while Come Over hears cellist Grace Chatto’s sweet vocals soar over a Caribbean, almost reggae beat. Mid-set, it’s clear that new single Extraordinary could become their second number one judging from the crowd’s reaction. Heart on Fire, featuring vocals from Elizabeth Troy is dedicated to “all the garage heads” before the lyrics of Mozart’s House ask, “so you think electronic music is boring?” Following this genre-crossing set, they’ve proved that that their sound is far from boring. Nightingale is then mixed into Gorgon City’s deep-house edit before feel-good festival anthem, Rather Be, which stayed at number one for a month, ends their set with the crowd on each other’s shoulders singing along word perfect.

Unexpected pop star Sam Smith, arrives for his 5pm slot to screams of excitement. Opening with Nirvana, he shows his powerful voice off straight away before Disclosure collaboration Together, complete with Chic-esque funky bass guitar lines. Leave Your Lover slows the set to a mellower, emotional halt, with some female fans starting to tear up, before further winning them over by telling the crowd that Manchester is his favorite place. Before new track, Restart, Smith informs the audience that he’s filming the music video right now, and of course everyone is more than happy to clap and sing-a-long for it. An unexpected cover of Arctic Monkey’s track, Do I Wanna Know breaks up the set with a unique take on the indie hit. Money On My Mind and Lay Me Down follow with emotional lyrics, while the heavens fittingly starting to open, before ending with recent number one single, Stay With Me. It’s obvious that Smith is providing the definitive sound of 2014, after his vocal talent was first discovered by the mainstream on another Disclosure collaboration, Latch, which is given a flawless acoustic rendition.

Later, over in the Heidi Presents: The Jackathon tent, Hot Since 82 brings deep house and techno beats to a sweaty strobe light flashing tent, delivering arguably the best bass orientated set of the weekend.

Over in the Sounds of the Near Future tent, SBTRKT gives an astonishing live
set. Opener, Pharaos, gets the packed tent going before the masked man says, "It's so good to be back. It's been like two years since we've been here.” New lasers and synths track Temporary View, which went up on Soundcloud just two days ago, receives a great reaction as a taster of what to expect from the impending second album. Debut album tracks, Never Ever, Trials of the Past and Wildfire follow with tribal drum beats and feature Drake-collaborating, Sampha’s recorded vocals and Little Dragon’s in the latter, which echo around the at-capacity tent.

Pacing back to the Wildlife stage to catch headliners Disclosure, it was shockingly easy for SFG to get near the front – probably because Oxford indie-types, Foals, were headlining over on the main stage. The wunderkind production duo of house revivalists, Guy and Howard, open with synth led F For You featuring on record vocals courtesy of Mary J Blige. Preacher lyrics and simplistic house beats follow in When a Fire Starts to Burn and newer Friend Within collaboration, The Mechanism, with the background screens showing the duo playing in real time while Guy picks up the bass guitar to play the funky chords in the former, while pyrotechnics shoot from the top of the stage. Checking with the crowd that they are okay to play some older material, they bounce into older E.P tracks, Boiling, Tenderly and Flow before inviting guest vocalist, Sasha Keable, onstage during album track Voices and later Sam Smith to join them for the song which started it all off, Latch.

It’s only in its fourth year, but soon enough Blur’s iconic single won’t be the only thing which comes to mind when thinking of Parklife. Providing a great line up, the organisers delivered great variety at an affordable price, SFG cannot wait until next year!

Photos by Paul Taylor

Summer Series at Somerset House lineup announced

London’s intimate live music festival will play host to a typically eclectic and impressive array of headline artists alongside hotly tipped acts. 
Opening on the first night will be London-based trio, Daughter. Fronted by Elena Tonra, their haunting melodies will set the tone for a programme of beautifully atmospheric live gigs. Next up will be Dublin-quartet Kodaline who’ll continue proceedings with their powerful blend of emotive rock. Having already gained a strong following after being nominated for the BBC Sound Poll 2013 and winning the EBBA Public Choice Award in 2013, the band have more than qualified the hype that has been lavished upon them.

Taking to the stage on the third evening of Summer Series is angelic Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel with her ethereal tones. Having won multiple Danish music awards including Best Album, Best Female Artist and Best Songwriter of the Year, Somerset House will provide a magical backdrop for her exquisitely melancholic vocals.

On 13 July, the incomparably outrageous Australian collective The Cat Empire touch down for their Summer Series debut for an evening guaranteed to make everyone dance. Renowned all around the globe as one of the world’s best festival bands, The Cat Empire have carved themselves a unique place in the musical firmament which will make for a truly unforgettable night.

Summer Series will then welcome the almighty Kelis to the courtyard stage. Known for years of chart-dominating songs including the infamous ‘Milkshake’ and thrilling, boundary-pushing music, Kelis will be bringing her raw and soulful show with her glittering hits to Somerset House.

The following evening will see the biggest-selling new British act of 2013, Bastille, arrive for an intimate show in their home city. With their debut album Bad Blood achieving platinum status in the UK, it’s clear Bastille’s Summer Series show will be welcomed by music lovers far and wide.

On 16 July, London fans will be delighted to see Glaswegian rockers Franz Ferdinand headline the evening’s events with their exuberant and eclectic indie rock. Back with their fourth album, it once again cements their status as a unique and adventurous British band. Scottish synthpop trio Chvrches will continue the Summer Series’ proceedings on 17 July. A band born on the Internet who quickly burst onto the music scene, their wizardry has already won them a top five place in the BBC Sound of 2013 Poll. A magical 80’s inspired, euphoric evening is expected from the band.

Hugely talented singer/songwriter of the moment Sam Smith will join the line-up for an epic evening on 18 July.  His melancholic lyrics and unforgettable vocal have led to a Brits Critics Choice win and performances at festivals from Glastonbury to Coachella. Next up, hotly tipped chart-toppers Clean Bandit will headline on 19 July. Having had huge success with their number one hit ‘Rather Be’, the four-piece will bring their addictive dance-pop delights to Somerset House. Beats and soaring strings evoke Massive Attack while their live show calls on Basement Jaxx with a brand new twist.

Headlining the grand finale of the 2014 Summer Series will be insurmountable electro R&B adventurers Little Dragon. Anchored by the otherworldly vocals of front woman Yukimi Nagano, they will close proceedings with their phenomenal live show. Over the course of three albums, Little Dragon have pushed boundaries and shown they’re a dance act like no other.