Review: Relentless Boardmasters 2012


Being from Devon, travelling down to Cornwall wasn’t all that strenuous, so Boardmasters was a conveniently wonderful festival to attend. The festival is relatively small but after chatting to some regular Boardmasters-goers they said that this year is the biggest and best to date and this was verified by the pretty stunning line-up. On the Friday the first act I managed to catch were The Big Pink. They put on a good show but you could tell that the crowd were waiting for their one and only hit ‘Dominoes’. Next up on the Main Stage was Donovan Frankenreiter who is always a crowd pleaser but his set gets a bit samey to those who have seen him before, which is likely. But to be fair he is the ultimate cool Grandad and definitely still rocking it despite his age.

Next up were the delightfully irritating duo that are The Ting Tings. They do sound exactly how they sound on the radio and on my iTunes when I have to quickly change the song before my brain explodes with anger. Okay, I’m over-reacting. I just get quite frustrated by frontwoman Katie White and her repulsion with anything that isn’t her opinion. Rant over, they pleased a somewhat drunk crowd with songs such as ‘Hands’ and the infamous ‘That’s not my Name’. Moving on, the main reason for the massive crowds around the main stage, Mr Ed Sheeran. He played his longest outdoor set ever, lasting almost two hours in total. He was crowd pleasing but once you have heard an Ed Sheeran set, there isn’t anything exciting and new. The 15-20 minute rendition of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ gets slightly tedious. I was jealous of those people who hadn’t seen him before. In fact I spoke to some crowd members who hadn’t witnessed his live show and they were blown away by it. I guess for me, the novelty has worn off. However, Ed is very good with pleasing people, telling short anecdotes between songs made him automatically relatable as he told of his day at the festival; buying Pizza and admiring the Cornish coast. Overall, a pleasing end to the Friday.

On Saturday I went down to the site fairly early in the day and managed to have a short chat with Delilah before her set. She seemed excited to be playing at the festival and revealed she got woken up by the sounds of Dizzee Rascal’s soundcheck. Life can’t be all that bad, if that’s the worst you’re waking up to! Her set was brilliant, yet again. It’s the second time I’ve seen her this year and it’s still as exciting as ever with flawless vocals and bass that literally hurts. It made the experience very real to say the least. Despite hearing through the grape-vine that she doesn’t like being associated with Chase and Status anymore, after chants from the crowd she did an acapella version of ‘Time’ to please them. Next up was the delightful half Irish man, half Londoner, Maverick Sabre. He’s another one that always delivers in his live performances. Playing ‘I Need’ definitely got the crowd going and his appreciation for crowd support makes him seem genuinally grateful for all these festival opportunities.

Next on were one of the bands that I’ve always loved, Maximo Park. In my eyes they were quite an odd addition to the bill as I haven’t seen them appearing at many other festivals this year. Their set was brilliantly eccentric and frontman Paul Smith can really work the crowd with his synonymous dance moves. ‘Hips and Lips’ led to some particularly provocative moves from him. Definitely very entertaining. After this the headliner Dizzee Rascal took to the stage. His live performance was incredible. He even took it into his hands to throw some ‘Ni**as in Paris’ and Nirvana ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ into his set, simply because he can! He drew the biggest crowd of the weekend and everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives, pretty much one massive party. I ventured off to the Vans Off The Wall Stage to see Set Your Goals which was a blast from the past. They sang classics such as ‘Mutiny’ and ‘To Be Continued…’ which would have made my 15 year old self squeal with excitement. Very nostalgic. I went over to the Relentless Energy Sessions Stage and watched Young Guns. Frontman Gustav really got the crowd going with his energetic stage presence as they rattled through an impressively long set leading the crowd into the early hours of the morning. What a great way to end my festival experience!


About Author


I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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