The Sunday of V Festival kicked off with The Saturdays. I’m disappointed to say that they’re not what I want to see in a modern girl band. The bland, blatantly over rehearsed dance routines and a lack of spontaneity made their performance boring. I left sharpish and head to the 4 Music Stage to see The Heavy. The devastatingly small crowd was something this band did not deserve. They had so much energy (there are 9 of them in the band!) and great stage presence that it seemed a shame more people hadn’t seen them.
On the Virgin Media Main Stage I saw Jason Mraz. His somewhat sedated performance (confirmed by his clear drunken state post-show) didn’t do his vocals justice. He has a fantastically beautiful voice and his performance in this sense couldn’t be faulted, yet he seems to have tired of playing. After seeing him in 2008, his set had a lot more energy and charm back then.
I went over to the 4 Music Stage to watch the much hyped about Tom Odell. The seemingly timid young guy completely transformed behind the keys of his piano into a practiced performer. The energy he exerts on stage is infectious. Playing tracks such as ‘Another Love’ and ‘Hold Me’ made the crowd just as energetic.
Due to a criminal clash on the programme I only managed to catch one song by Laura Mvula, but that was enough to make me want to see her again. He vocals are stunning and her stage presence spine tingling. Also on the Arena Stage were pop veterans McFly. After first seeing them almost 9 years ago supporting Busted, it was a pleasure to see them perform a perfectly tight knit set of explosive pop hits. I left their set a bigger fan than ever, even after 10 years of being in the pop business the guys haven’t lost an ounce of energy.
The Vaccines were on the Virgin Media Main Stage and with two records under their belt live sets are packed with sing-a-longs. The crowd even warmed to the new single ‘Melody Calling’, which despite it’s toned-down nature went down very well and sounded beautiful in the live setting.
The next act I’m going to discuss was the act I was most excited about over the whole of the V Festival weekend. The newly recognised Kendrick Lamar. His newest record good kid, m.A.A.d city was met with critical acclaim upon its release last year and his set at V showcased the best of this record. Which in fact, is most of it. The Compton rapper performed tracks such as ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ and ‘Swimming Pools’ to an astonishingly large crowd at the 4 Music Stage. I honestly couldn’t see the end of the sea of people that had turned up to see him. As expected, he didn’t disappoint. If you ever get the opportunity to see Kendrick Lamar, don’t miss it.
The Stereophonics preceded the main headline act and I can’t help but say I was pretty bored throughout their set. Obviously they have their hits but even then, nothing was new or exciting about them. Even the festival environment didn’t enhance the performance as I was surrounded by some, let’s just say, not very nice people, a shame considering the rest of the festival had been predominantly met with pleasant crowds.
The headline act Kings Of Leon didn’t fill me with much excitement either. It’s fair enough that they are worthy of a huge headline slot and the crowd seemed to really enjoy them, yet, I couldn’t help feeling they are less exciting now than they used to be. I would have been happier if Beyonce had been closing V Festival in Chelmsford. However, I did have an amazing weekend, filled with some amazing music.
Read The Edge’s V Festival – Saturday review here.