Being woken up at 6:30am after six hours sleep would not have worked well for me on a normal day. But add in the intense heat trapped inside the waterproof layers of our tent and an aching body from sleeping on a hard floor and I was less than rested. I spent the beginning of the day in a sleepy haze, forced out of my tent and into the boiling sunshine right from the word ‘go’. To drown our sorrows we began drinking early, a bad decision.
I had a strong headache by 3pm, and had to force myself to head down to the main stage, just in time for The Pretty Reckless. Although not my style of music, Taylor Momsen has more than shaken that pretty girl image she had received from her appearance in hit US TV show Gossip Girl. Her performance was enjoyable, but the dynamics of her band felt odd and uncomfortable. As by far the youngest and least experienced member of the band, her face and name are used presumably mostly to gain fast fame. Although vocally strong, Momsen does not quite fit the image she so desperately attempts to effortlessly portray. The genre was not fitting for a day consisting of very well known bands.
John Newman took to the stage next. His beaming smile was the first thing I noticed as he appeared on stage. He seemed overjoyed to be at the festival, sending audiences cheering as soon as he began his first song. As an artist, he is difficult to dislike. His vocals are powerful and he is definitely a showman. He thanked the crowd numerous times and interacted well with the masses that stretched out before him, no doubt a very difficult task. Overall, a strong vocalist, who no doubt has years of collaborations ahead of him.
Drunk and disorderly, lead singer Matt Healy’s appearance was met instantly by choruses of screams from almost every member of the audience. Swigging on a bottle of red wine, his slight frame doubtless needed any more than a quarter of the bottle. The opening song, ‘The City‘, began. The 1975‘s sound quality hurt my ears. Another performance lacking bass, with the nerves of the band evident, it was not their strongest set. Add on Matt’s drunken stumbling across the stage, his cigarette break in the middle of a song, and the crazy faces of drummer George Daniel, they became nearly laughable. Effortlessly cool is not a phrase I would use to describe this normally svelte, modern band. By the end of the set the band had managed to figure itself out, allowing for their hits ‘Chocolate‘ and ‘Robbers‘ to be blasted out, much to the appreciation of a slightly exasperated crowd.
Although not of my generation, The Specials set was entertaining. Even while I was queuing for the toilets mid-set I managed to remain upbeat in the face of the odd scents of other people’s waste. The stand out moment for me was Lynval Golding mentioning UKIP in between songs, telling the crowd not to vote for the currently favourable, yet hated, political party. The mod-suited group kept songs flowing and groovy, a welcome relief from the previous performance by The 1975.
As debateably one of the hardest nights to headline, Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a stellar set, merely enjoying the experience of being up on stage. Their fame is becoming of them, with such laid back confidence in the face of such a large audience. Although I was not blown away by their performance, they are perhaps slightly out of my generation of music, and perhaps would be enjoyed by a slightly more mature member of the audience. As their only UK performance of the year, it was an essential set to see at the festival. (click here for a full review)
Overall, an interesting line-up for the day. I was unfortunate to miss the now infamous tantrum from ex-N Dubz member, Dappy. I was not blown away by any performance, except perhaps for the moon-faced John Newman. The day was the busiest of the entire weekend, perpetuating the tired state I was in. Toilet queue lengths exceeded half an hour, with the delightful view of the men pissing against the fence while we waited. On returning to the campsite that evening, we discovered a bog had formed by the entrance, from the drinking water tap located a few metres away. This became perilous by the end of the weekend.