Monday, 4 July 2011
Wireless Festival Sunday - Review
Making the transitions from tents to big outdoor stages this year are Metronomy who perform a mix of old and new favourites. It's encouraging to see new songs such as the 'The Look' and 'Corinne' going down as well old hits 'A Thing For Me' and 'Heatbreaker' although it's hard not to be on board when a band play with as much fun as Metronomy. Next on are The Horrors, who release their much anticipated third album 'Skying' in July. Unlike Metronomy, the transition from tent to main stage is not quite so seamless and a lot of the sheer noise that encapsulates The Horrors' sound is completely lost into the air. 'Sea within a sea' one of the best songs of the last decade, falls completely flat and sounds too blurred and hazy. New material 'Moving further away' and 'Still life' are more synth based dance affairs and are standouts amongst an otherwise disappointing set, although it is unclear whether this is due to The Horrors or simply the sound system.
Heading into the evening, and another one of the big tips for 2011's best new band take the stage, The Naked & Famous. Opener 'All Of This' is fast, abrasive and full of quirks and immediately grabs attention, which followed by the anthemic 'Punching In a Dream' quickly wins over the crowd. The Naked & Famous are a lot more powerful live than on record where they are more withdrawn and timid, singer Alisa Xayalith belts out songs like 'Spank' and Frayed' with the fury of a thousand suns alongside heavy strangling guitars and pounding drums. The already euphoric crowd, then explode as the band power into signature hit 'Young Blood', a former number one single in their native New Zealand and for good reason. Alisa shrieking "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH" at the crowd who reciprocate all too gladly, is surely one of the best moments of the festival.
After The Naked & Famous, The Pretty Reckless feature on the Pepsi max stage, peddling their middle of the road, trying to be rebellious idea of rock music rather unsuccessfully. Not that it matters, as teenage girls and boys alike go completely ape shit for lead singer and American tween icon Taylor Momsen. Oh well at least they're better than the woeful Neon Trees and their one song.
As evening draws in, and as Grace Jones ends her set, The buzz for Pulp is evergrowing. Fans young and old flock to the main stage to await one of the most anticipated UK headline slots of the year. The set began with Pulp lyrics being projected onto the back of the stage, before the band come onto stage and are met by a flurry of cheers and whooping. Jarvis Cocker sporting his usual geography teacher influenced attire begins the nostalgic trip back to the 90s with the rather appropriate 'Remember The First Time' to which the crowd go absolutely nuts, women jump up and down frantically while their husbands dance like dads at a wedding. Pulp's core fanbase may have aged, but their dedication remains ever-present. Pulp then proceed to play somewhat of a greatest hits set, very much pleasing their adoring fans with timeless anthems including singalong favourite 'Disco 2000', ode to the grotty 'Mile End' and the playful 'Underwear'. It's an absolute joy to see Jarvis bounding about the stage, and even reacting with the crowd during the brilliantly sexy ' I Spy' plus his class on stage banter, with quips ranging from the celebration of Tom Cruise's birthday to how important it is to get behind the student protests over Tuition fees. The set finishes with 'Common People' as you'd expect, uniting the whole crowd in a singalong, followed by a rather peculiar remark from Jarvis about returning in 15 years time. Although judging by the crowd's reaction today, the memories of this performance will stick around at least 15 years if not for a lifetime.
By Toby McCarron