Thursday 5 August 2010

Camp Bestival 2010 Review - (Part 3)

Sunday at Camp Bestival continued in exactly the same way as the two previous days. Perfect festival weather, an eclectic mix of music and good vibes all round.

The once Mercury nominated Seth Lakeman, a late addition to the bill, drew a significant crowd to the bandstand stage to witness him play songs from his new album Hearts and Minds as well as some older material. His rootsy hoedown and folkish marching songs got to the tribal core and soul of human emotion and went down a storm with many of those watching, a number of fans were soon up of their backsides and dancing.

As a few drops of rain began to fall The Wurzels (yes, some of them are still alive) brought the inner child out of every cider drinking adult with their scrumpy and western sound. Describing themselves as “The original boy band,” The Wurzels songs about two foot marrows, farmers and (of course) cider put a smile on the face, although when one of their number (who must be in his late 60’s or 70’s) stripped down to a g-string (honest) some smiles turned to looks of horror. A cover version of the Kaiser Chiefs Ruby complete with “Oo-ar-oo-ar,” chorus and a version of The Combine Harvester played out as a dance remix ensured that The Wurzels at least entertained.

Calvin Harris was a revelation. It may have been elementary and coarse with continued shouts for “let me see your hands,” and “everybody bounce,” but Harris succeeded through sheer force of enthusiasm and a back catalogue of hit singles that made a field of Camp Bestivalites become a few fries short of a happy meal. It was mental. Richter scale mental. The tallest man in electro pop wheeled out bangers bigger than Katie Price’s boob jobs and slammed them down so hard that we swear the ground actually shook under our feet. Songs such as Ready For The Weekend that on record sound like weedy electro pop designed not to upset Radio 1 playlisters took on a powerful, celebratory headrush that went straight to the stars. The biggest surprise of the weekend and then some.

There is a hypothesis that says that the influence of music blogs is less powerful than many bloggers themselves believe. Evidence in support of this argument was found in the Big Top, where the reasonably well blogged Visions of Trees (pictured) played to a virtually empty tent, save for some blissfully unaware children playing football, the odd punter who has come for a lay down and a few curious onlookers. However this doesn’t mean that the blogs have got it wrong - for Visions of Trees displayed an eerie rhythmic womb-like loveliness made up of otherworldly beats and ethereal vocals that was gorgeously wonderful. Lead singer Sara displayed an alluring reverb smothered voice and despite the non-audience she danced, swayed and performed as if lost in her own misty, dreamlike world.

Before the festival closed with an incredible firework display over Lulworth Castle Friendly Fires headlined the main stage, their cowbell-indie-funk a vehicle for lead singer Ed to shake his hips like a white disco-bound James Brown. With little banter except for urging the crowd to dance more and more, Friendly Fires seem determined to exhaust the audience - a result which in the main they achieve, even if occasionally their funky jams veered into moments of self indulgent jazziness. When Ed wasn’t shoving his face into his keyboard he danced like a man possessed with an energy that left Camp Bestival 2010 spent and wasted.

With that this superbly executed event was over for 2010 - it truly was fun for all the family.

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