Bestival Day 1

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Bestival 2011

Day 1

Fresh faced and ready for action!



Friday gets off to a slow start for me, as for some reason I am completely knackered! And so early in proceedings! Even seeing Beardyman turn in a vastly entertaining set of beatboxing, improvised raps and home-spun drum & bass fails to energise me. So as a result I opt to miss Cut Copy and SBTRKT and instead find solace in the Bollywood Field’s comfy beds. Then we decide to spend some time at the main stage, where I experience Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and Brian Wilson from a horizontal position. I wasn’t at all fussed about seeing Brian Wilson, but from a lying down position it can’t reasonably be denied that he has a substantial canon of classic songs to pepper his set with, and that he wows the crowd by doing so. After this I decide to swap the overpriced lager for even more overpriced Red Bull & vodka and my energy levels recover nicely. Just as well, as Public Enemy are up next! Now I love Public Enemy, so this was one of my most eagerly awaited sets of Bestival. Somehow or other, it has managed to be about twenty years since I last saw Public Enemy, and now Chuck D and Flava are in their 50s, but they still spring across stage and jump about wit an energy that would shame rap acts half their age. Time has dimmed the righteous anger that fuelled them so fiercely back in the day, but they can still get a good point across to a festival audience while also making them dance. The Security of the First World, Public Enemy’s dance troupe/hired muscle have also aged and it now seems a little odd having two paunchy, grey haired men doing their dance routines, and as they’re now out of the paramilitary gear they used to wear, less threatening and more than a little odd. If I’m being honest they deliver a set that is equal parts brilliance and rap panto, but we get a full set of 90 minutes from them, and that can only be a good thing. Some songs were oddly truncated tho (He Got Game, Can’t Truss it) which just left me wanting to hear the full version, a situation I am rectifying as I type












A brief look at Magnetic Man convinces me that dubstep is having trouble converting to a main stage setting, with their beats sounding too small for such a large crowd. They seem massively popular tho, so maybe I’m missing something. I leave them to it and head top see Mogwai turn in one of the best sets of the festival in the Big Top. By turns subtle and alarmingly powerful Mogwai manage with ease that tricky task of bringing subtlety to a festival crowd. I watch absolutely transfixed and their set seems to fly by. I’ve never seen them before, but will definitely make a point of doing so in the future


Pendulum have become a headline act quite quickly, but they have risen to the challenge well and step up the headline status with ease and a stage show that looks impressive and busy and gets the whole crowd moving. Like them or not, they make sense at shows like this and have the beats to carry it off. A triumph for them I reckon


Groove Armada are next up. Last time I saw these they caused my tinnitus to ratchet up a few levels, although I was standing next to a speaker stack the size of a rural semi. This time I stay further from their chest rumbling bass frequencies and they turn in a good two-hour set and have the whole audience dancing like the crazy fools they undoubtedly are. A quick trip to the Arcadia/Afterburner stage to watch a DJ play in what looks like a crash landed metal castle, with huge jets of fire flaring up from its central turret and surrounding gas lamps, along with two people on platforms firing lightning bolts at each other brought the 4.00 am close down on in a suitably surreal manner


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