KCL Radio goes to Isle of Wight Festival
The 50th anniversary of Isle of Wight Festival…
…kicked off the summer festival season with a bang. A sea of gold and glitter clad campers awaited the headliners Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, Depeche Mode and The Killers (another year of all male headliners hooray…) in a sun-soaked Seaclose park.
Indie-rock band The Wombats drew crowds a day early on Thursday evening and (in my opinion) delivered one of the best performances of the weekend. With tracks such as Lemon to a Knife Fight & Turn from their newest album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life (an album which is just as great as the title) the Liverpudlian trio lived up to their northern roots.
Friday night’s lineup failed to live up to the rest of the weekend but The Script and Rita Ora protected the family friendly image of the festival, and kept spirits high among the more chilled festival-goer. Isle of Wight festival is infamous for it’s appeal to the older generation and with tickets being free for children under 12, it’s one of the only festivals in the UK which attracts so many families. It’s bizarre seeing stoned teenagers in the same field as toddlers and half-naked men on stag-do’s, but it is all part and parcel of IOW Fest. Lad-ish Kasabian failed to impress me, but attracted the likes of Peter Crouch who was spotted in a mosh pit later that evening. Whilst I personally think there was a lack of cohesion between the main stage performances across the evening, credit must be given to John Giddings (IOW Festival OG) for pulling together such a diverse line-up. It was the Big Top on Friday which salvaged the average main stage, with Feeder drawing a one-in one-out crowd and newbie Tom Grennan stealing the show.
Saturday shone; the crowds adorned in gold in honour of the festivals 50th anniversary and the performances together were an impressive site. Pop King and Queen James Bay and Jessie J were brilliant main stage warm ups and interspersed with indie bands Blossoms and Kodaline, the main stage held it’s massive crowd from early afternoon until headline act Liam Gallagher took the stage. With a moody pout, a parka and whole lot of sass, Liam Gallagher did not disappoint. Responding to those who question his solo career Gallagher opened the band’s hit Whatever with “This is to those who say I can’t sing Oasis songs”. His 60 minute set felt rushed but definitely packed a punch. ‘Co-headliner’ Depeche Mode (with a set twice as long as Gallagher?) didn’t quite pull-off the headline slot which Gidding’s was so proud to book. Depeche Mode rarely perform at festivals and perhaps this is for a reason other than simply being “hard to get” and exclusive. The band struggled to fill their set and eighties covers failed to excite as the evening drew to a close.
Sunday, oh my oh my. The Killers were, and are, the headline act a festival deserves. Their Las Vegas showman-ship and incredible visual display made the previous night headliners look almost amateur and with hits like The Man & Mr Brightside how could you not have fun with this band? Whilst underrated performance of the weekend has to go to LANY, a Californian indie-pop band. The band drew the indie-side of the festival to a close over at the Big Top but were met with a tiny crowd that barely filled a quarter of the tent. Considering they were near the top of the Coachella Sunday bill earlier this year (COACHELLA. THAT’S RIGHT) I think it’s fair that they were a little shocked. Despite this, the boys of Super Far fame delivered a performance worthy of headline slot and owned the space regardless.
All together performances were… mixed over the weekend. Nonetheless, blessed with sunshine, the Isle of Wight Festival delivered a brilliant weekend. Striking the balance between chilled indie music and it’s classic rock roots, the festival was deserving of it’s sell-out success.
If you’re going to any festivals this summer I hope you have an incredible time! At KCL Radio we are passionate supporters of live music, and hope that even if you can’t support your favourite artists right now, that you enjoy our coverage of the summer’s biggest and best events in the mean time. Check out the gallery for my highlights from the festival!