Monday, 20 August 2012

Live in pictures: V Festival 2012 - Chelmsford (Day 2)

Day 2 of V dawned as hot and sunny as the previous one. Whilst the crowd felt a bit sluggish to start off with (a combination of over-indulgence and sunburn from Saturday), The Stranglers had no such problems, blasting out hits like 'No More Heroes' and the sunshine-appropriate 'Peaches' on the main stage like they were 30 years younger.

The Stranglers, main stage, V Festival 19/8/12
Moving over to the 4Music stage we saw The Rifles, one of a number of 'next big thing' bands who never really took off. They were pretty good, engaging the audience and keeping a sizeable crowd even when what seemed to be a tropical deluge hit the park.

The Rifles (before it rained), 4Music Stage, V Festival 19/8/12
Half an hour later the rain had disappeared and The Feeling had taken its place. Thankfully they only played one new song and mainly restricted themselves to orchestrating crowd singalongs of some of their different tunes (I know a lot of people hate them, but secretly everyone joins in with 'Sewn', don't they?).

The Feeling, V Festival, 19/8/12
By the time Madness came on the temperature was peaking, but that didn't stop the masses in Chelmsford having a good old dance to the likes of 'One Step Beyond', 'Our House' and a pretty good cover of 'I Chase The Devil'. Even the appearance of Olly Murs to sing 'It Must Be Love' with them couldn't take the shine off the party - it felt like the Olympics had never ended.

Madness on the main stage, V Festival, 19/8/12
Talking of parties, someone who must have been to a few fair in his time is the legendary Tom Jones.

While his recent appearance on The Voice must have brought him some new young followers, the man is a legend for one reason, and that's his voice. Showing no signs of deterioration even now he's 72, he put it to good use in a set mixing classics with a few newer songs, including the Jack White produced 'Evil' and his cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Tower of Song' (probably the best Cohen cover since Jeff Buckley did 'Hallelujah').

Tom Jones, V Festival 19/8/12
To rapturous applause and mass singing he closed with 'The Green, Green Grass of Home', 'Delilah', 'It's Not Unusual' and 'Kiss' - how many of today's artists have got a back catalogue as good as that?

Tom Jones = legend, V Festival, 19/8/12
A trip to The Arena stage found more nostalgia, and a much bigger crowd than I expected, for The Human League. Despite playing the obligatory 'new one' (which for me would've been much better replaced by 'The Sound of the Crowd') they got everyone dancing, and the volume of singing to their last 2 songs 'Electric Dreams' and 'Don't You Want Me' pretty much lifted the roof off the tent.

The Human League, V Festival 19/8/12
In contrast Noah and The Whale found themselves faced with a pretty small crowd for their turn on the 4Music stage. While Charlie'd weird mid-Atlantic accent can be a bit grating they've got some good songs for a sunny evening festival slot, especially the Tom Petty-alike 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N'.

Noah and The Whale, 4Music stage, V Festival 19/8/12
Back to The Arena stage for a chance to see the 'classic' Happy Mondays line-up, including the unmistakeable Bez. Shaun Ryder was on good form, laughing and joking with Rowetta, and the whole thing felt like a celebration of good times past.

The Happy Mondays, V Festival 19/8/12
We watched The Killers from a distance, and closed our V 2012 experience singing along to 'Mr. Brightside' and 'All These Things That I've Done'.

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