Thursday, 9 April 2009

V Festival review

At first I wasn't really interested in this years V Festival. Snow Patrol and Kaiser Chiefs are ok, but not enough to spend $150 to go see.

But then Madness and Human League were added to the line up, and I bought tickets immediately! I even talked Ritters into coming over to it from Adelaide! There was no way I could miss one of the most fondly remembered bands of my youth!

We rocked up to the showgrounds around 3:30 and moved into the Virgin Mobile (Green) Stage to see Temper Trap, and try and get a spot for special guest Vanilla Ice. Yes, he's always been kind of crap, but the nostalgic appeal of seeing him was too much.

But the crush was too much, as it seemed everyone had the same idea, so we moved outside to get a drink. I saw a bit of the band Elbow and they were alright, then headed back to Vanilla Ice. I found a great spot outside near a window with a view straight onto the stage, and when Vanilla Ice jumped on stage the crowd went mental. It's obvious that he was just as wrapped being on stage as we were to see him.

We wandered over to see M83, but I only saw one tune and it's faded from memory because ran over to see Madness...

Oh My Gosh!

Beginning with One Step Beyond, the crowd went mental and they are just as crazy and silly as I remember from the videoclips. They played pretty much all their hits; Our House, My Girl, House of Fun, and concluded with Must Be Love. They also did a cover of Max Romeo's I Chased The Devil (the tune Prodigy sampled for Outa Space). Their onstage antics were fantastic; the lead singer calling for security because he saw a hippy in the crowd; the guitarist trying to climb the scaffolding and being chased by the security, and smoking and drinking on stage.

After Must Be Love the crowd thinned out with most of the kids heading off to see Kaiser Chiefs, but as I went to grab a beer, the lead singer comes back on stage and those of us remaining were treated to an encore of (the song) Madness and Slow Boat To Cairo. Most of those remaining were the older people, and things got really silly here, with people skanking arm in arm and even a konga line snaking through the crowd!

All it all it was seriously one of the best performances I've witnessed.

Ritters and I became separated at this point, she went to see all of Kaiser Chiefs and I went to get more beer... I saw most of Kaiser Chiefs and liked them a lot, but have to admit the songs I knew well were all from videogames. I snuck off to see a bit of Snow Patrol, who were a little boring to be honest.

We reunited after Kaiser Chiefs and headed to see Human League. We got in just in time for Don't You Want Me. Their set was pretty cool and very 80s - I'm surprised how much of their lyrics I remember actually - and their encore was Electric Dreams, which was, needless to say, awesome.

Then we decided to see the Killers. Then decided that was a bad idea because they actually suck, and headed off home before the crowd.

V Festival is starting to become one of my favourite Australian festivals. It has a line up that appeals to a wide range of punters. I've seen 4 bands I thought I'd never see live - Madness, Pixies, Human League and Vanilla Ice, plus some cool acts like Temper Trap, Kaiser Chiefs, Gnarls Barkley, Jarvis Cocker and The Rapture. It's not nearly as packed as Big Day Out, and the crowd seems much nicer and less fucked up than other festivals.

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