V Festival: The Stone Roses need to be adored
The Stone Roses at V Festival – The hottest act of the summer at the hottest (literally) festival of the summer. While it may sound like the perfect match, unfortunately Saturday’s headliners at the Chelmsford leg of the festival left one feeling a little cold.
The reformation of the Manchester four-piece has undoubtedly been the musical story of the summer. Their gigs at Heaton Park have already become as legendary as their 1990 gig at Spike Island. But in front of a crowd of less hardcore fans, many of whom appeared to be more interested in watching Ed Sheeran on the Arena Stage judging by the gaps in the crowd, this particular gig will not be one spoken of in another 20 years.
Anthems like I Wanna Be Adored and Made Of Stone are just begging to be chanted back at the band (if for nothing else than papering over Ian Brown’s questionable voice), and while much of the Essex crowd sang, it just felt like the adoration that’s been in such plentiful measures elsewhere this summer was missing.
For all the hits they played, and Brown messing around with Bruce Lee action figures at the end of the set – it felt like right band, wrong festival.
Earlier, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds played a set that could not help but have the crowd singing. Drawing mostly from his first solo album Noel slipped in a plethora of Oasis’ outstanding B-sides, including opener (It’s Good) To Be Free, Talk Tonight, Half The World Away and The Masterplan. An acoustic version of Supersonic was tremendous. Perhaps due to a lack of suitable, rousing solo material, Noel ended the set with a couple more from his Oasis days, playing Little By Little, before closing with Don’t Look Back in Anger. The older of the Gallagher brothers didn’t bother to sing the chorus to the latter. The Chelmsford crowd ensured he didn’t need to.
For those who missed Ed Sheeran in favour of The Stone Roses should have made a trip to the Undercover Stage, where earlier in the day he made an appearance alongside Devlin to sing their version of (All Along The) Watchtower. Devlin’s lyrics of rebellious youth were lapped up by the crowd, although any rebellion of their own appeared to be off limits; As one mate got upon another’s shoulders in the closing stages of the east London rapper’s set, security were quick to tell them it wasn’t allowed. Ridiculous.
Sunday saw a headliner much more to a V Festival crowd’s liking. It was The Killers duty to bring to a close a weekend that if officials from The Guinness Book of World Records had been in attendance, would surely have handed out the accolade for ‘The Most Topless, Slightly Overweight and Very Sweaty Males in One Place’.
They played a few new ones (never a cause for much cheer at a festival) but mostly it was just the hits they’ve been banging out to huge crowds since their first album Hot Fuss was released in 2004.
It was The Happy Mondays who were left to represent Manchester on Sunday, which they did superbly on the Arena Stage earlier, with Loose Fit and 24 Hour Party People particularly popular. Backing singer Rowetta sounded great (as she always does). Shaun Ryder was unintelligible (as he always is) and Bez fell over some equipment (which surprisingly doesn’t happen more often).
Tom Jones and Tinie Tempah were the other big draws on the final day of the festival. Fans joining in with Delilah one moment and Pass Out the next was testament to the eclectic line-up the V Festival bookers go for – confirmed with appearances from the likes of Cher Lloyd to Australian Pink Floyd. It’s presumably an attempt at something for everyone; although judging by the discounted tickets available in the final days before the festival started, perhaps not enough for anyone. If nothing else, those who attended will always be able to say ‘I was at the hottest festival ever’ (even if only in reference to the weather).Tagged in: devlin, Noel Gallgher, Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, v festival
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