Written By Louisa Davies
V FESTIVAL : SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST, CHELMSFORD HYLANDS PARK.
Having been to V Festival last year, I knew what I was in for. A whole lot of floral headbands, colourful Hunter wellies, and some good old pop chart music. However, the main difference this year was that I wasn’t camping with a group of friends and getting drunk – I was going for the day with my mum. Yup, you can laugh, but when she bought the ticket and also is willing to drive home at the end of the night, straight back to your comfy bed at home, it’s a much more appealing idea.
I was a little bit gutted as I arrived, as I had only just heard that Nicki Minaj (one of the people I’d been DYING to see) had pulled out due to ‘vocal issues’ – despite the next day being announced as the new American Idol judge. Interesting… The sun was out in full force, and the day looked perfect. The first act that I caught were The Stranglers, and I will be the first to admit that they were not my choice – but my mother’s. However, their classic songs such as ‘Golden Brown’, ‘No More Heroes’ and ‘Peaches’ sounded great liv
e, especially the latter with its iconic bass line. It was a safe start. I then browsed the other stages to see who was on and at what time. The line up for the Sunday (apart from some acts) was nowhere near as strong as the Saturday line up, which boasted Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks and Example. So, I settled on watching a little bit of new girl group Stooshe, whose song ‘Black Heart’ is everywhere at the moment. Whilst that song was impressive, the song which really stood out during their set was a cover of ‘Waterfalls’ by TLC. An odd cover to pick, however their harmonies were amazing and tight throughout, and showed off their vocal skills.
I then wandered back to the Main Stage to catch a little bit of Tulisa’s set. Don’t judge me for this, as I was curious as to whether she could actually sing. The answer is: yes, the girl can sing. And very well. This was proved through her cover of ‘Titanium’, in which she repeatedly belted out the high notes with force and completely in tune. The biggest shame was her set list, as she admittedly stated that she only really had 2 songs to play, and as she reached the final song (Young) she seemed relieved that she’d got to a song that everyone could sing along to. After Tulisa, I literally ran over to the Arena stage (very long run) to catch as much as I could of Rita Ora, who was fantastic. Her vocals and stage presence just scream that her star is going to increase the year goes on, es
pecially as her album has just been released.
After Rita Ora, I caught Olly Murs’ set. He’s the cheeky chappy that we all love, and being in his home town of Essex on the main stage was clearly a dream come true for him, as he continually thanked the crowd for having him. His energetic band, which included brass and a saxophone, danced around the stage with him, and it was all very well rehearsed. The best songs from his set was the fun ‘Dance with me Tonight’, ‘Busy’ and his smash single ‘Heart Skips a Beat’. Following Olly were the legends that are Madness, who have had a busy year performing at both the Jubilee and the Olympics. Their set was fantastic as expected, although I did hold my head in my hands at times as I watched my mother jump and dance around. One highlight was Olly Murs coming back on stage to sing ‘It Must Be Love’ with them, and also during ‘Baggy Trousers’ the band bought everyone from the side of the stages on stage to dance with them, which showed their fun side, and just proved that the whole crowd wanted to be up there dancing with them.
legend didn’t sing Sex Bomb.
Once Tom Jones had finished, my mum left me alone as she wanted to see The Human League, and I wasn’t going to miss seeing Tinie Tempah to sing ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’. I saw Tinie last year at V and he was without a doubt one of the best performers there, and wanted to see what he’d change up from last year. The biggest difference was of course the fact he’d been bumped up to the main stage – and the crowd was absolutely huge for him. As he came onto the stage, the first difference was the fact it was just him and a DJ, whereas last year he had a full band behind him. I personally preferred the sound of a full band, as the sound of real drums and a real bass line being played makes the music sound so much fuller. His set was still insane, with highlights being ‘Wonderman’, ‘Miami to Ibiza’ and ‘Pass Out’. He may’ve taken a leaf out of Jay Z and Kanye’s book by repeating verses of Pass Out numerous times, like when the duo perform Niggas in Paris. His set left me completely buzzed, and definitely ready for the big band of the nig
ht – The Killers.
Before The Killers were up, there was a set from Snow Patrol. I’m not the biggest fan of Snow Patrol, an
only really knew the ‘big’ songs, so their set may’ve been a bit wasted on me. However, there was no denying that they played a great gig, with the main man having a beautiful voice which was haunting during ‘Run’ and ‘Chasing Cars’ – which had many people around me weeping… this may have been through raw emotion, or too many drinks. Once Snow Patrol had finished, the sun had set, and the crowd was absolutely huge, all waiting for the big show promised from The Killers.
Dead on 9.40, The Killers burst onto the stage with their first hit ‘Somebody Told Me’ – which I felt was a fantastic way to open the show, all too often do bands open with a track no one has heard of. Brandon Flowers looked beautiful (what else did I expect) and his voice was on point, not differing from any of their albums. The band were incredibly tight, and all knew what they were doing. Having just seen British acts all day, their American twang was a nice change, and made me feel privileged to be seeing such
Their new single, the anthem ‘Runaways’, sounded amazing live, and is sure to be a huge hit when their new album drops next month. Of course, the song we were all waiting for was ‘Mr. Brightside’, which reminded me of a lot of Trent nights out. It was everything I expected it to be – epic, amazing, and emotional. The Killers fully cemented their right to be headlining V Festival, no doubt about that. a World Class Band.