V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017

V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017V Festival @ Weston Park, Saturday 19th August, 2017

After a great opening night our team were awake and ready to go to see as much as they could at V Festival on Saturday.

Scouting for Girls opened up the main stage Saturday afternoon. Celebrating ten years  as band, the lads put on a crowd pleasing set that woke up a hungover and tired crowd. Opening with crowd favourite “Heartbeat” the mellow drama song had fans singing along with enthusiasm. Clearly the well loved band has put in the years of creating a dedicated and loved fan base, who were out in full force from the beginning of the set. Tunes slowly ramped, Scouting for Girls mixing in their classic rock sound with some pop and synth sounds. Crowd pleasure after crowd pleasure flooded through the speakers, with songs like “Still Thinking About You” and “Elvis Ain’t Dead” as standouts. Finally after a Bon Jovi cover and a few more favourites Scouting for Girls closed a high energy set that perfectly opened up the day of festivity.

Following Scouting for Girls on the main stage was gruff singer songwriter Jack Savoretti and pop sensation Clean Bandits. Jack’s gritty voice and singer songwriter inflections seemed to clear the air, a purity of sound that was emotionally stunning.

Clean Bandit followed, their pop hits electrifying the crowd. With the mishmash of genres the main stage offered a multitude of sounds that was a brilliant lineup for the afternoon.

The Wailers brought some much needed Jamaican sun to the rainy afternoon. Like a climatic film moment the band arrived on stage, turning the rainy afternoon into clear blue skies. Only The Wailers could change not only the mood but more importantly the sky.  As the sun shone through the clouds the band launched into fan favourites such as “Buffalo Soldier” and “Touch Me.” Energy peaked as “Jammin,” with its impressive horn section and extended instrumentals, pumped some energy into the crowd. Ending with well loved “3 Little Birds” and “One Love/People Get Ready”

The Wailers played a spectacular set. Their good vibes and positive sway are what come to typify any reggae experience, but the precision and craft from the original reggae curators was certainly something to behold.

Jason Derulo was up next. Gracing the main stage the pop R&B artist paired his usual vocal perfection with intricate dance choreography, a combination that is an automatic crowd grabber. With hits like “In My Head” and “Riding Solo” making early appearances, Derulo mixed high octane energy with his sweet sultry voice. The crowd was obviously into it, singing and dancing along as Derulo paced the stage. With backup dancers and a full band, the energy was sustained throughout the performance. Fan favorites like “Talk Dirty” and  “Want to Want Me” closed out the performance.

On parallel stages singer songwriters JP Cooper and mixed genre Matt Wills delivered ground shaking performances. For Cooper hit “September Song” was combined with other favorites to produce a laid back and breathy set, a much needed moment of pure chill admits the busy schedule. Matt Wills, splicing singer songwriter with electronic with rock, wowed audiences with his eclectic yet thoughtful tunes.

After Will’s set we caught a quick moment to chat about the life of a musician. Wills unique sound comes from his varied musical background. Wills “grew up listening to different styles of music,” a fact reflected in his genre splicing tunes. While he starts writing with just “an acoustic guitar” his late addition of “a million synths and other guitars” serves as the bedrock for Matts explorative sound. What would seem random and schizophrenic to some is actually a process that allows for a myriad of sounds, displaying Wills talent as a genre-less musician. Lyrically Matt’s songs reveal a depth and emotional vulnerability, no doubt a reflection of his early singer songwriter days. “When I first started I never wrote lyrics. I would freestyle, it was a way to get out what I wanted to say.”

Where Wills now writes lyrics and records bits on his phone, his style still upholds this expressive approach; “now more of a weird confession sort of thing,” Matt’s lyrical content reveals tales of emotion and exploration, an immediate transcendent experience of reality. On stage Matt is just as intriguing as his sound. “If your playing good music, people will like it.” And fans at V festival certainly did. With more touring ahead and the second album slowly in the works, Matt Wills is an artist to get familiar with. His ability to create unique sounds combined with vulnerable lyrical content make him a powerhouse in the making.

Powerhouse Emeli Sande took over the stage, her glitter gold stage reflecting off the crowd. From the first lick of tune Sande’s incredible voice rang over the packed crowd. “My Kind of Love” and “It Hurts” mixed with other familiar tunes to kick off the performance. Both songs intermix poignant concepts of romance with pop soul sensibility. While it may be a slower start to some festival sets, it is the perfect introduction to Sande’s sound. “Breathing Under Water,” an exceptional display of Sande’s lyrical genius, is a song that is airy, seemingly floating through the mass of people.

The songs continue to create a light and hopeful feel, a necessary moment of stillness and peace admits the insanity of a festival day. “Read All About It” and “Babe” pic up the tempo; as fans start dancing around small pockets of laughter and pure enjoyment can be heard. “Highs & Lows” Is followed by “Next to Me,” rounding out a lovely set.

In perhaps the greatest juxtaposition of sound, Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, or as we know him Stormzy, took to the stage. The highly anticipated artist led a firestorm for an hour, delivering a type of power that is often only found among the greatest. “First Things First” kicked off the set. In quick grime fashion the song is a mixture of dizzying speed and low rumble strength. It is this sound that has come to typify Stormzy’s creations, a break from the normal scene. Throughout the set wicked tunes like “Cold” and “Know me From” flowed from the artist. Playing into the crowds enthusiasm, it is easy to see how Stormzy has risen in what appears to be a lightning fashion. Whether you appreciate his style and sound, Stormzy’s inclusive fan love, what he calls his “energy crew,” certainly makes him a likable artist. And fans respond in adoration, with songs such as “Cigarettes and Cush” echoing in bombastic fashion. Stormzy’s set displayed a professionalism and awareness of fans adoration that does not always accompany an artist. His show was magnetic and drawing, displaying why he has amassed such a following.

As Stormzy was slaying with his grime grit, The Wombats entertained on the parallel stage. The kistchy punk pop rock band are like teenage angst grown up. From the beginning to the end the set was pumped up disjointed dancing, good times had by all. Fan favourites like “Give Me A Try,” “Jump Into the Fog,” and “Is This Christmas?” intertwined with others to create the energetic set. As blow up dolls and giraffes bounced around the pit like beach balls, The Wombats brought joy and a fun lightheartedness to the day. Like adult summer camp, The Wombats curated an atmosphere that was the perfect break from reality.

With her magnetic sound Ellie Goulding destroyed the V Festival stage. With music that is made for a festival setting, Goulding’s electronic pop filled the area. “Anything Could Happen” and “Holding On a For Life” opened the set. The pop inclined tunes were wise choices for the opening: upbeat and fun they transformed the mood so that tired and weary festival goers where forced to their feet, in need of a dance with the hypnotic beats. With hits like “Figure 8,” “First Time,” and “Army” the electronic undertones seeped through.

Ellie sporadically grabs her guitar and jams along with the band, the extended instrumentals anchored by the electronic synth structure. Hits “On My Mind,” “Anything Could Happen,” “I Need Your Love,” and “Burn” rounded out the perfect festival set.

Dizzee Rascal took to the MTV stage, bringing his smashing songs to the stage. Heralded as one of the pioneers of grime music, Dizzee’s set was a mixture of hard hitting lyrics and thudding baseline.

Headliners Peter Tong and The Heritage Orchestra paralleled opposite stage Jay Z. There perhaps could not be more different headlining slots. Peter Tong and The Heritage Orchestra delivered a mind boggling set combining a DJ set with a full orchestral lineup. Raw and transcendent, the show was uplifted by exceptional lighting and stage that lit up with each note. As the individual notes of each instrument collided, a harmonious hum fell upon the audience. Through the hour plus set fan favourites poured through, a frenzy of sound and dancing sustained for the entire evening. In theory the two groups should not mix, and yet Peter Tong and The Heritage Orchestra crafted such a perfect set that it made you want to simultaneous break into feverish dance and cry tears of joyous beauty.

On the opposite side of the park stood Jay Z. Backlit by a giant ballon dog, Jay Z delivered a set that superseded expectations. The legend mixed favourites like “Empire State of Mind” and “No Church in The Wild” with recent releases. With power and precision Jay Z delivered each lick as if it was his last breathe. Clearly fans where entrapped by the artists performance, waiting as each song slid into the next. Ending with crowd pleasers “Lean Back” and “99 Problems” Jay Z ended the night with an absolute banger of a show.

With such a great Saturday at V Festival what would Sunday offer?

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