For the early part of Sunday afternoon I found myself back once again in the King Tut’s tent, this time starting off with a much gentler set from acoustic singer-songwriter Lewis Watson. Songs such as The Calling and Into The Wild showed off an impressive songwriting talent, with catchy melodies and wholesome lyrics to match. It made a change to see an acoustic guitar as well! He was followed swiftly by something altogether different – the powerhouse duo that is Deap Vally. Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards, who apparently met in a knitting class, brought their fiesty, gritty rock ‘n roll to Balado, showcasing punchy tracks from their recent debut album, Sistrionix.
Tom Odell proved to be the only disappointment of the day, as a chest infection meant that he was only able to croak his way through two songs. However, with the passion and volume with which the crowd sang along to Another Love, it looked like they could have sung the whole set for him. Luckily, I wasn’t too miffed as the next act were one of my favourite new bands, The 1975. The Manchester alt-rockers have seen their popularity grow almost exponentially since last year, championed by Zane Lowe and with every blogger under their spell. With so many good tunes to choose from, it must have been difficult for them to narrow down to a half-hour set list, but they chose to fill it mainly with tracks from their hotly anticipated self-titled debut album expected in September. That said, they did include fan favourite Chocolate and finished off with Sex, which has been re-recorded for the album. A thoroughly good performance, especially straight off the back of supporting The Rolling Stones.
After a brief stop to catch the end of Two Door Cinema Club on the Main Stage, I went to investigate Aussie band Jagwar Ma, which actually turned out to be one of the highlights of my weekend. Making waves here in the U.K, their genre-defying indie/electro/alternative/dance-rock shows influences of the 80’s Manchester music scene, but it was perfectly suited the hot Sunday afternoon. I am pretty sure everyone in the crowd was dancing, swaying, or at least nodding along to the chilled, mid-tempo tunes that seemed to drift into one another with a suitable ease. It was simply half an hour of undeniable, sunshine-filled bliss.
I was really excited to see Foals next, who were up on the Radio 1 Stage. Yannis and co. brought their jagged math-rock to a crowd that, in my opinion, were actually a bit lackluster. Most of them had probably only turned up to hear My Number, which is a shame considering as the five-piece play incredibly well live and deserved a good audience. Yannis still took the opportunity to try a spot of crowd surfing, an act that has become a regular staple at their shows. On the way back from Foals I wandered into the Transmission Tent to find a band I didn’t recognise at first but who turned out to be Local Natives. Immediately drawing comparisons to both Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that I’d stumbled across them. Their gorgeous harmonies and lush instrumentation won me over pretty quickly.
Not particularly enthused by any of the headliners that evening, I decided for once to follow the masses and watch The Killers on the Main Stage. The band had been requested by all the festival-goers at the end of last year so the crowd was expected to be huge. I hung around for a few songs but I soon realised that aside from a handful of hit songs, the band are disappointingly formulaic in their song structure and admittedly I began to lose attention. Before I knew it, I was wandering over to King Tut’s out of curiosity, inside which the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were playing. After only thirty seconds, I found myself thinking “How could I have thought to miss this?!” Karen O is one of the most enigmatic stage performers I’ve seen, and how she manages to sing while moving around so much baffles me. At points Miss O plunged the microphone down her fluorescent t-shirt so as to amplify her heart beat, which must have been pretty fast considering the amount of jumping around she was doing. Their latest single Despair is one of the best tracks I’ve heard in a while and Karen got the whole crowd singing along: “My song is your song / My song is your song”. It was a perfectly befitting end to the night, and to my weekend as a whole. Roll on next year!