A round up from V Festival in Chelmsford

[written for AllInLondon.co.uk]

V Festival 2011: the highlights
Posted by The Art Stop on Monday 22nd of August 2011

This weekend saw some of the best pop acts descend upon Chelmsford in Essex for the southern part of this years’ V Festival. The weekend was jam packed with great music. And here are some of the highlights from both Saturday and Sunday. These are the acts that blew their audiences away – enveloped thousands of extra fans into their fold after a dazzling show – and generally proved why pop music can still be the cream of the (music) crop.

1. Fun Lovin’ Criminals
The Fun might have started early on Saturday for these guys, but heavy rain and people still arriving certainly didn’t put a dampener on their set. Crowds hit the 4Music stage for the first act of the festival only to find the mud already starting to build, but all it took was Scooby Snacks to zap them out of their unhappy mood. It was tough scheduling but Huey Morgan and co pulled it out of the bag.

2. Jessie J
“Her voice is amazing!” I heard the person next to me declare. They weren’t wrong – because when 25-year-old Jessie J hit the stage on Saturday afternoon, the audience went wild. She represented the first big act of the night on the 4Music Stage and the songstress got the crowd ready for a party with Do It Like A Dude, Price Tag and Look Who’s Laughing Now – and she didn’t even leave her seat to do it. The poor girl is still suffering from a broken foot and was unable to move through her performance – except to hop from a little plastic seat to the comfier sofa behind.

3. Tinie Tempah
Now here’s a man who can hit the stage and get the girls weak at the knees before he’s even uttered a melodic word. Tinie Tempah followed Jessie J’s brilliant performance on Saturday evening and got the crowd ready for an evening of fun with ‘Til I’m Gone, Written In The Stars and Pass Out. And if you’ve ever seen Tinie perform live, you know his on-stage work is enough to impress even the hardened of pop critics. He even dedicated Invincible to the audience as a thank you for all their support.

4. Razorlight
Johnny Borrell and co took to the stage on Saturday – and wasted absolutely no time in blowing away their audience with the legendary In The Morning. America also had the desired effect. The band showed that despite all the line up changes this year, their music is still on top form. Speaking of his change in band members, Johnny even told Absolute Radio, “It’s like being in a band with my best mates”. Ahh!

5. Ocean Colour Scene
It’s been a while since I’ve got to enjoy the sounds of OCS live – but they certainly kept their old spirit alive this weekend with hits old and new (hearing The Day We Caught The Train and The Riverboat Song live will never get old), but there were a few surprises too. The Inbetweeners star, James Buckley, joined his idols on stage for a jam. The latter being the most interesting surprise appearance over the weekend.

6. Dionne Bromfield
Amy Winehouse’s beautiful Goddaughter Dionne took to the stage just after lunch yesterday to wow the Arena tent with tracks from her brand new album Good For The Soul. She walked on to the Stone Roses classic Waterfall before belting out new single Foolin’, fantastic album track Ouch That Hurt and covering The Shirelles’ Mama Said. Before the latter, Dionne announced to her audience, “I played this song on Strictly Come Dancing with a very special person to me. But I want us to all dance and have a good time today.” Amy had duetted with Dionne on the BBC dance show back in 2009.
Later, the 15-year-old later joined Mark Ronson on stage during his set to sing Valerie, a special tribute to Amy.

7. Rihanna
S&M, Please Don’t Stop The Music, What’s My Name, Only Girl (In The World) – with a string of hits ready and waiting to be unleashed upon the chanting crowd, there was no stopping Rihanna when she hit the stage yesterday evening.
Her 70 minute show covered every big tune you could think of and as the sun set over Hylands Park, the 70,000-strong audience sang back every chorus before joining in for a super finale of Umbrella.

8. Eminem
From the moment Eminem’s walked out onto the Hylands Park main stage, the crowd went wild. He batted out The Way I Am, The Real Slim Shady, My Name Is and Without Me to the bouncing audience, before pulling out Stan – a chorus of 60,000+ doing Dido’s bits. It genuinely sent a shiver through you – exactly how live music should do… Rihanna dazzled once more as she joined the rapper on stage for their duet of Love The Way You Lie and there was also my personal favourite was Airplanes (originally by B.o.B). Incredible.

Thank you the team at Beige PR and the Virgin Media Louder Lounge for making us feel so welcome.

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