Monday, 11 May 2009

BBC Radio One's Big Weekend

It was a Big Weekend at Swindon, 'Owen Lane' and special guest writer Andrea Miller give their thoughts on Sunday's line up.

The Good:

Franz Ferdinand

AM: Even though I'm not a great fan of their music, they were really tight, and didn't spend all of their time playing to the crowd concerning themselves more with being good musicians playing their songs well. I enjoyed it so much that I forgot to be embarrassed about the neon yellow ear plugs I was wearing, as I am cool.

OL: I hadn't listed to any Franz Ferdinand for about two years before their set at Big Weekend and was left wondering why. Franz who don't fall into the typical Brit Band sound were really refreshing. Kapranos distinct vocals, the quirky guitar riffs, and chant along tracks had the crowd bouncing and afterwards, I was left thinking that their 35 minute set was simply not long enough.


AM: I hadn't heard of this unsigned band who were playing the " BBC Introducing..." stage, but was pleasantly rewarded for hanging around. I think it was one of their first big gigs, and the lead singer was self-aware enough to ask the sound guy to adjust the levels. They had a nice blend of melodic guitar riffs, pounding chords and solid vocals that in retrospect, makes me wish I'd spent more time at the Introducing stage and less at some of the more well-established acts.


OL: I wouldn't list RnB as my all time favourite genre of music and was lead to watch NeYo by my girlfriend and her two friends. I was pleasantly surprised! It's sometimes tricky being the first act on stage at a big festival but Ne-yo really got things going. Flying over from the US especially, NeYo gave a real taste of the American RnB scene.

The Bad:

Scouting for Girls:

OL: I had seen SFG at V fest last year and was almost crushed by a mass of hysterical teenage girls. The crowd at Muse and the Kaisers were not as physical! So this year I was expecting more of the same, however, it just didn't quite happen. This was SFG's first show of the year and unfortunately you could tell. Perhaps to concerned with playing to the crowd their decision to drag out the end of every track became a little tiresome when more hits or perhaps some new material would have been more welcome.

AM: Nothing is more alienating than being at a concert where everyone knows the words to every song while you do not. Except when the lead singer decides to sit most of the performance out and points the mic at the crowd under the pretext of showmanship.
The one song that lead singer Roy Stride saved himself for was a shocking rendition of Elvis, "Falling in Love With You." Oh dear.

Chase n Status

AM: This probably comes down to personal taste as I'm no great fan of drum and bass. All I can say is that from the field outside the tent where I was sat, I could feel the the ground shaking...while reading a book.

Moyles V Westwood

OL: Ah, Chris Moyles. The Saviour of Radio One. Westwood the hip hop jedi to millions of people across Britain. This was set to be the biggest mouth vs the biggest ego on radio one. Yet it was all a little too scripted. While Westwood repeatedly urged Moyles to strip and claimed to have single handedly brought the event to Swindon, the 'Saviour' himself seemed somewhat uninterested. In the end I was left feeling that most of the proceedings had been agreed the night before. All in all a bit of an anti climax.

The Ugly:

The Prodigy

AM/OL: It's fair to say that the Prodigy boys weren't the prettiest, cutest or even cuddliest act on show at Big Weekend. Still the hype and anticipation that had built up over the course of the weekend was simmering nicely. Yet only ten minutes in to their set and darkness descended on the main stage leaving the crowd chanting angrily and when power was finally restored, security
decided to stop letting people in.

But, eventually The Prodigy as if released from captivity gave the crowd everything they had been waiting for.

Tight Security outside the Prodigy.
Image taken by Jenny Aldridge

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