Festival sounds (2011)

With Bestival marking the end of the festival season t’other week and summer dying long before, i thought I’d share my 2011 festival highlights with you.

It started for me at Glastonbury, a festival I’d always wanted to go to but never had much luck (or conviction) buying tickets for. Snapping up tickets by travelling from Taunton, nothing could stop me now. And it didn’t disappoint. I was impressed first of all by Metronomy whose lp The English Riveira has been a summer favourite. Everything Goes My Way set the tone for the rest of the day; we found ourselves wiling out to Wu Tang, on the periphery for the ever popular Beardyman, getting revived by Little Dragon (Swimming off their second lp standing out) and entranced by Radiohead, even if they didn’t play Feral.

On Saturday we indulged in proper pop: I’m unabashed to say Tinie Tempah was good. I was really happy about arriving at Gold Panda in time for Marriage – his lp Lucky Shiner has been on heavy rotation since it came out last year. Friendly Fires were typically energetic and the hula girls for Hawaiian Air made it the biggie of their set. James Blake was a little self-indulgent but the crowd came alive when he dropped his up-tempo stuff, cmyk smashing it as the kids might say.

Sundays highlights in a crabshell: Laura Marling (Rambling Man), Paul Simon (call me al), Jamie Woon (Spirals – so good) and of course Beyonce.

V Festival was a different beast altogether. I found myself enthralled by Bruno Mars and Example, digging Arctic Monkeys and avoiding all manner of acts, not least chipmunk for the second festival running. The controversial decision to miss Eminem paid off big time when we had a rumpus to Jaguar Skills.

Third and finally, we traded rock gods for chef gods at Jimmy’s Harvest Festival. Here, Jamie Oliver got a huge cheer, James Martin was electric and Gennaro Contaldo was my clear favourite. The food was immense and, er, The Feeling played.

A number of the tracks noted above can be found at the YouTube channel here.

So, what swept your hair off this summer?

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