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REVIEWS:LIVE MUSIC V Festival Weston Park, Staffordshire V Festival often described by many as the most commercial and profit orientated of the summers main musical events, was the brainchild of Jarvis Cocker of Pulp fame. He came up with the idea of playing two musical venues in two days, and so V Festival was born way back in 1996.

Welsh proved once again that she is one of the most accomplished live performers, and made it hard to believe that she is a mere 24 years of age. She dominated the 4 Music Stage, as she belted out all the hits from the critically acclaimed “Lungs”. Paloma Faith really gelled with the crowd as she joked that she was definitely not “Stone Cold Sober”. Her rendition of Etta James “At Last” was definitely another show stopper.

Back in those early days the venue only boasted two stages and a single dance tent, and the line up was pure Britpop at its best, with unsurprisingly Pulp and also Elastica the two headline acts.

Scouting for Girls added some lighter relief with their simple sing along pop tunes. The crowds were encouraged to join in a rousing rendition of “Posh Girls” who apparently “go like the clappers?” from latest album “Everyone wants to be on TV”. Their ability to elicit audience participation had even those towards the back of the field bopping along to their set.

The festival itself is spread across two sites, “northern V” at Weston Park in Staffordshire and its “southern sister” based Hylands Park in Chelmsford. Acts play one venue on the Saturday and then it’s all change on the Sunday when they perform at the second V site. Described as an “overly corporate affair” this does not detract from the whole V experience. Surely freebies can never be a bad thing and are something to keep you occupied in between the music? It may not have the “authenticity” of Glastonbury, but it has the money to buy in some of the worlds biggest performers alongside an eclectic mix of pop, dance and indie acts. Without a doubt this is the festival that has something for everyone. Previous years headliners have included the mighty Foo Fighters, Muse and The Killers. All bands that are renowned for their ability to put on a show stopping live set, and having witnessed all three, it is easy to see that “V” knows how to pick the acts that will have everyone talking. The only downside of the event is the £10 is costs to buy a copy of a programmed detailing the line-up times. Without this you’ll be left trying to guess when your favourite band is performing, and in danger of missing that must see act! This year’s line up boasted the band of the moment Kings of Leon, who pulled in the biggest crowd of the weekend. With many there to simply witness the phenomenon that is “Sex on Fire”, they moved faultlessly through a set that included all the hits from their latest album, as well as taking the true fans on a journey through their back catalogue including “Mollys Chambers” and “The Bucket” and also treating the audience to some snippets from new album “Come Around Sundown”, due out on October 19th. Both Florence and the Machine and Paloma Faith added some much needed glamour to the event. Florence

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The more “typical” festival bands kept the more serious music fans among us happy with The Editors, Stereophonics, The Kooks belting out all their hits alongside more relative newcomers The Temper Trap and White Lies. With the sun shining on Western Park for the second day of festivities, the whole event took on a more laid back atmosphere, the crowd spread much further out as everyone tried to grab their own spot in the sun for soaking up some rays while enjoying the day’s entertainment. Having previously experienced V in the rain, I was actually quite disappointed that my wellington boots weren’t put to good use. Jumping around in the mud to the Foo Fighters in 2007 still reigns as my most memorable V moment ever! It’s the typically British thing to moan about the weather, but I think a little bit of festival rain bonds everyone together, and of course there’s the added entertainment of all that mud wrestling going on all around you! V Festival remains for me the most accessible of all the festivals. The variety of acts offered have you spoilt for choice. Whether you stick to all your old favourites or mix it up a bit and watch someone you’d never normally dream of paying to see, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Just one word of advice, if you’re going to do it then it has to be the whole weekend. One day just isn’t enough and only gives you a tiny snippet of the festival experience. You don’t even have to camp. Many V goers stay in hotels and then bus it in each day, so there’s no excuse to not grab the chance with both hands. Go on, you know you want to! Kim Harrell

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The Kaje (September Issue)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 5 takes a look at: Stornoway,...

The Kaje (September Issue)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 5 takes a look at: Stornoway,...

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