Live Review: BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Swindon (Saturday)

By on Sunday, 10th May 2009 at 12:47 am

Florence and the Machine (Big Weekend side)Ahhh, Swindon. Home of XTC, the magic roundabout, and, errrr, Billie Piper. And now it can add a much more credible item to that list: the host of 2009’s Radio 1 Big Weekend. Playing host to the best of today’s music, I was fortunate enough to be invited down to check out the Saturday lineup.

After a 2 mile trek to the site, I launched straight in with a quick gander at Huw Stephens, playing a rather strong set on the Outdoor stage. Having heard Westwood from a few miles away, it was nice to hear Huw dishing out some quality tunes with a lack of sound effects and horns and stuff. A quick scoot over to the “In New Music We Trust” tent to catch the rather good King Blues, who were a bit crazy but full of energy. Read my review here. Another crazy but full of energy person was Florence and the Machine (right) who I caught last summer at Ben and Jerry’s Summer Sundae, and thought was rubbish, however she had improved vastly, belting out her stories with conviction and energy. Catch a review here.

As is usual with these Big Weekends, the DJs are expected to earn a large part of their salaries by putting themselves up on stage – Chris Moyles was the first to do this, doing a 15 minute song parodies set, featuring and amazing “My Lamb Bhuna” from Comedy Dave and JLS. Not amazing, but certainly better than the repeats of “Sex on Fire” and “Jump in the Pool” that seemed to echo around the site all day. I wasn’t around in the days of the Radio 1 Roadshows, but this comprehensive festival is far better than anything anyone could do on a beach or in a small city centre. A proper festival, it’s made all the more amazing when you consider the organising and planning that’s been put in – not one band (that I saw anyway) overran or went on stage late, everyone knew what they were doing, and frankly it was incredible that it was all so expertly organised.

I took a wander over the the INMWT stage to see what all the fuss was about for Deadmau5. Turns out, he’s really quite amazing. And his hat lights up, which is always a bonus. Got everyone dancing like nobody did till Basement Jaxx. Read a review here. However, after Deadmau5 was the one I really wanted to catch – Friendly Fires. You know my love for this trio, so my third time catching them needless to say was out of this world – Samba dancing, exotic dancing girls aaaaaand a steel band section. Wow. Read a review here.

Temper Trap (live Swindon Big Weekend)The Temper Trap (left) have been gaining a lot of press coverage lately, so I checked them out on the Introducing stage, who followed an acoustic set (well, two songs, hardly a set) from Flo and the Machine – a much more subdued set, but ace nonetheless. The Temper Trap however were far from subdued. Their tunes are really accessible, really radio-friendly, and above all really good. It’s hard not to see them getting more coverage later in the year when their album’s out. Read more here.

Taking a wander I ended up bumping into the lovely Stornoway (who Jess so expertly introduced the other day). Lovely band, lovely fellas, read the interview and live review here.

Feeling re-invigorated by some Pizza, time to catch the end of the Doves‘ (pictured top) set. “Caught by the River” and “There Goes The Fear” (after which this blog is named) showed that Jes Williams and co really did justify their high billing, sounding just as fresh as the day I first heard them. A quick dash to catch Stornoway close out the Introducing stage, and a dash back again to the INMWT tent to catch Basement Jaxx close things for me – new material, crazy stage show, louder than, well, anything that’s ever been in Swindon before. Lovely. Having caught Snow Patrol before at Tsunami Relief and Live8, I decided to call it a day.

Thanks to all at Radio 1 for making my day possible. After the jump there will be pictures, but for now, I’m going to sleep. ‘Night.

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2 Responses

[…] had quite a year here at There Goes The Fear. We’ve bought you live reviews from Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Lovebox, Keane and La Roux amongst many, many more. We’ve interviewed Mew, The Boxer […]

[…] Professional, amusing, fun, but above all great tunes from an unassuming American band. 3) Radio 1 Big Weekend at Swindon’s Lidiard Park – Saturday 9th May Okay, so the sets were a bit on the shorter side of things, but nowhere […]

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