V Festival: Day 1 @ Hylands Park 20th August 2011

Last year I attended V Festival and I enjoyed myself so much which resulted in me wanting to go back to do both days this time. Once last years V was over I purchased my ticket via the presale days after the festival. This time I had to get to Chelmsford by myself, so wnting to see the headline acts wouldn’t be possible. When the headline acts were announced I was slightly gutted at the thought of having to leave before Arctic Monkeys or even missing Eminem’s set (If I stayed till the end it would take AGES to get to the train station). My sister then decided that she wanted to attend the Sunday which then resulted in us getting a lift home. The journey to Chelmsford was quite easy was a tad nervous as I had never travelled to Chelmsford before. Still I was at the site at 10.30am. This time people with day/ weekend tickets were going through Gate 1. People were crowding round the entrance. I found the whole thing to be messy compared to the previous year where everyone hung back until the gates were ready. At 11.30am security were given the green light and people started to filter through. I knew who I wanted to see and it was very unfortunate I walked in the wrong direction when wanting to get to  the Undercover Stage. Once I realized my mistake I ran all the way to the Undercover Stage. The distance between each stage is crazy. When I had reached the tent it felt I was dying inside and actually there was no need to run because it was literally empty. You can’t take risks I am guessing by this time the barrier at the main stage was taken. The artist whom I wanted to see was Alice Gold. I have seen her play on a number of occassions which made this performance a must see. Now this 5 song set was extremely short. Gold was only given a 20 minute slot. Things kicked off with the powerful How Long Have These Streets Been Empty? This song was extremely upbeat and had catchy lyrics which sounded wonderful. “How we doing? It’s really good to be here” Alice said to the audience before launching herself into Runaway Love. Again this song was very upbeat and very infectious at the same time. My favourite part of the song had to be the chorus. Straight after it was into the beautiful And You’ll Be There. Alice has stated before this is one of her favourite songs from the debut album. This track is a ballad with a beautiful gentle chorus. Gold delivered this song to perfection. The penultimate song was the current single End Of The World. This was delivered perfectly plus it had strong infectious lyrics. It also sounded really beautiful and extremely powerful at the same time. “This is our last song guys, it’s only a short set today but it’s been a pleasure, a real pleasure to play for you. Have a great weekend. For those that don’t know me my names Alice Gold” she then said before launching into the final song. Capping things off was the debut single Orbiter. They breezed through this uptempo/ upbeat song. It was a blistering performance and oozed plenty of energy.

SET LIST

How Long Have These Streets Been Empty?
Runaway Love
And You’ll Be There
End Of The World
Orbiter

Once Alice Gold had finished her amazing set I then decided to stay at the Undercover Stage. The reason for this is the fact I wanted to see Alex Winston play. It was a tussle between Clare Maguire and Alex Winston. Even though it hurts a little having to miss Clare I think I made the right decision as I heard that The Arena was packed with Wretch 32 fans. Second on the Undercover Stage were Morning Parade. They were OK and I definately will keep a eye out for them in the future. Two songs that featured during the set were Blue Winter and Carousel. The main thing I will remember is the fact they wanted to play one last song only to be told that they needed to get off the stage. When 1.10pm came it was then time for Alex Winston. Alex Winston who is an Michagan born Musician deserves every bit of success she can get. Based on the EP and the set she played there is no doubt that she will be a name on everybodys lips by the time the year ends. This short set was packed with a punch. The introduction was “When The Ants Came Marching Two By Two”. “I’m sorry I can’t start the show until you guys move up” Alex said to the audience before everyone moved up. Kicking of the set was Fire Ant. This upbeat song had a frantic pace then slowed down. There was plenty of energy in the song and it gave the crowd a taste of what to expect from the debut album. “Thankyou so much, I’m Alex Winston. You guys doing alright? We’re so happy to be here for you today” Winston then said to the audience. It was then onto a double dose of songs from the Mini Album Sister Wife. It was onto the albums title track Sister Wife. I love everything about this song it was energetic, uptempo and very contagious. Everyone was clapping along at the start of the song. Sister Wife has to be one of my favourite Alex Winston songs. “Thankyou so much” Alex said after delivering the song perfectly. She then launched into the energetic Choice Notes. This is probably the most main stream song as it was used as the background music of the Hyundi adverts in Europe and the UK and more recently the TK Maxx adverts. It was clear to see that they were having fun on stage. This was an uplifting song, very light and very gentle. It was then onto the brand new single Velvet Elvis. It has grown on me since the first time I saw it played live at The Borderline. The lyrics are simply perfect and was also delivered very strongly as well. “We only bring this one out on Special Occasions, and I am pretty sure this is one” Alex said to the audience before getting stuck into The Fold. Winston was on electric guitar for this amazing tune. This song had a steady pace and lucious lyrics which I adored. “You guys have been absolutely wonderful, we have one more song for you” Alex said before launching into the beautiful song Medicine. This song saw Alex stand on top of the drum, continuosly whacking the drumskin and she also came to the barriers. This short but sweet set was remarkable. Alex is definately someone to watch out for. The material she has under her belt is fantastic and the Sister Wives harmonising skills were perfect.

SET LIST

Fire Ant
Sister Wife
Choice Notes
Velvet Elvis
The Fold
Medicine

When Alex Winston had finished her spectacular 6 song set it was then off to the Main Stage. Once I was there Ziggy Marley was still playing. This was the first time I had been to watch a set at the Main Stage. I had hoped that once Ziggy had finished I could easily work my way to the barrier but this wasn’t to be the case. The person whom I wanted to see was Edinburgh born KT Tunstall. From the very moment I had seen Tunstall play at Shepherd’s Bush Empire it resulted with me catching the Tunstall fever. The 8 song set mainly comprimised of material from current album Tiger Suit  plus there were 3 oldies added in for good measure. The set started with Madame Trudeaux. This song was about the Canadian Prime Minister’s Wife “Maggie Trudeau” and the fact she ran off with The Rolling Stones for a few days. Now this song oozed plenty of energy and it was extremely powerful. “It might get really exciting, one of us may get electrocuted” Tunstall  joked to the crowd as it was tipping down with rain. It was then onto Uummannaq Song. There is a electro feel to the song and again the loop pedal was used right at the start. My favourite bit of this song has to be the chorus and I enjoyed its fast pace as well. Also you can picture the story behind the song. “This one is about break ups being really good” KT said to the crowd before launching into Come On, Get In. The song was upbeat and powerful at the same time. KT also used a kazzoo for part of this song. “Who wants a wet T Shirt competition? I’m not winning it. Please don’t throw anything at me coz I just said that”. It was then onto the beautiful oldie Other Side Of The World. The lyrics were really beautiful and everyone was singing along. Next it was Black Horse And The Cherry Tree. This song was pure perfection and I liked its fast pace. It is a song that can get you moving. This song would be ideal for gliding through the crowd. After it was straight into Push That Knot Away. This song was rather energetic and was delivered perfectly. “How you doing out there? Are you slipping and sliding” Tunstall said before introducing the band. My personal favourite Fade Like A Shadow was the penultimate song of the set. This was a extremely upbeat, very uptempo and highly infectious. It actually talks about accepting that a relationship has run its course, with the lovers parting ways. “Thanks so much, You rule V. Have a amazing weekend” Tunstall said to the crowd before launching into the set closer. Ending this set  was a frantic performance of Suddenly I See. They stormed through it and it oozed plenty of enery. This song was definately a crowd pleaser. I am looking forward to seeing KT on her solo tour at Union Chapel in November.

SET LIST

Madame Trudeaux
Uummannaq Song
Come On, Get In
Other Side Of The World
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
Push That Knot Away
Fade Like A Shadow
Suddenly I See

30 minutes later it was time for Bruno Mars. There were even chants before he came on the wet stage. The set kicked off with the current single The Lazy Song. It looked like Mars had expected sunshine as he came out wearing shades and a hat. This was a chilled out song and as expected there were plenty of people around me singing along. Before launching into Top Of The World Bruno made up a short song about the fact they came far away just to be at V Festival. Now even though this song does not feature on the album it is incredibly powerful and oozed plenty of energy. It was then onto Money (That’s What I Want) which inspired the song Billionaire. Both songs were infused together and Billionaire had everyone singing along. Bruno then launched into the fast tempo Runaway Baby. I loved this song was infectious plus they blitzed through it. “Too kind, too kind” Mars said in response to the Bruno chants. The introduction to Beauty School Dropout from the film Grease was played leading into the next song Marry You.  This song was a real crowd pleaser and there was plenty of singing along to the song. I like the use of the bells. “England, it’s such a privilege for us to be up here right now playing for you guys. It wasn’t long ago we were playing in pubs and bars back home” Mars said to the crowd before launching into something truly remarkable. This being a mash up of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean to the melody of Nivarna’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and the other part of this mash up being The White Stripes Seven Nation Army. The crowd definately loved Mars’s unique take on these songs which were delivered to perfection. The wonderful Nothin’ On You was next and the beginning was slowed down alot. Everyone was singing along to the beautiful chorus. Then halfway through the tempo was cranked up and this song became more energetic. “This next song I’m going to play for you guys, out of all the songs that I have been fortunate to be part of this year, I’m most proud of this one”. This  being the infectious fast paced Grenade. The song itself is about heartbreak. It was delivered perfectly and the rest of the crowd loved it as they were singing along to every word. “You guys have been incredible, I’m going to dedicate this next song to all of you guys” Bruno said before closing the set with the beautiful ballad Just The Way You Are. Towards the end there was crowd participation when the entire crowd sang along which was very special. Once this amazing set was over I then left the Main Stage to make my way to the 4Music Stage.

SET LIST

The Lazy Song
Top Of The World
Money/ Billionaire
Runaway Baby
Marry You
Billie Jean/ Seven Nation Army
Nothin’ On You
Grenade
Just The Way You Are

I thought you would stand a better chance getting to the barrier if you turned up an act before who you wanted to see. Once Bruno had finished I headed straight to the 4Music Stage. The artist who was on was Example and there was no way I would get to the front. It was packed I tried to worm my way though but it wasn’t happening. Once Example had finished I moved back to where the sound desk was. It was actually the same spot I watched Florence and the Machine from last year. The artist I was there to see was Jessie J. Thinking about it maybe I should of stayed at the Main Stage to watch Lostprophets and Kaiser Chiefs as I managed to get to the barrier once Bruno had finshed. Jessie had to be carried onto the stage as she had broken her foot which resulted her cancelling some appearances earlier on in the year. Kicking off this short set was Mama Knows Best. Now this song which is a favourite of many fans has garnered over 1 million views on Youtube. “Essex, Lets do this” Jessie said before mentioning that she needed a chair because the sofa was so low down. Stand Up followed on and had the audience chanting away to the words Stand Up for the Love, Love, Love. The crowd was loving every single minute of the song and Jessie’s vocals were incredible. “OK, this next track is for everybody who didn’t bring sun tan lotion coz Nobody’s Perfect” Cornish went on to say before launching into Nobody’s Perfect. Again everyone was singing along to the lyrics. This song yet conveys another message and this being that Nobody’s Perfect. “This is the first ever gig I have done in Essex” Jessie then went onto say before saying that her family were watching her. Who You Are was dedicated to Jessie’s mum and dad. The song actually conveys a message which is “Just be true to who you are”. I loved this beautiful ballad. “I’m going to take it in for one minute” Jessie said before standing up doing air guitar. “For anyone that doesn’t join in Shutup”. Once this spectacular song was over it was onto Do It Like A Dude which was dedicated to Jessie’s niece. The beginning of the song sung acapella then launched into the full blown band version. Plenty of people were singing along and again this song oozed energy. Up next was Price Tag which was the second single released by Jessie. “V Festial, Shutup” were the opening two lines. I really like this infectious song and the chorus everyone sang along to. B.O.B even made an appearance but not in person though instead it was via backing track. The set ended with the inspiring Who’s Laughing Now. This song showcased her wonderful rapping skills. The lyrics are fantastic and the chorus is uptempo/ infectious. The message that the song conveys is don’t give up on your dreams. If someone puts you down then become more determined to acheive it. In the end when you achieve that dream then those people that doubted you will come crawling back. So like the title of the song Who’s Laughing Now. Joining her on the stage was Mini Jessie who features in the video to accompany this song.

SET LIST

Mama Knows Best
Stand Up
Nobody’s Perfect
Who You Are
Do It Like A Dude
Price Tag
Who’s Laughing Now

Jessie was then carried off the stage and I then made my exit. I then made my way back to the Main Stage to catch a little bit of Kaiser Chiefs. It looked like this slot was a showcase of material from the new album. To be honest it didn’t strike me probably because I haven’t heard the album prior to V. The band also sang the old hits such as I Predict A Riot, The Angry Mob, Ruby and Oh My God. So after they finished I then left to make my way home.

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