Live Music + Gig Reviews

Bestival @ Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight

7 September 2007


Yes, little ukulele, you WILL go to the ball. Or at least to the Night Of 100 Ukes practice session, up in the Bestival village, where enthusiastic ukulele players, keen to make you one of their kind, will serenade you with a uke-version of Mardy Bum and tell you the instruments’ intimate history. They’re Portugese, you know.

In case you haven’t guessed, musicOMH is back at Bestival – the best festival in the UK. For those of you who have yet to partake of its charms, imagine it as a slightly cleaner Glastonbury with no mud, better weather and more audience participation – in everything from mass ukulele gatherings to fancy dress. This year it’s pirates!

Right now, we are back in the snuggly security of the SOS internet services tent, who once again know that journalists will plug anything in return for free cakes, and who are we to disappoint them?

After all, no-one has disappointed us so far, from The Go! Team, who have just completed a storming set on the main stage, to The Sun journalists in the press tent who are trying to tempt us away from these pages, to Palladium, the lovely new band who caught our ear in the BBC Introduces… tent.

Ah, we hear you cry, isn’t the BBC Introduces… tent what was, last year, the Jack Daniels tent, and therefore doesn’t that mean that Palladium were probably just white boys with guitars? Weeeeell…. maaaaaaybe, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they weren’t great. After all, they wore lilac cordouroy and pearls, And cardies. Or their lead singer did, anyway.

In fact, on account of the pearls and the cardie, we have invented a new game to amuse ourselves over the Bestival weekend. Instead of reviewing bands on the basis of their tunes (as you all know what Primal Scream and the Chemical Brothers sound like anyway), we are going to review them on the basis of whether we think bands are more or less posh than Klaxons.

Palladium, on the strength of the pearls, twinset and, as a clincher, their haircuts are, we think, about equally posh. We have no proof that any of them are called Felix, but we suspect they may at least know one or two. Still, this does not mean they are not jolly ace, and we thank them very much for the free earring they gave us in exchange for signing up for their mailing list, which we are now wearing. (The earring, not the mailing list.)

This is what Bestival is all about, you see. Having fun and making everything slightly surreal and doing stuff beyond the music, whether it’s wandering up to the Inflatable Chapel Of Love and not being able to find your way back again, to hugging complete strangers, to bumping into mates of John Murphy‘s in the queue for the backstage loos. And did we mention how comfortable the press lounge is again this year?

So here we are, back for another year and having every bit as much fun as last time. We don’t much like any of this year’s headliners, so instead of the main stage, we’re going to follow the ukulele revolution, search for morris dancers in the woods and maybe, just maybe, head to the Big Top at 3am for Fred (Lemon Jelly) Deakin.

Come back tomorrow and find out how we got on…



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