Live Reviews

Bestival @ Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight

9 September 2007


Yes, yes, we know. This is supposed to be musicOMH, not ukulelesOMH.com, so we really ought to be checking out some of the bands, and not just the general madness. Come Sunday, and we’re happy to oblige.

Just past the witching hour (which you may still count as Saturday, but think birthdays rather than festivals) we catch Patrick Wolf in the BBC Introducing… tent. Red hair, mad clothes, fab music, packed tent – he’s on form, and not at all phased by the semi-naked man wearing tracksuit bottoms, formal shoes and nothing else who’s been against the barriers for every single band so far. Eek!

After Mr Wolf, we catch our rest before rising bright and breezy on Sunday with plans for the Main Stage, and all the other stages in between.. First up is Bat For Lashes, sparkly and resplendent in the late morning sunshine. You might not expect her spectral and etheral pop to work half as well as it does in the outside space, but on the other hand, can you really think she wouldn’t work anywhere? On today’s Posher Than Klaxons league: about the same, we think, confused by internationality and squash dynasty parents.

A few bars of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis (not as posh) and we had to leg it quickly to catch also the Less Posh The Wombats, who start on a barber’s shop trio harmony then launch into a truly fab set of quirky urban anecdotes in song and carry them on in the between song banter. Dan the drummer gets into full swing as drag alter-ego Lindsay, giving up only towards the end, when his wig gets too much for him.

And then…. just in case all this dressing up, neon, fun and frivolity was getting too much, it’s time for the return of our favourite Bestival heroes and future husband, iLiKETRAiNS. Yes, they’re wearing all black (this time with funeral armbands). Yes, their songs are all about misery and failure and despair. Yes, their music is doom-laded bass-heavy dirges and yes, they are the best band of Bestival again. We love iLiKETRAiNS, just as much this year as we did the last time.

After that, we feel the need for a sit down and reminder of all things terribly English, so it’s up to the village for tea and cakes at the Womens’ Institute, then back down to the main valley for proper afternoon tea in the Tea Garden where not only do we get jam and scones, but also Suggs sitting at the next table. The only thing ‘ruining’ an English idyll a lyric by The Kinks would be proud of is the Beastie Boys DJ set in the background but, if you ask us, it’s a small price to pay.

After tea, it’s time for Kate Nash, such a lovely English rose of a singer (albeit a rather potty mouthed one) that she seems the perfect choice for a warm Sunday afternoon slot as the evening kicks in. Seated at a piano adorned with a teapot, we can’t help but notice that her accent is rather cranked up on the songs compared with the between-song banter, mind, but overall we do think she’s probably well Less Posh Than Klaxons

If we’re wrong about her, we certainly aren’t about the next offering, Gossip and Beth ‘Trailers R Us’ Ditto, who despite being almost appropriately dressed for once, if you forget the lack of proper knickers under her gold lame poncho, still feels the need to belch every so often when she feels like it, just to remind anyone still in doubt that she is very much Less Posh Than Klaxons.

If seeing the sight of her huge wobbly arse on a large screen doesn’t put you off, you probably would have enjoyed a set that included covers of George Michael‘s Careless Whisper and Aaliyah‘s Are You That Somebody, a homage to Bikini Kill and a mash-up of Standing In The Way Of Control with We Are The Champions. But why oh why could she not get to the end of the set without stripping down to her underwear? It’s just wrong.

We’re so shocked that we need to go and have a nice sit down (via the backstage loos, to which Kate Nash has to be escorted by her minder. No-one protects us!). Sadly, nowhere is safe. Next to us in the SOS Internet Services Cafe press area is a photographer sorting out pictures of Ms Ditto in tight black ill-fitting lycra. Ugghh! Please, no.

It’ll take more than a nice cup of tea and more cakes to get over this one, even though on the other side of the tent we can hear Primal Scream (less Posh than Rab C Nesbitt, let alone Klaxons) making a rather rockin’ noise and no doubt getting the crowd boogie-ing along. Ah well, we’d better head out and join them. After that, we’re off to find some food, chill out in the last hurrah of the 24 Hour Field, head to The Orb to chill out as the festival strandles midnight and then, sadly, it’ll be home time once again.

Until next year, that is. Just remember, Bestival has better weather than Glastonbury, friendlier security staff, more dressing up and certainly more tea and cakes. Yes, over all, we’d say that on our new festival barometer, it’s probably even Posher Than Klaxons.


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