Live Music + Gig Reviews

Glade Festival 2009: Day 3 @ Matterley Bowl, Winchester

19 July 2009

Glade Festival 2009:Day 1 |Day 2 | Day 3

The final day of Glade festival may have been chilly and grey, but the gods at least managed to ward off the rain.

Despite the fact the Glade stage is outdoors, warmth was found amongst the eager crowd who had gathered for Nitin Sawhney. A problem with the sound meant things got off to a disappointing start, but it was resolved in time for the musician/producer/composer/genius to impress the crowd with his critically-acclaimed songs, combining Indian influences with elements of electronica, jazz, flamenco and classical music.
Later in the day it seemed like most of the festival had packed into the Boomtown stage to see dubstep pioneer Rusko. People were spilling out from all sides of this enormous tent, testimony to how insanely popular this 23-year-old has become – enough so that his huge Cockney Thug was championed by Pete Tong. This may be because Rusko plays dubstep you can actually dance to (rather than music to slowly transfer your weight from one foot to the other). The audience seemed suitably reverential for a DJ who prides himself on bringing a more energetic, fun slant to a genre in much need of one, but still went absolutely ballistic to his mash-up of jungle, hip hop, house and electro.

‘Super’ Sunday saw the eagerly awaited day of drum and bass at the Vapor stage. DJ Fresh was forced to churn out an extended and slightly cheesy set ahead of the fashionably late Dutch threesome Noisia, who provided a pounding and downright filthy hour of drum ‘n’ bass to a loyal crowd. Despite a brief 15 minutes of breakbeat, which threw even their hardcore fans off guard, the group’s wellie-stomping antics left fans leaving the stage sweaty and satisfied.

A horrible schedule clash meant Brazilian superstar DJ Marky was unfortunately performing on the Vapor stage at the same time as kings of dance Underworld were headlining the main stage. Fortunately, as all the stages at Glade are so close together, it was easy to bounce (literally) over for half of his sweat-inducing set and then escape out to the Glade stage to catch the last half of the Romford giants.

Before their performance Karl Hyde claimed Underworld wanted to deliver “a performance that isn’t like anything else” – and this they certainly did. After an ambient start they built up to an immense crescendo for their last few tunes, resulting in an explosion of dancing from the masses once Born Slippy and King Of Snake were finally played. Enormous white balloons were thrown out into the crowd, bouncing along the sea of hands like genetically modified bubbles, while gigantic futuristic cylinders sprouted from the back of the stage. The audience was equally dazzled by Karl Hyde’s frenetic stage presence, enshrined in his fetching sparkly silver jacket.

Drum ‘n’ bass stalwart Andy C provided a grand finale for the festival, bringing double drops aplenty as the weary Sunday night crowd summoned up all their strength for the final push. Always a winner on the festival circuit, Andy C proved himself worthy of his status (and probable price tag).

Even though Glade’s new site meant music could now go on until midnight on Sunday evening instead of 8pm (as it has every previous year), it was still too soon to stop. When all the main stages had switched off their sound systems, a tired crowd formed at the Rabbit Hole, disappointed to find the music had finished there too, and perhaps even more annoyingly that the bar was shut. A frustrated man in a top hat, reluctant to let go of the Glade dream, banged away painfully on the piano in the corner. It was a sign, if one were needed, that the festival had run its course for another year and the time had come to give our legs a much needed rest.

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