The question on everyone’s mind on Day 2 is this: At what time will there be giant inflatable penises in the crowd? The answer: during Detroit Social Club on the main stage. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that they came out with the good weather as overnight the quagmire has dried up and the sun has come to play. Unfortunately Detroit Social Club are suffering from early main stage syndrome and sound a bit like a poor Kasabian.
The middling Americana rock of The Hold Steady may have failed to strike a chord with the crowd, judging by how many of them followed those giant inflatable cocks to the Big Top Stage to watch Bombay Bicycle Club. They were certainly on form, playing with gusto as they showcased a few new songs that, while not highly polished, nevertheless went down well with the crowd. They had a lot of fun and singer Jack Steadman sounded like he was enjoying himself, which is no mean feat when you sing as if through gritted teeth.
With at least 10 band members on stage for some songs, Noah And The Whale were going all out for a full festival sound under The Big Top. Singer Charlie Fink’s low, sad musings on love and life that have come to define their recent gigs were solid, but the sweaty festival crowd were waiting to hear 5 Years’ Time. When it came, it went down very well. The band also found time in the set for a tribute to the soon to be reformed Blink 182, with the surprising choice of a very good cover of What’s My Age Again?
Then The Saturdays came on and, disappointingly, the crowd is larger than for the previous two acts combined; perhaps it’s an indication of just how far people will go to see gorgeous women jump around on stage to pop music.
As the England World Cup squad were receiving bad crowd reactions for poor keeping elsewhere, Deborah Harry was out front of Blondie blowing kisses to the appreciative main arena as the sun began to set during Atomic. They also played plenty of tunes off Parallel Lines, not least One Way Or Another and Picture This. There was a cover of Taio Cruz‘s Break My Heart which worked well for the the band. Harry might be a little less able to hit the high register on Heart Of Glass, but she is still an effortlessly sexy performer.
For a band with only two UK Top 10 singles, The Strokes were very popular with the Saturday night main stage crowd. They were perhaps the only band all weekend where the crowd sung en masse along with the guitar breaks as much as the lyrics. Julian Casablancas sung brilliantly but seemed er, a little “affected” during his between-song banter, which was as unintelligible as it was entertaining to watch. They played a solid and rocking set, with a good portion of the tracks from incendiary decade-old debut Is This It. The stage show left something to be desired, with no top-down lighting on the band at all, but the solidly simple and riff heavy tunes they belted out closed the festival’s second day in fine style.