Isle of Wight Sat to Sunday – I think?

Surprisingly relaxed today. The sun is shining, great bands lined up and although I probably stink to high heaven I imagine everyone else does too. I have been particularly well organised and am pretty satisfied I’m as clean as I was ever going to be, partly thanks to back stage facilities, Pizza Hut and Weatherspoon!

So, Bands yesterday again, absolutely awesome. I did less yo-yo’ing and a little more ‘taking it all in’. At the request of the editor there are fewer but longer reviews to compromise on the technical issues such as distance and minimal power – 5% battery is pretty healthy the way things are right now. Gotta say, iPad and blue tooth keyboard is by far the most practical method I’ve ever used for a fest. With demands increasing around timing and quantity each year for the website I realised I could never have delivered in this way 6 years ago. New to music journalism and feeling like an imposter in the press tents I turned up for my first fest (Hard Rock, Hyde Park) armed with a notepad and paper. It was more than enough. I can’t begin to imagine how that could possibly work now with the live feeds, the instant reviews and with the added quantity the additional pressure to get all the facts right. On the bright side the knowledge accumulated in sheer panic to meet deadlines never leaves and comes in handy and the least expected times.

Apparently festival fever and the fears of getting trapped on camp exist pretty much in the confines of the event. People close to me are satisfied that my phone is working, that constitutes for ‘all is well’ nowdays, never mind the howing winds, driving rain and the growing going on outside my tent during the night. Said growling transpired to be man snoring in a rather peculiar fashion… in a teeny one man tent right next to mine. At 3am I woke up frozen through and donned every item of clothing I had the energy to dig out. I don’t consider myself particularly hardcore, however as several of my friends have already scarpered and I opened the tent to a wide open space once crammed with tents and a maze of ropeage I can’t be too much of a softie.

Anyhow, last night I didn’t review Biffy Clyro due to time pressures and a need for a break, but I did see them and would recommend highly. I will tell you for the music, showmanship and professionalism, women in my company last night would put it in a rather different way. Essentially there’s something for everyone there… What a relief it was though, to find someone I knew! after a couple of texts I concluded they would be too far away for me to locate. Turning to ask a question from a rather tall bloke I’d barely opened my mouth when I heard “ANJAAAAA” right down my ear – it was the same colleague from work I’d been texting and the text still hadn’t reached her, one and only co-incidence of fest but a great one.

After arranging to re-group for Pearl Jam the crowds had multiplied and there was no chance of finding them. Then the dreaded rain… then, by some grace of god I got the most welcome text from the photographer saying we had access to theVIP tent and could sit on the big comfy sofas and watch on the screen! Sounds like an offer that couldn’t be refused, right? I got to the tent, it was FABULOUS. The best food I’ve seen all weekend, a bar that you don’t need tokens for, screens everywhere and luxurious red carpet that you can wear wellies on… and cake! Did I mention the food? Still, desperate to watch the band in the flesh I still perched half in the rain looking out – it was worth it, Eddie (You can call me Ed) Vedder gave a big old wave our way and I was more or less the only one there! *Melt* Obviously I was too stunned to wave back so I just stood grinning along with a small handful of others.

Today I got the Pearl Jam review off in good time but somehow it failed to make it to the destination. In Weatherspoons I scrambled to find an unused socket and eventually hi-jacked one from a lovely couple who rightly obeserved “they’re like gold dust”. This is a Weatherspoons like no other – they have a big area for you to take of your boots, a military operation to get roast dinners out and constantly checked and cleaned loos which made for a great wash space. I am guilty of sparking a tooth-brushing trend, but I’m not one to miss an opportunity in conditions such as these.

Most amusing of the day was a trip to the coffee stand. I will get a picture out ASAP. I was knee deep in mud asking for a Latte – one of two people there when I was asked to queue on the other side – a further two inches deep in swamp. Seriously! I did as I was told and was thankful for the height of my now breaking wellies.

Ok, some review links then I’m gonna leave to get to the loos, obviously early morning beer doesn’t sit well or my body has re-adjusted to thinking toilets are always close by. How very wrong.

Pearl Jam

Jessie JMadness

And the great news is that Virtual festivals tweeted my review to Jessie J directly – maaan I love Jessie J!

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Poor quality pics of Pearl Jam from VIP arena taken in ipad – better ones coming soon. Oh and me with the wrong camera on… D’oh.

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Isle Of White initial line-up thoughts

Initial thoughts on line-up…

Line Up

I may have been a little over-zealous booking Wednesday off work, thinking that may not be needed…

However the Friday HAS to be worth arriving in a timely fashion for! Needless to say it’s not the headliner that has got me going here.

Noah and the Whale jump out for the fact they may just make me shed a tear – ‘5 years time’ was a bad choice for me on my 5th anniversary with ex and it really didn’t go down the way it should have. Two years on I’m thinking that 5 years from that day we may be lucky to still have the odd ‘like’ on each others facebooks. With any luck Example will perk me up somewhat. I like his music, not so keen on him. I follow @Example and get the feeling he’s not so personable, all the same he’s undoubtedly going to throw a PARTY!

Feeder have slipped disturbingly low down the line-up I imagine they will have crowds from across the globe crashing in on the little island depending on how ‘available’ they are. I still sing CD player when I have the roof down in the car! Who knows, this could make me feel 17 again.

Saturday may see me struggle to get up early, but to give Labyrinth his due – he’s worth it. I saw Labyrinth play Oceana, Watford the night my best friend told me she was moving to Glasgow where she has since fallen in love and settled… not a great night but good memories from said artist all the same.

And Madness. You can find other reviews by me on Madness, I’ve seen them several times over the years to sadly waning crowds. I have a good feeling about this though, I suspect they are sneaking a new come-back. Consistently innovative and anxious to please they have never failed to surprise me… creative, fun-loving, crowd-pleasing nostalgia guaranteed. Who knows they may pull out some new tracks.

Another re-review … Jessie J.

JESSIE J BRIGHTON REVIEW

Nuff said! LOVE the confidence, the talent and was lucky enough to see her right on the brink of the stardom that now surrounds her.

Tiny Tempah — yup. Looking forward to that but not squealing with excitement, maybe that will come. Biffy? Again, I expect to be entertained but won’t be conducive to that.

And Pearl Jam… I will have to explore my feelings on this one a little closer in time. This takes me back to my very early exposure to music and somehow 1never quite cemented my views here – that was the luxury of being too young to care and just enjoy!

I want to say I’m psyched about Sunday. The Vaccines and Bruce Springsteen… bloody awesome. But Noel Gallagher? This makes me plan to sulk in my tent somewhat… but I will stay open – minded, close my eyes and D/L his High Flying Birds…

Now perhaps there’s some ex-anti-Oasisers that can put me straight, fans or foes of any of the line up share your wisdom and give me some challenges to deal with! Otherwise my one-sided review will go out to the masses in the very near future…