Festival review: Common People
26th May 2015
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The inaugural Common People, the latest festival from the Bestival crew, injected some much needed life into the often dark and dreary Southampton Common this bank holiday weekend. Smack bang in the middle of the 326 acre stretch of green in Southampton’s heart, the festival was a fantastic way to bring together the people of the city. Day one couldn’t have asked for better conditions to kick-start the festival with the sun shining throughout the entire day, leaving many festivalgoers looking a little peachy. Bestival regular Mr Motivator arrived onto the Main Stage at around midday to get everyone excited for the first day. With his trademark enthusiastic aerobics session, he gained quite the crowd. Winners of the ‘I want to play at Common People’ battle of the bands competition were The Novatones. The local lads had a big crowd for their early main stage slot, and they put all their energy into a performance of their catchy, Libertines-esque indie-rock. The Uncommon Stage was buzzing from the moment the festival opened – it may have been helped by the stage doubling up as a bar, we’re not sure. Playing host to some of the best local, and national, rising talent, it was great to see so much support for new music. First up were Somahigh, followed by another battle of the bands winner, Bel Esprit, with the Uncommon Stage being packed to the rafters all day, reaching a peak with headliners Jaws. For those that fancied an afternoon rave, The Big Top was the place to be. Highlights from the day came in the form of DJ sets from Huxley, Dusky and finishing with an awesome headline set from Waze & Odyssey. The afternoon on the Main Stage was filled with some fantastic live music, including an eclectic performance from Isle of Wight five-piece, Plastic Mermaids. With their crazy trousers and odd instrument swapping techniques, they pleased the crowds with their eccentric indie-pop, fit with operatic closer ‘Dromtorp’. After being featured on the BBC Sound of 2015, the next act has already created quite the hype around his insightful spoken word – of course I’m referring to George The Poet. The inspirational pocket rocket bounded onto the stage with such an infectious energy he had the crowd mesmerized. The Cambridge graduate performed many tracks including his latest release ‘Search Party’, and in light of the General Election, this couldn’t have gone down better – talk about poetic justice. Jaguar Skills and DJ Yoda really got the crowd going on the main stage with people dancing as far as the eye could see. With the sun shining it was the perfect picture of what a festival should be. Followed by Bestival regulars, and hip-hop legends, De La Soul, the crowds were more than warmed up for the headline act Fat Boy Slim. An hour and a half set full to the brim with hit after hit, the Godfather of dance music lived up to the hype. Fit with the verging on terrifying backdrop animations, his set was an attack on the senses.
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