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Festival review: Neighbourhood Weekender 2018 - Sunday


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After a stunning Saturday affair, hopes and spirits were high for Neighbourhood Weekender's Sunday event.

Neighbourhood Weekender doesn't offer camping, so attendees flocked back to Warrington from home or hotel fresh faced for another (rainy) day of bands and beers.

Kicking off our Sunday was Tom Grennan - and his set was by far the top highlight of the entire weekend. Vocally on point, incredible stage presence and an attitude and aura that effortlessly just oozes cool, Tom's time on stage was a highly enjoyable half an hour, clear to see on the faces of his dancing fans throughout the crowd. Each song he announced, such as 'Sober' and 'Praying', ellicted screams and shouts of happiness from the huge audience he'd gathered - closing with 'Royal Highness', it's clear Tom Grennan is truly a star in the making, with 2018 set to be his year. Next up, Aussie brit-pop trio DMA's drew an even larger crowd down to the main stage, playing fan favourites such as 'Delete' and 'Lay Down'.

Jerry Williams on the Viola Beach stage was another festival highlight, encapsulating everything wonderful about singer songwriters into one tiny happy person. Her energy was infectious; she danced around the stage with her guitar like she owned the entire festival, her youthful charm and stunning, delicate vocal allowing her to hold her crowd completely in the palm of her hand. Her closing track 'Grab Life' was by far her best, a sunny pop tune for beach days and long walks and festivals like these. After smashing a guitar breakdown and a scream of "IRENE!" she entered the last chorus, and it was clear she was giving her everything. If there's one person you see live this year, make it Jerry Williams.

Soon after Jerry finished her set, leaving a feeling of sunshine and happiness amongst the stage despite the rain, Stereo Honey got up to play their 80s-esque indie rock. Jangly guitar riffs with a subtle electronic feel, there's something about them that makes them stand out from the indie-rock landfill.

Anteros were up next, and it's straight away clear to see how incredible a front woman Laura Hayden is as she struts, dances and essentially throws herself around the stage, gesticulating every lyric and oozing a fiery sex appeal. She dedicates track 'Bonnie' to the women of Ireland, as constantly mirrors Rosie the Riveter arms throughout the set. Though the vocals weren't on point by any stretch, it was an incredible show to watch and get up and dance to... and Laura should certainly be marked one of the best, riotous, ferocious front women of this generation.

Indie power group Blossoms blew the main stage away (if you could hear it), the second they opened with new track 'There's a Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls) flares were sent up into the sky. Watching from further back, the crowd was fiercely bouncing along to every single song. Love them or hate them, they're one of the most popular bands around at the moment and got Neighbourhood completely warmed up for the night's headliner.

As Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds opened with 'Fort Knox', for half the attendees of the festival, it was like God himself had floated down from above onto the stage. He had arguably come armed with the World's Worst Setlist, but that didn't matter: looking over into the crowd, there was an overwhelming feeling of happiness and togetherness - boys with their arms around each other, people crying seeing their hero perform, the older fans who had been there at the peak of Oasis reliving a part of their youth as he sang songs such as 'Little by Little' and 'Wonderwall'. It was the perfect atmosphere to close out the festival.

Neighbourhood Weekender, despite a few issues with sound, completely smashed their debut year - this is set to be an essential festival on the circuit for years to come. Move over, Reading - we're heading to Warrington now.

Read our Saturday review here.

2019 earlybird tickets are on sale now.

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