Festival Review by Emily-Camilla Stockham


London’s Calling Festival at Clapham Common may have lost ‘Hard Rock’ from its aforementioned name but Saturday night saw US legends  Aerosmith inject some Rock back into the one-day festival with a two-set full of stonking classics from the best-selling  band.

Despite the rain, fans waited it out all day to see Steve Tyler and co blaze through ageless anthems like: Love in an elevator, Cryin’, Walk this way and of course, the unforgettable soundtrack to Armageddon, I don’t want to miss a thing.

The sixty-six year old front man lived up to his rock-god status in skin tight leather trousers and a leopard print shirt – harping back to the golden age of rock. Tyler also comfortably lived up to his nickname, ‘Demon of Screamin’’ by belting out the hits with finesse and ease with every track sounding as fresh and electric as when it was released.

Opening with Mama Kin and heading back on for an encore with crowd-pleaser Dream On, Aerosmith left no part of their immense back catalogue untouched.

The veteran five piece also paid homage to their UK audience with a cover of Beatles classics Come Together and Lady Madonna.

The multi-instrumental frontman got up close and personal with the crowd during a rousing rendition of Same Old Song and Dance from their hit album in the seventies, Get your wings.

The Saturday line-up also consisted of Joe Bonamassa, Thunder, Lonely the Brave, as well as indie Australia four-piece, The Jezabels.

Stevie Wonder

Part two of the festival finally saw sunnier climes for the Sunday crowd who were awaiting Motown legend Stevie Wonder to headline the main stage.

The build up to Wonder’s slot was spattered with the occasional shower. The drizzle unfortunately picked up for Jack Johnson summery-strumming and humdrum lyrics. His set passed by in a haze – almost begging for some rays to match his sunny songs – making way for Stevie’s sunshine filled sunset slot, and losing out crowd-wise to jazz-soul aficionado Gregory Porter who had the Pepsi Max tent bursting at the seams with his deep and smooth tones.

Other highlights prior to Stevie included the super-glam Paloma Faith with her belting vocal ability and Michael Kiwanuka with his track, Bones, which is practically synonymous with summer time.

Stevie opened his two hour long set with a crowd-pleasing rendition of How sweet it is [to be loved by you] before dropping into classics Sir Duke and Master Blaster. Stevie powered through an absolutely amazing set keeping a very happy crowd dancing throughout. He launched into an acapella version of Ebony & Ivory prompting a sing-along from the crowd before revisiting old classics such as Part time Lover, My Cherie Amour and Living for the City.

Stevie, his band and backing singers paid tribute to the recent passing of the legendary Bobby Womack with a rendition of If you think you’re lonely now… with Stevie on keys and backing vocals, and the lead male backing vocalist taking centre stage. After which, Stevie sung The Shirelles, Will you still love me tomorrow in tribute to recently deceased lyricist Geoffrey Goffin.  This old classic started out slowly and romantic, as expected, before Stevie and his band transitioned it into a Latin-inspired fiesta.

Just when you think you’ve heard all of the old greats from Stevie, and you think he has exhausted his back catalogue he pulls out the much underrated, I just called to say I love you and his electrifying finale song, Superstition.

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