V Festival, Weston Park, Stafford, UK – 19th + 20th August 2017

Posted by Bianca on Saturday Aug 19, 2017 Under Festivals

V Festival Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Bianca Barrett

V Festival 2017

Fans flew in, helicopters had landed and us knowing Brits had our wellies at the ready to witness Jay Z’s only European set of 2017, P!NK’s prowess and the assorted line up of Weston Parks V Festival in the heart of Staffordshire.

V Festival 2017

Saturday;

Easing us into Saturday’s playlist was Scouting for Girls still getting teens ‘heartbeats’ going with their warming rhythms. Husky hunk, Jack Savoretti, diversified from a nostalgic pop set into a folk rock genre with quiet confidence and a vocal charisma reminiscent of Joe Cocker, Only You and We Are Bound became memorable for their fast paced acoustics.

V Festival 2017 / Scouting For Girls

V Festival 2017 / Scouting For Girls

Hip-hop idol Raye, had a looped backing that allowed her solo performance to incorporate the dynamics of a girl band with force. Gracious for her new fan base, she tells us only “one person” turned out to her set last year. The Line dropped us into a clubbing picture alongside a cover of Daniel Bedingfields Gotta Get Thru This, though it was evident Raye hosted vocal talents beyond that of club pop during a softer track.

V Festival 2017 / Raye

V Festival 2017 / Raye

Clean Bandit’s recognisable symphonies played in the air whilst The Wailers gave us a prescribed dosage of reggae. With classics like Jammin and Three Little Birds which seamlessly merged into One Love, we were elevated for a springy Get Up, Stand Up, our knees elasticated into a with-the-beat bounce.

V Festival 2017

Authentic mancunian JP Cooper introduced us to an electronic combination of James Blunt come Alex Clare. With his raspy vocals, She’s On My Mind was a highlight number and The Only Reason took on an enchanting acoustic faintness. Dance anthems Perfect Strangers and September Song reflect Cooper’s diversity for producing the perfect summer melody. We eagerly await his debut album ‘Raised Under Grey Skies’.

V Festival 2017 / JP Cooper

Gutsy girl Mabel strutted onto stage in a rainbow trouser suit that was more ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’ than sass. Daughter of 80’s funk gal Neneh Cherry, this RnB pop princess with tracks like Thinking of You and My Boy My Town wasn’t afraid to scold her sound team for “technical difficulties” which tended to mute her cool and casual entrance.

V Festival 2017 / Mabel

V Festival 2017 / Mabel

Whilst attempting to evade the odorous bodies of alcohol infused festival goers I narrowly avoid getting caked in the stuff as a fight of testosterone ensues upon a lad drenching a girl in beer. Adolescent idiocy springs to mind.

V Festival 2017

Black clouds flew overhead and a storm began to brew, an appropriate introduction to a thunderous entrance by the king of grime himself, STORMZY – the South London sensation.

V Festival 2017 / Stormzy

V Festival 2017 / Stormzy

Liverpudlian lads The Wombats dragged their unforgettable early indie-pop tracks out to play, with Moving To New York and Let’s Dance To Joy Division getting a welcomed reception. Eager fans sat atop the shoulders of their willing mates, one spread-eagled by a blow up doll named ‘Matilda’. Yet a mediocre performance from Matthew Murphy failed to punch our voice boxes into gear on The English Summer losing an audience energy they’d clearly assumed was guaranteed.

V Festival 2017

Turning fifty shades darker, good girl gone bad Ellie Goulding teases the audience with fragmentation of images that broke out onto the screens of the Supervene stage. An angelic white-rose image was interrupted by static which produced a contrasting Ellie in all black. Removed from her innocent days of The Writer, she blasted onto stage with Aftertaste which rapidly stimulated the audience into motion.

Her electronica dance inspired anthems such as Outside and Anything Can Happen were thrown back at her whilst her gritty vibes of the ‘Delirium’ album’s Figure 8 boasted her musicianal talents on the electric guitar.

V Festival 2017 / Ellie Goulding

V Festival 2017 / Ellie Goulding

Collaborative tracks I Need Your Love (Calvin Harris) and First Time (Kygo) proved her smooth raspy edged voice was symbolic to the production of such hits. Burn is an explosive start to on stage pyrotechnics and Love Me Like You Do finished her set with a rainfall of fireworks as she amiably kissed us goodbye.

V Festival 2017

The ‘Holy Grail’ of V Fest, iconic American rapper Jay Z was screamed onto stage, made to look minute against his set up of a titanic balloon animal. Honouring us with his first performance of his new album 4:44, dedicated fans threw tracks back at him whilst feet stomped and anarchy unfolded to hits 99 Problems and Empire State of Mind.

Dedicating an emotional performance of Numb/Encore to Linkin’ Parks lead Chester Bennington, who died earlier this year, the rapper was moved to see the thousands light up the darkness with their phones.

V Festival 2017 / Pete Tong and The Heritage Orchestra

V Festival 2017 / Pete Tong and The Heritage Orchestra

Over on the MTV stage DJ Pete Tong set in the summer soundtrack that won our attention in his collaboration with the Heritage Orchestra. The incredible symphonic ambience was an obscure intelligence no one had anticipated, with Tong on a podium like a puppeteer, pulling the strings of violinists, trumpeters and drummers.

We were immersed into an Ibiza masterpiece and epic mash-up of synthesised soul, electric and dance with hits from Fat Boy Slim, The Shapeshifters, ATB, and The Source.  Fused with synchronised strobing our heads were lost, our hearts singing to every beat.

V Festival 2017 / Pete Tong and The Heritage Orchestra

Sunday;

V Festival 2017 / Busted

Guilty? Yes. Ashamed? No. Us 90s babies ran for the first spot at Busted’s set for a full on throwback to those careless days of our youth, with noughties numbers like Air Hostess and 3AM girls (and lads might I add) defiantly sung at the top of their lungs. Head-invader What I Go To School For showed cheeky chappy Matt Willis hasn’t quite grown up yet replacing a light-hearted lyric ‘ass’ with an adultly blunt “vagina”.

A charismatic Charlie Simpson always casually cool wasn’t up for iconic jump from the teens of yesteryear James and Matt, but simply stood out amongst the trio with his refined gravelly acoustic tones developed during his solo career. “Silly Song’s” Crashed The Wedding and Year 3000 ended the set on a high with our lips in succession with the band’s.

V Festival 2017 / Busted

V Festival 2017 / Busted

Sun bronzed shoulders, plaited braids and beers awaited the positive vibes of powerhouse, Ella Eyre. Bounding onto stage the fierce lioness threw us into Together, with lyrics “It’s Alright” being chanted back at her with energy.

V Festival 2017 / Ella Eyre

Her female sass roared out hits Worry About Me and Goodtimes with a force that got us air punching. Compelling us all to become an absolute Girl Boss, she bellowed out Comeback and made a star finish bringing individuality to the pop-soul genre she has advanced with cover track We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.

V Festival 2017 / Ella Eyre

V Festival 2017 / Ella Eyre

Since his arrogant beginnings James Arthur has dropped the moody disposition and honestly stood before us as a unique solo artist with real raw talent. I Believe was a soft intro to his playlist, whilst an upbeat cover of the Thong Song paralleled girls in the audience who clearly thought they were auditioning for a raunchy Ann Summers ad.

With other artists finally seeing his potential, he belts out his 2017 Rudimental track Sun Comes Up taking his set up a notch and equally thanking his followers for helping him on his troublesome journey, dedicating track Impossible to his X Factor origins.

V Festival 2017 / James Arthur

V Festival 2017 / James Arthur

The masses were shattered by the stages proposal of both boy wonders The Vamps and old-school jazz-reggae act Madness. Breaking for breath amongst the deafening teenagers that surrounded the MTV stage I attempted to escape the numbers as a dashing Brad Simpson and fellow band mates took to the stage alongside a cringe-worthy recording of the lads telling us they were “four best friends” – sappy or what.

V Festival 2017 / The Vamps

V Festival 2017 / The Vamps

V Festival 2017

All Night and Wake Up had the crowds voices carried on the wind with Wild Heart showing off their acoustic talents.

V Festival 2017

Pacing through the enthused hordes at Madness, we dodged flying limbs as dancing took a hold of the bodies with classics like Baggy Trousers and House of Fun embodying an unavoidable Sax fever.

V Festival 2017

I’m A Celebrities fame making qualities did justice to the hilarity of Joel Dommett, who mentioned having Carol Vorderman’s phone number, and had us in fits at his truthful vision of festivals from “sighting multiple penises”, to the “horrors at looking in a mirror and finding you’ve aged five years”. His comical yet honest insights went down a treat and the audience spilled out of the comedy tent.

V Festival 2017 / Joel Dommett

Praying that the weather forecast was on top form and factually incorrect as per usual, the crowds were not happy to get a glimpse of the black thundercloud overhead as a deep toned George Ezra sung out Cassy O’. Not dampening his attitude Don’t Matter Now kept the crowds in high spirits.

V Festival 2017 / George Ezra

V Festival 2017

Always one for a decent jacket, Anne Marie’s sharp vocals and giant puffer had us shaking off the rain to Ciao Adios and Do It Right.

V Festival 2017 / Anne-Marie

V Festival 2017 / Anne-Marie

Stealing the hearts of the nation chart conqueror Craig David has comeback bigger than ever with his garage-pop production and DJ skills. Ladies and rude-boys congregated in the torrential conditions to witness his contemporary melodies like Aint Giving Up On You and When The Bassline Drops that have demonstrated his effortless hit-making abilities.

V Festival 2017 / Craig David

V Festival 2017 / Craig David

V Festival 2017 / Craig David

His originals are transitional tracks which sit on repeat like a broken record with Fill Me in, Rise and Fall and Walking Away. Certifying himself as a rapper that could be situated between the likes of Eminem and Jay-Z, the singer treated us to a lighting-speed rap and vocal only section to his DJ set TS5 which was commended by the fans. A cover of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself also brought the wet souls back to life ready for P!NK.

V Festival 2017 / P!NK

After a hazardous fire in Chelmsford the heights of a crane loomed above the day’s crowds yet in the fury of wind and rain our stunt gal dropped the elaborate entrance and simply stunned us into an explosive start with dance crew in tow and Get The Party Started… P!NK had arrived.

Decked in double denim, the grunge styled pop-punk star recharged our batteries with Just Like A Pill. After 10-years her return to V Festival was a powerful remedy to a long weekend soggied by the rain. The humble pop-chick thanked us generously, unafraid to hold the hands of her fans on the front row.

V Festival 2017 / P!NK

New single What About Us was a harmonious love song which brought the tempo down as well as an emotional F*ckin Perfect before the finale Raise Your Glass which hyped crowds into and uncontrollable frenzy of screams as she was hoisted above their heads in an infectious embodiment of P!NKS ferocious attitude that had us straining our lungs all night long.

V Festival 2017 / P!NK

A euphoric weekend not to be forgotten.

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