Festival Goers
For me festivals fit into a number of brackets. You’ve got the raucous end of the spectrum with T in the Park – full of inebriated Scots having a ball and puking everywhere, through to the mystical Glastonbury – Hippies, circus acts and all that jazz.

Weston Park’s V, sits somewhere in the middle. If you had to pick one word to describe V it would be ‘nice’. The situ is great – smack bang in the middle of country, there’s a balanced mix of ‘beered-up’ revellers and families which makes for a great vibe and if the weathers good – as it was this weekend, and there’s a decent line-up (hey – it’s organised by Mr Branson – it’s gonna be a good line up!!) then you really are geared up for a ‘bostin’ weekend.
The Lightning Seeds
Not only does a festival provide the opportunity to see some of your favourite bands all under one erm… ‘metaphorical’ roof but it also provides a great opportunity to see artists you wouldn’t otherwise entertain, or should I say – be entertained by. So, using that as my mantra I trundled off with photographer Bianca to catch as many of the acts as I could.

After missing the perfect festival openers ‘Bjorn Again’ grrrr – pesky tickets booth – ‘Ocean Colour Scene’ were the first act we caught on the V stage. Admittedly they’re a little older and more folically challenged than their Brit Pop days, but proved they have lost none of their verve or swagger belting out old faves like ‘Travellers Tune’ and the ‘River Boat Song’, whilst the crowd happily sang guitarist Craddock happy birthday – I told you V was nice.
James Morrison
After a quick toodle off to the Channel 4 stage – dodging the ever increasing number of inflatable’s and wearers of fancy dress – to catch more old but gold the Lightening Seeds, it was back to the main stage to catch the massive sound of James Morrison. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of James Morrison, but like him or not, you’ve got to be impressed by the fullness of his act and the raw power of his voice. He was well received by the fans as he stormed his way through his lively set. Was that Makosi of Big Brother fame on backing vox? Answers on a postcard…
The Proclaimers
Admittedly this next act was purely from a school boy crush perspective – Natalie Imbrulia at the Arena – but was one I simply needed to peruse. Mmmmmmmmm! The diminutive songstress burst on the stage donned in a sparkling sequenced dress belting out her first track… only to find that the mic wasn’t switched on. Comedy hilarity ensued with the crowd chanting “You’re not singing anymore”. The first of many V moments of comedy gold. Alls well that ends well however. Imbrulia was the consummate professional and the initial technical blip and how she laughed it off merely added to her whole likeability.
Festival Goers
It was then back to the main stage for some of the big boys – Biffy Clyro and then Elbow, interspersed with a touch of Athlete and Katy Perry. For me, seeing Elbow perform ‘One Day Like This’ was one of the highlights of the festival, powerful and heartfelt vocals sang along to the haunting melody. Simply splendid!
I’ve not seen Athlete before but I have to say I was really impressed with them and a little disappointed that I couldn’t catch more of their act.
Time for a bit more pop with the introduction of Katy Perry whose stage was laden with giant strawberries, alongside the ones on her brassiere and inflatable flamingos. Catching acts like Miss Perry is what festivals are all about. Obviously she’s not everybody’s bag, but you can’t helped be impressed with her stage presence, energy and overall performance.
Biffy Clyro
By this time the ankles were starting to hurt a little bit with all the ‘tooing and froing’ between stages, but hey – it was a glorious day, the staple festival supplements of beer and burgers were flowing freely, and we were seeing some of the lands finest musicians alongside some great great people. Life doesn’t get much better.
Festival Goers
Without further ado it was over to the Arena to catch the popular Streets and Lady Gaga. As expected, there was a buoyant crowd which packed out the Arena to the rafters and they weren’t disappointed by the lyrically excellent Mike Skinner and his side kick Kevin Mark Trail as they literally stomped their way through gems such as ‘Fit but you know it’ and ‘When you wasn’t famous’.
Katy Perry
Lady Gaga, arrived fashionably late to the stage, much to the bemusement of the expectant crowd. With the ‘Lady’ it’s more of an event than a gig and her wardrobe of a sparkly geometric number together with some kind of giant torch (not dissimilar to Terry Wogan’s microphone on blankety blank) simply added to the show. Schedules are notoriously tight at festivals, and Diva or not, the sound engineer was not going to let Lady Gaga run a minute over and duly cut her set off mid song. Sound man 1, Gaga 0.
On to the main event, Oasis, whose performance, after conspiracy theories aplenty following their no show at V Chelmsford, may hold extra significance as rumour has it…time will tell.
The Streets
You know what you’re going to get with Oasis. Anthem after anthem, spat out by Liam in a ‘lava’esq rage donning his own label ‘Pretty Green’ Parka, or delicately delivered by Gallagher senior clothed in an equally stylish brown leather jacket. Oasis never have and never will put on a stage show – it’s just not their thing, but love em or hate em (and I’ve got to say I love em!) you can’t deny that they’re at the top of the tree and it’s gonna be hard to knock em off. The set was a repertoire of classics from ‘Supersonic’ through to the ‘Slide Away’ and was received in raptures by their hoards of fans.
Festival Goers
The only shame was that our photographers were not permitted to shoot the guys and the PA was a little on the quiet side, prompting sections of the crowd to chant “turn it up, turn it up”.
Lady Gaga
There endeth day one. It had been tiring but great fun and we couldn’t wait to come back tomorrow.
Words by Zak Edwards
Photography by Bianca Barrett

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