Robin Hill Country Park is the Jo Whiley of Britain's Theme parks as should the attraction come to a close before the end of the month nobody would notice and it wouldn't be any loss to the British public.
For example, this year’s attraction for 2009 isn't a death defying thrill seeking neither state of the art rollercoaster nor a multi-million pound family ride. It's a children’s train ride with a cow theme! Alas, once a year the park is closed for the final summer festival of the year where people across the UK flock to the Isle Of Wight for the Bestival and see out the festival season in style.
Saturday is fancy dress day and this year the theme is Space - Even a handful of the disabled guests were getting into the spirit - walking like Thunderbird puppets!
With Space being the theme this fortunately meant there was no room for fully grown men to wear flamboyant dresses and hide their masculinity, this was left for one of today's top acts; Mika.
It's one small step for a man, one giant prance for the mincer. Dressed as a gay Neil Armstrong Mika skipped on stage in an astronaut outfit and started his set with 'Love Today' and 'Big Girl (You are beautiful)' He then goes on to make the comment that he played at the first Bestival at 1.30 am in the Big Top, first to a very small crowd, but by the end of the set the tent was full. Funny how within 6 years how things can do a complete U-Turn isn't it? We would actually like to admit his performance was pretty damn good, but of course if we made such a bold statement our reputation would be in jeopardy!
Jack Peñate didn't bother to turn up dressed as a Spaceman or an Alien or anything else for that matter that resembled life in a far away Galaxy. He just stepped on stage in his casual wear and played his stuff. Last time we tried to review Jack when he played at the Reading festival we spent too much time explaining how you can use the keyboard controls so you can add the tilde symbol over the 'n' in his surname that we wasted a whole paragraph and therefore didn't have enough room to cover his performance. With regret we seem to have once again filled a paragraph and a review of Jack will have to wait for a future date. Please accept our sheer apologises.
Today's line up also saw two Mercury Prize Winners. First of all this years winner, Speech Debble played in the Big Top tent whilst the 2007 champions, The Klaxons played just before tonight’s headliners. Elbow, who won the award last year closed Bestival on Sunday which is a bugger for us as if all three bands had played on the same day we could have put together quite a decent paragraph together. As it stands we have just knocked together two paragraphs which quite frankly are pretty blooming weak and lack minor references to the festival itself! Please accept our sheer apologies. Again!
If somebody had told us back in 2000 that ABLE2 would be reviewing Kraftwork we would have found it hard to believe. The German act rarely makes live appearances and avoids media attention. So having the current four band members, Ralf Hutter, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz and Stefan Pfaffe headlining a British festival is the equivalent of winning two World Wars and one World Cup! Situated behind laptops for the entire performance the IT guys’ cherry picked from their incredible 36 year back catalogue.
Despite having so many years behind them and numerous changes of band members out of their 27 released single only a small handful bothered the UK chart. Tour de France was back dropped with a film of the famous bike race and Vitamin by images an assortment of drugs, the latter was never released as a single but is the perfect background sound for that comedown which evidently follows after popping too many happy pills the night before.
The opening of their 1982 German release, Computerlove (Computerwelt in German) influenced Coldplay to write 'Talk', the influence is easy to identify. Of course, Kraftwork's most successful release was The Model which reached Number 1 in the UK back in 1981 - The single obviously hailed the most anticipated track of tonight's set list.
After a first class train journey with TEE - The 1977 long forgotten German release about the Trans-Europe Express (A train network set up in 1957 by a Dutch bloke called Ir. F.Q. den Hollander) a curtain was pulled across the stage which later revealed the band members replaced by robots which enviably played 'The Robots' (A 1991 release in Germany & the U.S)
The humans returned for a second encore, this time wearing black outfits with green luminous grid patterns and played their 1981 release 'Computer Love' (Again only released in Germany and the U.S.) The closing number came with an environment friendly message warning us that we release too much Plutonium into our planet every year before the German guys probably boarded a fuel intoxicated plane and flew back to their Central European country.
To round off the night and with something a bit more closer to home La Roux played in the midnight hour over in the Big Top and apart from the brief lack of sound during 'In For The Kill' her performance kept the late festival goers very much alive.
The fancy dress added to the sheer atmosphere Bestival projects each and every year. Bestival is young, fresh and has a long future ahead - You could even class it as the Fearne Cotton of the UK Festival market!
BBC Radio 1's daytime schedule vastly improves from 21st September when, among other changes, Fearne replaces Jo Whiley from 10am Mon-Fri.
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