Last night the annual Evolution Weekender which takes place at Newcastle’s Gateshead Quayside was a fairly sombre affair in comparison to years gone by.
You could blame the choice of the headline act, let’s be honest, the only relevant publicity Iggy Pop has stirred up over the past twelve months is a performance on American Idol, a battered and bruised stage dive at a New York benefit concert and raking up a few million dollars after appearing in a commercial for car insurance.
But the main reason for unpaid tickets could be found a few miles away where five lads fronted by a certain Gary Barlow played the first night of their sold-old tour at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
With Take That having a breather and two chart-topping acts on tonight’s bill the festival is back to its busiest self. Locals are sandwiched inside the Quayside complexity drinking, smoking and flirting with one another probably exchanging their disgust how Geordie Shore gives their hometown a bad reputation.
Before Plan B rounds off this year’s event there’s another young talent to whip the young crowds into a frenzy, Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, known to you and I as Tinie Tempah is having a startling year so far which was kick-started by winning two of his four nominated Brit Awards back in February.
The twenty-two year old South Londoner is retracing Dizzee Rascal’s ambiguous summers of 2009 and 2010, performing at every festival his schedule will allow. Tinie is worshipped by his young adorers yet still can’t help his potty mouth working overtime when sometimes less is ‘fucking’ more.
Opening with ‘Frisky’ the set soon magpies tracks from other artists. To those of you who remember the ‘Bits and Pieces’ competition from the Radio 1 Roadshow days points would be awarded for recognising Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynomite’, Far East Movement's ‘Like a G6’ and LMFAO’s ‘ ‘Every Day I’m Shuffling!’ whilst you are ‘going fuckin’ mental’.
‘Miami 2 Ibiza’, Tinie’s collaboration with Swedish House Mafia, provided the ideal opening party for this year’s festival season, one thing you can’t deny is his relationship with a crowd even though when his banter can be cringe worthily at times...’I’ve not been in the UK much this year. But when I heard this festival was being held in Newcastle. Fuck it!’ So, a mini-festival in the North West of England forced you back from Las Vegas did it? C’mon Tinie even if Gascoigne was in tonight’s crowd even he would spot a few traces of a white lie. At least tonight’s performance allowed you to promote your concert at the Metro Arena in November!
‘Written in the Star’s’ and ‘Pass Out’, saved for the encore continue to captivate the buoyant crowd explaining why Tinie is one of the most popular artists around at the moment, although weather he will be stealing away Evolution crowds in a few years time performing at a nearby sold-old stadium is doubtful, his time is now and he should continue to make the most of it.
Disabled Acess has improved at the Evoultion Weekender, the platform is nearer the stage and secured very well by guards, but it's quite diffcult to reach and the disabled loo should be positioned a little closer. An outer security fence around the platform itself to avoid members of the crowd sitting on the platform would be welcome and also a few chairs to accomadate those with walking difficulties would make the area more suitable.
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