Getintothis dons our dancing shoes for a day of block rockin beats.
Barely have we alighted from our bus, when the welcoming cries of ‘Pills, poppers, VIP tickets,’ wafts from the rat-like touts lining the cornfield approach to the main gates.
Having only experienced rock festivals, today is an all new bag for me, but like any music event the sights are incredible. There’s the old school ravers decked out in technicolour and who’s bodies have turned to sinew, the scallies buying knock-off jewellery from a geezer armed with bin-bags and then there’s the hoards of girls, who, despite it being a distinctly grey August afternoon, are garbed in little else than neon pink knickers and fluorescent furry boots.
Then there’s the thousands of others beaming ear to ear, eager to dance their little socks off. You can’t help but feel chuffed to be a part of such a gathering.
Inside at 4pm and the party’s in full swing. The bass thuds from all sides as we check out the site. Like any well-schooled press-pack we head straight to the hospitality tent, quickly devouring some of the fine scran on offer; beef burgers, grilled peppers and haloumi, couscous and sweet potatoes, all suitably preparing us for the marathon ahead.
Next stop: The Strongbow Cider Tent, where we can get down to the serious business of consuming plenty of free liquid refreshment. The affable Glaswegian PR dude Ross treats us to the first of many as the mighty Blues (myself and Echo reporter Greg O’Keefe) thrash the Reds (Kopite Luke Traynor and Manc Ben Rossington) at a quick blast of table footie. As is their custom, there’s the usual excuses – a tilt on the field of play conspiring against them resulting in a 8-2 defeat.
Its 6pm and time to dance. First up DFA head honcho James Murphy and his cowbell-loving LCD Soundsystem.
They’re the very epitome of cool – motorik rhythms, barking, nasal vocals and propulsive beats imbue an all-killer, no filler set. There’s the garage scuzz of North American Scum, a post-punked up Daft Punk Is Playing In My House, a towering All My Friends and an incendiary 15-minute version of Yeah to close.
A quick peak at the dare devil BMX-ers hurtling down the halfpipe, and we’re soon in the Chibuku tent taking in Mercury Prize-nominated New Young Pony Club (left). Initial listens to singles gave off the impression of a distinctly one-trick Pony, but live they’re an altogether tight, funky and commanding act, and in Tahita Bulmer they’ve a visually arresting, ace front woman.
Sadly they have to compete with being thrust up in the Gods, on a stage resembling a crows nest clearly designed for the DJs, making interaction all the more difficult. Bulmer rescues the waning PA system with her turbo-robotic moves and sassy delivery. The Get Go and The Bomb leave us thirsty for more as we retreat to the Strongbow Tent to be greeted by the grimy, street crunk of Miami-via-Paris femme de jour Uffie.
The hype has clearly spread as the tent is close to breaking point with young Skins-alikes salivating over this mini rave princess, but sadly while her trademark broken rap is good fun, the electro mash up and continual blurted bobbins from MC/DJ Feadz verges on irritating. Ten minutes of Groove Armada dad-dance fails to further impress so a gander in the myspace tent reveals a no-show from Kissy Sellout, a big loss after his superb Glastonbury show.
By now things are a little hazy, and it takes a monster 15-minute kick to the senses from Tom and Ed, aka The Chemical Brothers, to stir some much-needed energy.
The opening blast is possibly the highlight of the day; packing the hits, you’ve everything from Hey Boy, Hey Girl, Do It Again and a quite brilliant Galvanize. Add to this incredible visuals (haunting clowns, balls of fire and astrological war games) straight out of U2‘s box of tricks it sets up a suitable climax to the main stage’s action. Sadly midway through when the block rockin beats are dropped in favour of meandering mixes boredom sets in, and its only when Surface To Air boots in that the set is rescued from averageness.
With the main stage cleared I decamp in the backstage area and engage in some late night drunken talk with Tahita NYPC and find out how she escaped factories and Brighton for a life on the road and making music. The 27-year-old proves sparkling conversation and it’s a shame they’re whisked off all too soon for a trip to tomorrow’s Reading Festival.
Out in the warm early morning air we take in 2ManyDJs (good to fair) and Zombie Disco Squad (too gone to know!) before collapsing on the hospitality couches. It’s 5am – we’re content and ready for home.
* Special mentions must also go to the organisers – security, transport and on site amenities were all excellent, ensuring a top notch, fun-filled Creamfields 2007 – see you next year.