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Wow...the Isle of Wight Festival 2011, the three ‘kings of rock ‘n roll,’ what a line-up of Zildjian headliners as the Isle of Wight is treated to the Kings of Leon (Nathan Followill), Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins) and Kasabian (Ian Matthews).
The ferries were busy this past weekend as over 75,000 music fans descended upon the Isle of Wight, Seaclose Park in Newport, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Isle of Wight Festival. Although it’s original beginnings were 40 years ago when the famous IW Festival hosted the legends that are The Doors, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix, the present day Festival was revived ten years ago and has been growing in size every year.
Big Country, with Mark Brzezicki on drums, officially opened the Festival on Friday afternoon with a solid performance that set the pace for 3-day Festival. We Are Scientists (Andy Burrows), Band of Horses (Creighton Barrett), The Courteeners (Michel Campbell) and Kaiser Chiefs (Nick Hodgson) followed with Dexter Hercules playing with Eliza Doolittle over on the Big Top Stage. Back at the main stage and topping the bill tonight, the mighty Kings of Leon (Nathan Followill) proved to be the act on fire and so it was that Zildjian were the only cymbals to be played on the main stage Friday!
The sun shone brightly on Saturday and once again Zildjian Artists took to the main stage. Stornoway (Robert Steadman) were first up, followed by Gary Wallis, with Mike and the Mechanics, his first gig of the day...as after a quick sprint over to the Big Top Stage he played later with Tom Jones. Perhaps one of the most anticipated gigs of the weekend were newly reformed Pulp (Nick Banks). As heroes of the UK’s Britpop era, they did not disappoint, many of the crowd thought they’d stolen the show as they belted out their classic anthemic hits including "Common People," "Disco 2000," and "Do You Remember The First Time." No strangers to the IoW Festival, the Foo Fighters (Dave and Taylor) closed Saturday’s show, rocking the Island in the process with old hits and tracks from their new album Wasting Light! Over at the Big Top Stage, The Vaccines (Pete Robertson) were warming up the crowd very nicely indeed, they’re good!! So by the time The Cult (John Tempesta) took to the stage, the tent was rammed in anticipation of one of the best rock records of all time She Sells Sanctuary. Change of pace followed and great to see Andy Gangadeen out gigging with Chase and Status, the superstar DJs bringing their mix of hip hop, drum n bass and old school attitude. Sir Tom Jones followed...an old pro at 71 years young, with an amazing record of 100 million records sold in a career spanning five decades, including 39 studio albums and 107 singles...Gary Wallis looked to be having the time of his life as Welsh flags were proudly waved and the crowd joined in with a mass sing-a-long.
Sunday brought rain, mud, rain, mud and then even more rain...in fact it poured it down all day...yesterday's crowd of shorts and bikini clad smiley festival-goers was replaced by poncho-wearing, wellington wearing, mud splattered faces - not a great look and certainly not the ideal weather for camping! But, with such a great line-up of bands, everyone was oblivious to the cold and wind, or putting on a brave face! The Big Top bands had the best gig of the Festival today, able to at least keep dry, if not mud-free from the walk from their dressing rooms. Hadouken (Nick Rice) got the party started with songs from their new album For The Masses, they provided lots of volume, lots of bass, lots of energy and lots of moshing in the pit. The crowd all warmed up and dry held their places for the rest of the evening, which saw great performances from fellow Zildjian Artists, Cast (Keith O'Neill), Public Image Limited [PiL] (Bruce Smith) and headling the final night Welsh rockers, Manic Street Preachers (Sean Moore). Over on main stage, Two Door Cinema Club (Ben Thompson), Plan B (Sam Agard) and Beady Eye (Chris Sharrock) were successfully fighting the elements to provide full of attitude sets. Year 2010 saw Kasabian (Ian Matthews) being awarded Best British Group at the UK Brit Awards, and tonight the band did not disappoint as they hit the main stage to official close the Festival with a high energy, charisma filled performance...so much so that everyone forgot about the rain...well, at least until they trudged through the mud to find their tents knee deep in water or worse still washed away.
For more information on the Isle of Wight Festival check out: www.isleofwightfestival.com
For footage check out Sky3D and Sky Arts as the Isle of Wight Festival became the first UK Festival to be broadcast live and in 3D on the Sky3D Channel and Sky Arts.