Friday was a good day for programming and entertainment. We started off late afternoon with blast from the past Del la Soul on the Pyramid stage. They were incredible, stop starting beats mixed in with some of the old numbers we all remember from our teens. They did a whole lot of shouting “put your hands in the air”; in fact they stopped the show at one point, refusing to go on until Steward 242 (at the front of the stage with his back to the artists) put his hands in the air. After some deliberation Steward 242 raised his hands in the air and the whole field erupted. His five minutes of fame had.

After Del la Soul were Rudimental who were absolutely brilliant. Knocking out the hits with unwavering strength and stunning vocals. The crowd sang along and the sun shined briefly through the clouds before departing for the rest of the set.


Photo: Jason Bryant

After Rudimental we decided to walk up to the beautiful Glade stage which is nestled in the trees on the far corner of Other Stage field. Its’ a lovely open sided roofed venue with its own cute bar and surrounding wicker statues. The heavens opened as we walked there, dropping huge round drops of water onto our smiling faces. I left the Pyramid stage with half a pint of cider but by the time we stumbled into the Glade, it was a full pint. We squeezed our way under the canopy until the rain could not fall on us anymore and worked our way through the outer crowds until we had a prime spot in the middle for the Dub Pistols. Sound check had us worried as we couldn’t hear the vocals at all, the levels went up eventually but the vocals didn’t really sound quite right throughout their stomping set. Thankfully we know the Dub Pistols well and just sang along in all the right places. And they went BOOM BOOM BOOM BLOW! Barry Ashworth jumped about the stage like a lively gazelle and the crowd jump jump jumped back with them. Half way through their set, the sun came out, the crowd lapped it up, pointing, shouting and cheering. The Glade filled with people steam as we all danced off the soaking to their high octane messy gangster beats.

Dub Pistols

We left the Glade in high spirits, considerably dryer than when we had gone in. We took a quick bit of respite at base camp for some completely dry clothes and to top up on refreshments before we dived back to the Glade to watch the loud and vivacious Stanton Warriors. It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to see the Stanton Warriors, so I was very excited to see them perform their DJ set. And they did not disappoint. Their set was full of stomping tunes, big fat beats and brilliant mixes old and new. The crowd went wild as they knocked out the banging basslines. Everyone pulling dirty pouts and nodding heads as the crowd surged together. The beats lifting and lifting, higher and higher, kicking off big sounds that gripped your feet and made your head chicken strut to the beat. They were outstanding, finishing their set with an incredible version of the long loved Voodoo Ray. The crowd responded with much cheering and yelling of praise. I was in a state of elation and ecstasy.

Next stop was the Other stage for the cranky skanky sounds of Skrillex. This post hard core, electrobe sound genius came out heavy and kept it going and going. Dirty crazy sounds that pierced your ears and made you go “ooft”. He just kept the levels shrilling and the bass line thrilling. His strange mechanical spaceship on the stage was mesmerising and our legs defied the gripping sticky mud keeping us tromping and stomping throughout. By this time I was last man standing within our gang.

So next I took a slow meander over to Shangri-La and the surrounding mayhem for Electro Elvis in the Temple but alas, even after all the backward and forward stints among the barriers and waiting in the queue to get in, I was over an hour early and the Temple was just not interesting enough to hold my attention until Electro Elvis began. 

Photo: Andrew Allcock


So I spent the rest of the early hours of Saturday morning, wandering and listening to all the different vibes that Shangri-La, The Common, Block 9 and Unfairground had to offer. Enjoying the perverted nightlife, scary and lairy performances and an unending variety of different rooms and venues to get lost in. I caught some Irish jiggle fiddly diddly music at Coissant Neuf before it shut and then sat outside the Small World Stage until gone dawn, drinking cups of tea with strangers who became friends and humorous acquaintances until the last of us dropped. I crawled into bed at 9am Saturday morning, full of stories, full of smiles and full of anticipation for the day ahead.

Review: Lou Hyland