Festivals in 2017 like to pack it in. Not content with providing a full musical line-up alongside craft stands, bingo, drag shows and more artisan food stalls than you can shake a tempura prawn skewer at, they also now begin the second you walk through the gates, with some bona fide headline-worthy bands before the real event’s even started.
Case in point: one Mr. Jamie T. Playing his only UK gig of the year, the London scallywag is headlining Bestival’s Thursday night while half the punters are still pitching their tents after ditching the office.
That’s not to say it’s anything less than celebratory, however. Taking to The Box (the festival’s tented second stage) to a crowd that’s pouring out the sides, Jamie’s greeted like a hero throughout. It’s testament to the crossover appeal of his canon that, at a festival that largely avoids more mainstream indie, he’s still treated like a king. Kicking off with recent tracks ‘Power Over Men’ and ‘Tescoland’, he dedicates ‘Salvador’ to “the lovely ladies out there” before inciting a mass dance-off to ‘If You Got The Money’.
“As the headline act you’ve got to play the hits,” he begins later, to predictable cheers. “I was talking to Dave Grohl last week and he said you’ve got to play the hits, so this is for Dave.” Launching into a joyous ‘Sheila’, it’s an exuberant, playful highlight in a set that’s characterised by sheer energy and good vibes. By the time the singer finishes with a roaring ‘Sticks and Stones’ (by way of a brief snippet cover of The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’) as the heavens open outside, there’s nothing that can dampen the mood here.
Photos: Emma Swann