by Isla MC
Ah, Bestival’s lovely. It’s the swan song of the summer and is one of the funnest festivals around – in one of the most beautiful locations. This year my review will take the form of a photoblog. It seems the right thing to do somehow.
So, this is what was waiting for us when we arrived:
How fun is that! Then things got even better when my hero and icon John Martyn played. Amazing. Although I wish he’d played something from Solid Air and it was sad when they wheeled him off stage. This is what prodigious drinking will do to you, people.
Things took a sharp turn for the worse when this happened:
Yes, that’s right, it’s the legendary Skream and the legendary Mary-Anne Hobbs (appropriately looking like the devil). My fellow reporter Tom, a fan of some kind of noise apparently called ‘dubstep’, dragged me to see these tinnitus-peddling purveyors of sonic purgatory. This is Tom doing what is apparently known as ‘skanking’ (it looked like really crap dancing to me):
I quite liked Skream when he first came on but then it really did get very loud. And this was my response to the stuff that the Hobbs lady was playing:
I really am terribly unphotogenic. And in need of some Botox. Anyway, I highly commend Bestival for putting on stuff that isn’t so mainstream, but it’s just not my cup of tea. THIS is my cup of tea:
PET SHOP BOYS! Hurray! They were amazing!!!! Brilliant visuals, brilliant songs, brilly bloody brilliant.
Anyway, everyone at Bestival dresses up. It must be the only place on earth where you feel self-conscious if you’re NOT in fancy dress. Here is a good costume:
How fabulous does he look! Not his real bum but lovely all the same. Here’s another person with a lovely bum:
Grrr. And Mr T. Someone else wore this:
Russell Brand! That’s what must be known as postmodern fancy dress. Gosh.
To act as a finale, here is a man from the Village People having some festival high-jinks:
Bestival is amazing. It’s super fun, the people are super fun (and very good-looking) and, in short, it will make you happier and more attractive.
If you heard dubstep outside in the street with no knowledge a dance is on, you could be forgiven for thinking it was just another tube train going by, a heavy lorry a few streets away, or a small thermonuclear explosion somewhere near Paris. It just blends in to the everyday low frequency murmurs of the city. Coming from a tent though, it had Bestivalite necks, crowned with top hats or Elton John wigs, involuntarily snapping round from halfway down a large hill. But then again, with the ludicrous sub bass assault of Skream’s ‘Welcome To The Future’ they never stood a chance.
What started out as a Skream set in the Bestival Big Top, to a handful of the faithful, was soon transformed into a tent full of appreciative initiates. Skream’s huge selection of his own exclusives, and dubplates a hardened soundboy would kill for, made this a set that it was impossible to ignore. It was no coincidence that when DJ Zinc tipped for his subsequent set, he kicked off with a mix of Skream’s all conquering ‘Request Line’. You didn’t have to be a hardcore trainspotter to see what was happening here: a certified legend handing over to one fast in the making.
Having given my chest cavity a breather for a couple of hours I let myself in for even more trouble in the Come Dancing tent, where the mighty Mary-Ann Hobbs was stepping up to the decks. For those Loose Lips readers not in the know – I’m sure that among such discerning and switched on clientele it’s a minority indeed – MAH has been at the forefront of… well, everything to do with music that matters for the best part of the last ten years.
It’s no small tribute that in his last few years on Radio 1, John Peel regularly bemoaned Mary-Ann beating him to a good number of significant electronic and metal discoveries. At Bestival she showed she was still worthy of that accolade. While the set lacked the technical flourishes that Sasha’s later set would display, there were enough beats and basslines, from the fragile to the insane, to make a nonsense of stylistic concerns. Isla may reckon her the Devil, but everyone know’s [s]he’s got the best tunes.
Bestival had a great and rare mix of differing styles and talent on display – you only had to sit back and look at the line-up to appreciate how switched on Rob Da Bank and all those nice lads/lasses at Sunday Best must be. But for me it was all about the electronic biznis – especially the dubstep. In a year in which Sonar – the premier specialist electronic resource festival-wise – have been widely acknowledged to have dropped the ball with respect to new acts (written myself out of next year’s press pass there), Bestival stepped up to the plate, and rocked it as a result.