O2 Wireless Festival 2008

Hyde Park, London

by Joanna Orland

Day festivals are always harder to get into than the full-fledged campers. In the case of O2 Wireless, it was quite difficult as Thursday and Friday evenings were attended straight from a full day of work… with Saturday and Sunday at least allowing for more of a full day experience. But how does a 4 day London festival manage to please even the harshest music critics – The Londoners.

Mark Ronson, Hercules & Love Affair, Jay Z and more…
Having rushed over from the 9 to 5 life, I wasn’t in the most eager of moods to rock out in the rain to bands I vaguely care about / barely know. Luckily the sun came out and Mark Ronson hit the stage with an array of ‘special guest’ including Tim Burgess and Lily Allen for a few numbers. I’ve never thought much of his music as I’ve always believed he’s absolutely nothing more than a glorified DJ, but his band were AMAZING. Having recorded with the Dap Kings before, you know this boy from NY has the hook ups as far as session musicians go! His band were amazing, the songs were all well known and the crowd had a great time! Well done Mark Ronson… I won’t buy your album, but I’ll certainly check out another gig!

Then confusion sunk in as I couldn’t remember where Hercules & Love Affair were playing. I went to one tent, thought it wasn’t them, walked out, realized it was actually them in the previous tent and had to hike it all the way back to catch the last song and a half. Shame cuz that last song and a half was fab. Not even a fan of their music (theme of the day) but loved it.

Again not being a fan of the music, I went to check out Jay-Z’s set. I was damn impressed. Not only are his visuals stunning, his fans loyal, but his stage presence blew me away. I managed to last nearly all through his set before needing to leave for my bedtime.

Beck, The National, Guillemots, Morrissey…
Morrissey is a cock with loads of skinhead fans. Why anyone would ask him to headline a festival, I have no idea. Especially in the presence of the great BECK! No idea…

Anyway… Guillemots were on very early so missed them, but love them generally. Got there in time for some Pimms and Bella Union stage before the legendary Beck came on. Before I continue, can I just say that Morrissey is a cock? In case you missed that… Oh, and he made all the crew eat vegan food in catering.. crew and bands. Cock.

So Beck. Flawless as always. It was more of a low key set from him, hiding behind his Ray Bans and cranking out the hits. But after that set you realize that just about every Beck song is a hit and justifiably so. Beck is LEGEND!!!!

Caught the last two songs of The National, including Fake Empire, which is their top song. Great band live, must see them again in a small club setting. Kinda heard Morrissey in the background, then left to pack up my house.

The dance day.
I didn’t make it, but Rowena said it was the best day of the 3 we attended cuz it was packed, everyone was WELL into it and the music was stellar! They definitely got it right on Saturday!!!

Didn’t make it. Loads of retro bands like Counting Crows. Not really as enticing as the Saturday or BECK in general.

Overall, a good London festival, but could have chosen more interesting headliners for the Thursday and Friday slots. Saturday they got it pretty right so more of that please!!! Oh.. and more Beck. Always more Beck!

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