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Something Old, Something New.. Isle Of Wight Festival Delights Again



First up, the Isle of Wight (or 'the island' as I'm allowed to call it now) is not that easy to get to on public transport from London with an excitable 9 year old in tow, while carrying your own body weight in alcohol. But we did it and we did it amazingly well, tent up in the respectable 'Respect' field by 1.30 in the afternoon and well in time for me to get a little tipsified and off dancing in the electro 80s tent by 4pm.


So on the Thursday night the main arena doesn't open but there's still plenty of bands (and alcohol) to satiate those first night festival cravings. Noasis is one big happy singalong and The Jellycats ska things up a bit before The Sherlocks rock their tent. Unsurprisingly my child doesn't really feel the end of the UB40 set although I have a little nostalgic moment to 'Red red wine' and 'Kingston town'. Then it's all a bit Billy Idol, would have liked to stay cos he looked like he was having a lot of fun but the little one dragged me off to a disco tent somewhere and that was the first night done.


Early start the next day. Not my choice. Little Mr. Excitable in the sleeping bag next to me wanting to ride down the giant water slide at 6.10 in the morning. Managed to contain him for a couple of hours then we were in festival heaven once more. So many bands, such little legs!!


And that deluge turning the walkways into rivers of mud meant that I spent most of the evening stuck inside the 'Jack rocks' tent. Which wasn't a bad thing cos it was ace in there - mega excited to see Alias Kid, The Slow Readers Club, and Kassassin Street - all awesome, all totally on form. Great crowd in there, great atmosphere and absolutely loved the fact that we were in somewhere dry with some rocking sounds. We did attempt to see Duveaux and The Bear Social over in Kashmir Cafe but gutted that the apocalyptal weather stopped play.


Didn't even try to stick it out for the Prodigy but ended up in a tent dancing to some kind of Austin Powers-y 1960s dudes. Unless that was just a dream?



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Saturday dawned fresh and blowy, back on the water slide and huge anticipation for one of my favourite bands who would be headlining the main stage later. But before that it was The Dirty Strangers giving it some west London pure rock and roll and then a lovely low key delicate little surprise set from Suzanne Vega. Things went a bit wild after that front of stage for the amazing Clone Roses who do a better version of 'She bangs the drums' than Ian Brown. Somehow managed to miss James as little one has a bit of a crush on Foxes so we had to go and see her.


Swiftly followed by a very short stay at The Carnabys set, sadly they had a clash with Blur and I wasn't about to miss two hours of Damon magic! Damon had a sore throat but it was ok cos we all helped out on the high notes and I even got bounced around on someone's shoulders for 'I Broadcast'. Which was fun and scary at the same time. Now I know why I avoided the fairground rides the whole time.


Sunday Sunday here again in tidy attire, well not quite, given that I'd had the same jeans on for four days now, but what the heck it was water slide time... managed to catch an early morning set by The Bear Social looking and sounding very polished, then The View with all my old favourites. Lightning Seeds turned out to be one of my highlights, I'd forgotten how many of those songs I love to bits. Then Ash whose new material from Kablammo sounds top, headliners Fleetwood Mac, and The Charlatans who rounded up the festival in spectacular fashion!! Amazing end to a fabulous weekend, crammed in a fair few bands, made lots of new friends, and there are definitely some of those bands and friends that I'll be seeing again. Ace.


For more information about the Isle Of Wight Festival click here.


Words by Mary Long


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