With just two days to go and a host of new arenas and artists to choose from the Bestival line-up may look like a little scary. But help is at hand because we've selected the acts to see...
As the summer pulls to a close the weather has finally decided to brighten up – just in time for the eccentric gathering known as Bestival. The boutique festival is back for a weekend of eclectic music, dressing up and jovial tomfoolery.
Rob Da Bank and co. bagged themselves a coveted UK Festival Award last year and with a few surpises plus three new arenas this time round it looks like they’ve got their sights set on another one!
Grab your bondage boxers and leather face mask and squeak your way down to Minuscule of Sound’s first ever fetish night, get your trainspotter anorak ready for the BBC Introducing… tent and hook out that compass to find the Hidden Disco.
Once you've done all that go and watch some bands. "But which ones?" You ask. "Here’s who to watch on the Wight" we say…
Easy Star All Stars – Saturday – Main Stage 3.45pm
Anyone with half a brain and a guitar can play an Oasis tune, (see Liam Gallagher and festival campsites after the arena has closed) but with covers there are certain bands that should never be copied. Pink Floyd and Radiohead are two of those hallowed acts, so when a group of reggae supremeos decided to cover both of them sacrilege alarm bells began ringing as the fans sharpened their pitchforks and lit their torches. However as the angry mob approached the HMV shelves with foam fleeing from their lips they noticed how good these covers actually are. The throbbing basslines, relaxing reggae riffs and echoing lyrics-rics-rics-rics carefully and tastefully reconstruct two of Britain’s defining albums. It also sounds bloody good in the sunshine!
Architecture In Helsinki – Friday – BBC Introducing… 1.45am
From Engel’s neo-classical constructions to the more famous Art Nouveau buildings the architecture in the Finnish capital is both aesthetically pleasing and functional and the band seem to be no different. They’ve pick-pocketed their pop eccentric twitterings from Abba, The Avalanches and Gogol Bordello all under the watchful regime of Spongebob Squarepants. After a long day of dancing, a little bit of early morning surrealism is exactly what Spongebob would suggest. Listen to the porous prophet.
XX Teens – Friday – BBC Introducing… 9pm
The band describe themselves as punk, but it’s hard to imagine Sid Vicious grinning along with this teenage troupe. Yes they’ve got the energetic drums, slashing guitars and rambling bassline, but the pubescent punksters play trumpets and steel drums too. The line between genius and junk may sound as fuzzy as their guitar feedback, but we’re definitely drinking in the genius camp. And dancing. In our leather jackets.
Marlena Shaw – Sunday – Main Stage 2.15pm
Who remembers BlueBoy’s 1997 hit ‘Remember Me’? The “Geng-Geng-Geng-Geng…” lyrics haunted ginger school children up and down the country after they were ingeniously changed to “Ging-Ging-Ging…” Well, the sample is taken from Shaw’s ‘Woman Of The Ghetto’ so gingers unite and storm to the stage to have your penance! Then stick around to let the American soulstress make your hairs stand on end as she delivers a delicious rendition of ‘California Soul’ (it’s on a KFC ad) and her classic‘Let’s Wade In The Water’.
The Hat – Friday – Main Stage 2.30pm
After drinking enough vodka to wipe out Lillyputt in its entirety, this journo was put to bed about six in the evening at Bestival 2005. And it was during a 4am search for water he was taken (by a very nice American lady – cheers!) to see The Hat and become instantly converted. Scruffy talking verses bumble over tunes akin to The Herbaliser suffering from vertigo. Let them hypnotise you with their eclectic eccentricities and warming grooves in the sunshine.
Mohair – Saturday – Bandstand 1.45pm
A delightful version of The Zutons, well the Liverpudlians ripped off Mohair first and just added a saxophone. Their upbeat sing-a-longs dabble in ramshackle ska and trim tavern thuds, but alas, the band have announced they’re splitting. So catching a glimpse of the Watford quartet at the Bandstand is essential this weekend before they finally called it a day.
DJ Derek – Saturday – Bollywood Bar 5pm
The noun legend has become watered down through it’s over use but the term has never been as fitting as it is for DJ Derek. The man can easily be uttered in the same breath as George Best, Jimi Hendrix and Mr Kipling. Bristol born Derek has a quintessential taste in Reggae music and was predominantly the only white DJ in the 60s and 70s Reggae and Ska scene. He stood out thanks to his formal clothes and taste for real ale. Now in his 60s Derek still spins tunes like the real old skool Reggae DJs – declaring over the microphone quips like: “We’re going take that back to the start…” Legend.
Yousef – Saturday – Bollywood Bar 7pm
After the success of Carl Cox’s sweaty Old Skool set last year the genre specific spinning is set for another outing this year. Rob Da Bank has asked Yousef to perform a Balearic set this weekend, which is bound to go down a storm after the cruddy weather we’ve endured this ‘Summer’. The Isle of Wight is the sunniest place in Britain so the ‘Beefa’ beats will slot in quite nicely as the roaring sunshine bellows across garden Isle (touch wood).
Seasick Steve – Friday – Bandstand 6.05pm
If, as his name doth suggest, Steve does suffer from seasickness then he’s in for a bit of a problem this weekend. Hopefully he’ll recover in time to perform his idling American blues with his trusty three-stringed ‘Bo Diddley’. Seasick has been at more festivals then the rain this summer and has more stories to tell then The Sun’s 3am girls. The yarns he spins between songs are just as interesting as his choice of clothes but it’s his grubby scaring blues that make him a must see!
Kate Nash – Sunday – Main Stage 5.20pm
Nash has been as unavoidable as umbrellas this summer but the hype has been well deserved. The London lady is quirkily mesmerising and much ‘bet-tah’ (like ‘bit-tah’) live then she sounds on record. The piano driven ‘Foundations’ has probably driven most people potty this year but the poppy princess stands out as one of the stars of the season. If you’re yet to see her – now’s the chance before everyone gets sick of it all.
Dub Pistols with Terry Hall and Lynval Golding – Sunday – The Big Top 8pm
Dub Pistols and Terry Hall’s omnipresence at Bestival is set for a twist this year as Hall’s former bandmate Lynval Golding is set to join The Specials’ frontman on the stage since their split in 1981. The announcement further fuels the rumours of a full band reunion. The duo are likely to perform a few hits from their 2-Tone days but the set will focus on the dirty Dub Breakbeat and Reggae samples of the Pistols. A thunderous ‘Cyclone’ is likely to go down as a stand out track as the sextet prepare to blow the roof off the Big Top.
Surprise Guest #1 – Friday – Hidden Disco 1.30am
Okay, okay it’s EXCITING enough to have just one surprise guest – but two!? I feel slightly giddy. The first is set to appear at the Hidden Disco as the tent’s headliner – which makes it even more thrilling. Not only do revellers have just half a day to find the Hidden Disco but then, once they’ve found it, they can only assume the guest is of massive proportions because: 1) They’re still a secret and 2) They’re top of the bill. Could it be Jimmy Saville? Fatboy Slim? Carl Cox? Start your rumours now…
Surprise Guest # 2 – Saturday – Main Stage 6.15pm
Now, this didn’t take all off our brain energy to notice this, but the second surprise act is due to start just as the Fancy Dress Parade stops at the Main Stage. Will it be a band? A DJ perhaps? A singer-songwriter? Or even some sort of dancers? You can never tell at the Bestival. Office guesses include: Jade Goody (Kazoo rendition of ‘Ebony and Ivory’), Waddle and Hoddle performing ‘Diamond Lights’ or a DJ set from Chris Moyles (we really hope not!). Suggestions welcome…