Wireless 2011 review

'Jarvis seems reluctant to leave and who can blame him?'

Wireless 2011 review

Photographer: Tom SprayRhian Daly on 04 July 2011

As Jarvis Cocker regales the sea of people in Hyde Park with the story of how he once spent 24 hours within the tree lined space, it’s clear Wireless 2011 is coming to a close. Pulp (9/10) allotted 90 minutes is almost up and everyone’s waiting for the big one, ‘Common People’, to drop.

For the past three days, this area of the park fenced off from anyone without a ticket has hosted some of the biggest names in music, boasting an eclectic line up that offers something for even the hardest to please festival goers. Today caters for the indie kids with The Horrors (8/10) and Metronomy (8/10) both slotting onto the main stage with ease. Saturday is more for the ravers, headlined by The Chemical Brothers (7/10), whilst Friday is pure pop with Tinie Tempah, Plan B and Black Eyed Peas (3/10).

When the latter end proceedings on the first day, it’s lacklustre and and overindulgent. Though an incredible sight with all the Tron-inspired visuals and mind-boggling outfits, the music itself leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, the bump and grind of the likes of ‘Don’t Funk With My Heart’ and ‘I Gotta Feeling’ are decent enough but the glorified DJ set performed by will.i.am from a raised podium halfway through the set? Only his flashing, light-up blazer keeps VF from drifting off.

There’s no danger of falling asleep on Saturday, especially not when Ke$ha’s (6/10) on stage, gyrating as if her life depends on it. Sandwiched between South London dubstep heroine Katy B (7/10) and Montreal funkateers Chromeo (7/10), she does her best Lady GaGa impression whilst covered in glitter and shooting confetti at the crowd. ‘Tik Tok’, predictably, gets the most cheers and finishes a trashy but fun half hour.

The final day of the festival is opened by Summer Camp (8/10) on the Pepsi Max stage, who’s nostalgic sunny pop fits right in with the sweltering weather outside the tent. Following them, Yuck (8/10) weave webs of distortion, inciting a mosh pit at the front of the crowd, much to stewards’ annoyance.

Back on the main stage, The Horrors air tracks from their forthcoming third album ‘Skying’. Woozy, expansive and introspective, they’re a long way from the grotty garage punk of ‘Strange House’ and, once more familiar, will no doubt be more warmly received than they are today.

A whirlwind three days of great music nearly over, it’s back to the present moment with Jarvis declaring their Wireless headline set as an “almost hometown” show, explaining the geographical ties London has to their songs. With a setlist made up of mostly songs from the seminal ‘Different Class’, some of those capital-centric tracks, like ‘Mile End’ and ‘Bar Italia’, are played between the hits ‘Disco 2000’ and ‘Do You Remember The First Time?’ to a frenzied field of fans.

But sure enough, the moment has finally arrived for the weekend to end. ‘Common People’ is screamed along to as white confetti flies and Jarvis seems reluctant to leave the stage, and who can blame him after a festival as good as this?

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