B.A.D kick off Beautiful Days 2011

Mick Jones and Co leave it late to get the crowd going

B.A.D kick off Beautiful Days 2011

Photographer: Sara Bowrey20 August 2011

Like the Clash before them, Big Audio Dynamite inhabit a sonic world where influences are worn like medals. Punk, dub, electronica, garage and funk are all in there somewhere regardless of the setlist.

A massive band in the 1980s, they remain somewhat underrated considering their pedigree and achievements and as they come out onto the stage there was a palpable ‘Who?’ from the 15,000 strong crowd that gathered on the hill – it could be an age thing.

Flexing their eclectic audio muscles through a number of early songs, the band were doing their best to light the blue touch-paper of the festival, but somehow it wasn’t quite working.

Mid-set there was a feeling that the obvious quality of the music was not being reciprocated by the crowd. As with most bands, there was one defining song, a track that stands out against all the others. For B.A.D, that song was ‘E=MC2’ and it comes in at the end.

It was too late to excite the crowd, but the song is so good that it matters not – everyone was on their feet – Beautiful Days 2011 had begun.

Ruth and Callum from nearby Ottery St Mary sum up the evident mood: “great to see Mick Jones. Wish they’d played that earlier, it would have got people going sooner,” said Callum.

Festival performances are a two-way thing and the audience, for one reason or another, seemed lacklustre and content to shuffle from one foot to the other instead of jumping around.

By Jon Wright.

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