Wireless London 2014 Saturday review

'The response to Kanye is more brutal tonight'

Wireless London 2014 Saturday review

Photographer: Mark HollowayVirtual Festivals on 07 July 2014

Headlining for a second night in a row, due to Drake’s illness, you’d think that Kanye West would have learnt from last night’s debacle that launching into a rant during your festival set is probably not the way to win over the crowd. Two minutes into tonight’s rant (about his apparent shyness) you realise that Kanye hasn’t listened or more likely cared about the reaction he received yesterday. The crowd’s response tonight is more brutal as chants of ‘Off, Off, Off, Off’, are hurled stage-wards before they depart midway during Kanye’s set.. It’s probably best to move on.

Tonight’s performance by Rudimental (10) is something of a homecoming for the band. The south London four piece are accompanied on stage by a brass section and full range of backing singers. In their early days of performing, this looked chaotic on stage. However, after a solid year of touring their stage show is now a polished performance aptly demonstrating their growth and rise as one of the UK’s best live acts. For a crowd consisting largely of hip-hop, dance, jungle and drum and bass fans Rudimental’s work spanning these genres of music, whilst throwing in some jazz for good measure, is exactly what the audience want.  As John Newman’s nasal musings, "Well it’s time to start the show, lost my heart and lost my soul’" echoes around Finsbury Park, he emerges onto the stage to perform the life-affirming ‘Not Giving In’.

Ella Eyre also joins the party for ‘Waiting All Night’ which sees the whole crowd promptly assuming the role of back-singers belting out ‘Tell me that you need me. Tell me that you want me’ and flexing around to Rudimental’s first number one song. It's then you realise that Rudimental not only encapsulate and showcase the best of live British dance music, but they have also raised the profile and launched the careers for some of the UK’s best vocalists in the last year. Who had heard of John Newman before Rudimental came along? As the organ intro to ‘Feel the Love’ reverberates around Finsbury Park for the finale, Newman is accompanied by 40,000 people joining him throughout the song to fittingly close a truly euphoric set.

Winning the award for a pointless entourage on stage, Wiz Khalifa (8), is joined by seven others who perfect the art of milling and drinking beer before a live audience (nice work if you can get it). Khalifa’s experience as a performer is evident throughout his set as despite his entourage, your gaze is drawn to him thanks to a commanding performance. Singles ‘Black and Yellow’ and ‘Work Hard Play Hard’ are warmly received by the audience who belt the song back at him.

Labrinth’s (9) set is a timely reminder for how many hit songs he has produced in his short career. As he darts between playing the guitar and piano, ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ has the audience assuming Emeli Sande’s vocals and during ‘Let the Sun Shine’ fittingly a very watery sun emerges from the grey clouds above the audience.

With air horns triumphantly blaring around Finsbury Park, for at least the twentieth time during the set, anyone would think that B.O.B (7) has a bet on for how many times he will use it during his forty minute slot. An evident crowd pleaser, B.O.B takes a selfie with his fans before climaxing his set with ‘Airplanes’ which has the audience accompanying B.O.B on Paramore’s Hayley Williams’ beautiful vocals throughout the song.

Words by Julia Farman.

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