Road To V Winners' festival debrief
United Kingdom | 27 August 2009
Living the dream for one weekend, we caught up with triumphant Road To V winners Underline The Sky and Last Republic to see how their opening performances at V Festival went down.
The Last Republic (above) lived up to their reputation of being a band with stadium-sized ambitions by taking to the stage as if they were headlining V Festival, rather than opening it. There were all manner of death defying leaps from the drum riser and at one stage frontman Jon perilously climbed on top of the speakers. A brief problem with the bass guitar saw the singer engage the enthusiastic crowd in banter:
“We had a few technical problems on stage, so I had to fill in for a bit,” Jon told us, backstage. “I didn’t expect to be asking everyone where they were from and who they saw yesterday, but I suddenly had a few thousand people shouting back at me where they were from and who they saw yesterday!”
Band members Joey and Daffyd found the glorious weather at V Festival brought out the best in some of the female audience members.
“If we could sum up our experience of playing at V Festival it would be with the words hotpants and bikinis! And wellies,” laughed guitarist Daffyd. “There’s a lot of ladies pulling that look off and it’s quite good.”
Bassist Joey praised the crowds at both sites, saying: “The gig at Stafford was brilliant; there were loads of people there. There was a brief second of nerves before we went on stage, then it was fine. And then Chelmsford was a breeze.”
Speaking about their experience in the competition, Jon told us:
“Road to V has just been tremendous, especially being mentored by The Charlatans. We’ve learned a lot about the industry and ourselves and we’ve met loads of great people. And to complete it all with two performances at V Festival has just been spectacular.”
Underline The Sky proved they were worthy Road to V winners by getting the entire V Festival audience clapping and singing along from the start of the set – a feat that’s difficult to do even when you’re an established band, let alone one playing their first major festival. The crowd’s response took singer Bronwyn by surprise, as she told us backstage after the show:
“At one point the crowd all clapped along and I was like, ‘I didn’t have to make them do that!’ I normally have to say, ‘Come on, clap for me please!’ But the audience were awesome.”
The band’s high energy performance (complete with their trademark guitar tricks) showed no trace of just how nervous they were prior to walking onto that huge V Festival stage.
“On a scale of one to 100 our nerves were at 200, seriously,” admitted Bronwyn.
“We were close to pooing ourselves,’ added bassist Chiron, “but as soon as you turn your amp on then the nerves go and you’re just like, ‘bring it on!’"
The band were still buzzing long after they’d finished their set at Chelmsford, and were raring to get to Stafford for a repeat performance. Browyn told us:
“I just can’t get over it!” gasped Bronwyn, “I can’t believe we just played V Festival.
It’s amazing. And we get to do it all again tomorrow – that’s the best thing!”
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