Kaiser Chiefs closed the first day of the 2008 Isle of Wight Festival, marking their debut UK festival headline slot, with a raucous set of crowd-pleasing favourites and two new songs.
Launching with 'Everything Is Average Nowadays', the band incited mass singalongs to anthems such as 'Ruby', 'Every Day I Love You Less and Less' and 'I Predict A Riot'. Singer Ricky Wilson introduced two new songs ('Never Miss A Beat' and 'You Want History') as "Future hits of tomorrow" – both dark, synth-heavy arrangements.
Fans were treated to the usual theatrics which saw Wilson scaled the lighting rig. The band closed the first night of the festival with a powerful, extended 'Oh My God'.
"This is a great festival! I'll be sure to recommend it to all my friends!", declared the frontman.
As well as sealing the end of a forecast-defying dry, sunny day, an added sense of triumph permeated the crisp night air due to the fact that the band had been forced to play their headline set using borrowed equipment, with much of theirs held up by fuel protests in Spain.
Kaiser Chiefs' set list was:'Everything Is Average Nowadays'
'Everyday I Love You Less And Less'
'Thank You Very Much'
'Born To Be A Dancer'
'Never Miss A Beat'
'You Want History'
'Na Na Na Na Naa'
'I Predict A Riot'
'Take My Temperature'
'The Angry Mob'
'Heat Dies Down'
'Oh My God'
For many, however, the true highlight of the first day had been penultimate act N*E*R*D* who had delivered a rousing wave of anthemic hip-hop which included hits 'Rock Star', 'Lap Dance', 'Fly Or Die', 'Everyone Nose' and 'She Wants to Move', culminating in a sample of the White Stripe's Seven Nation Army riff reverberating around the temperate night. Pharell Williams was as confident and cocksure as usual and played the crowd expertly before leaping off the front of the stage to greet the front-row at the end of the set.
The chalk-and-cheese line-up had earlier featured a cheery KT Tunstall after frenetic sets from The Wombats, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong and prog-rock openers The Answer.
The Hoosiers were the first band to really get the party going, with an uplifting horn-driven rendition of 'Cops and Robbers' before dropping their avant garde cover of Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start The Fire'. As the last notes of finale 'Worried About Ray' rang out over Seaclose Park, there were clear skies on the horizon and the first major outdoor party atmosphere of the summer was in full swing.
Although the threat of rain has been hanging around the site since the middle of the week, mainly due to the BBC's gloom-laden forecast, the prevailing sunshine saw shorts and flip-flops out in force, creating a vibrant summer party atmosphere. The campites were packed to the seams by mid-afternoon as the ferries shipped their many hordes of 'smellies' (as the locals refer to us) to the Garden Isle.
Stay posted for our rolling daily coverage of the Isle of Wight 2008.