The heat wave continues and we were blessed with yet another BST sun beaming weekend. The media lounge was buzzing with interviews and photographers waiting to be escorted to the next big act.
This years BST has been a huge success delivering a feisty assortment of talent. Comprising of three stages . The summer Stage, The Barclaycard Stage and The Great Oak Stage, there was music to cater for everyone’s music palete and in lots of cases first timers to see some legendary musicians.
Friday’s summer stage presented an exciting array of diverse music. Opening with Rob Green followed by Nathan Ball, Gypsyfingers and The Tailormade.
Barclaycard Stage opened with The Shires who instantly got the crowd into a festival spirit. Zara McFarlane followed with her wonderful Jazz Hip Hop and was the perfect choice on this sun filled day. Three pieces of dynamite were The Adelaides and closing was the angelic voice that is Jazz Morley.
Great Oak Stage opened with Country Singer Megan McKenna a pop voice with a southern twang and flowing beats.
The stage was full to the brim to catch The Feeling. This band is a show stopper. They really now how to uplift their audience. Each song was tight and sublime. Their unique style makes them stand out and they deliver the goods 100%.
The Banarama fans were out in full army. Playing all their memorable hits some die-hard fans were perfectly synchronizing to their dance movements and hand gestures. These ladies had everybody singing along to ‘Cruel Summer’ and ‘Venus’ and you could see the crowd lapping it up!
Next up was the one and only Van Morrison. Van’s distinctive voice still rides strong and he can seriously belt them out. His band is brilliant too and together they bring an explosive and versatile set. He gave us all of our favorites from ‘Moondance’ and ‘Have I Told You Lately’ to’Brown Eyed Girl’ and some more! Van left everyone filling the park with shrilling whistles and loud applause.
We got away with it for a while but yes the heavens opened and when they did it came down in buckets! But that did not stop anyone from waiting for the head liner Michael Buble. The stage was the perfect home for his orchestra and of course him. This charismatic man has the vocal midas touch which sets forth a truly exquisite and full-bodied experience. He has a great sense of humour and jokingly said to his audience “I almost expected the rain”. With a fine finesse performance Michael and his orchestra kept everybody’s spirits up. Nobody had time to focus on raindrops the main focus was Michael Buble.
Sunday was the final day of BST and people were out to party. The whole park was filled with picnics, cold beers and big smiles. Outside/ORG Promotions and AEG promoters certainly know how to show people a good time! We were given a fine assortment of different acts and each stage equally offered a diverse menu of music.
Barclaycard highlights included the delightful Ward Thomas whose soft tones rang through the field and had everyone gently swaying. One of my favourite’s was Jesca Hoop who exuded a magic that really blew everyone away.
The Oak Stage really took us on a wild journey of bands and in all honesty Bonnie Raitt is a force of genius. You want an edge? This is the lady that has it all as a blues singer-songwriter, musician, and activist. In the 70’s she introduced roots-influenced albums consisting of blues, rock, folk and country. One hell of a woman and a super hot guitarist.
He that is James Taylor came on to a welcoming sea of whistles and claps. Talk about legend overload this man blew me away. It comes as no surprise that this singer songwriter has five Grammy Awards. With the classic’s such as ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ and ‘Fire And Rain’. I really felt a tingle through my body as his voice carried us away beautifully.
Our final headliner was Paul Simon who was just coming to the end of his global tour. Rumour has it that BST may have been his last UK show. In great hindsight I felt truly honored to see him for the first time live. Talk about full on band! Mr Simon brought his musical tribe with him and what a mighty sound. All of Paul Simon’s songs are so distinguishable and we are always firmly reminded of the wonderful Simon and Garfunkel. A stream of endless hits and music history it was truly amazing to see and hear this iconic man.
From babies dancing on their dad’s shoulders to people of all ages really letting go this truly was a memorable music extravaganza. And final words? With the sun setting down over all of us I can honestly say BST’s 2018 festival gets a massive salute! Roll on next year please as I’m waiting with eager and excited anticipation!
Words Celine Hispiche
Photo’s Jeff Moh