Festivals

Kaiser Chiefs and Editors at Wireless

John Mulvey

OK, it’s more of an open air gig than an actual festival. And yes, we’re all cynical about any event where you can only buy one kind of beer but always see at least ten of its logos in every field of vision. But with great sets by the likes of Queens of the Stone Age plus The White Stripes’ only UK appearance this year, the Wireless festival in Hyde Park can’t be dismissed that easily. So I headed to its final day, with the Kaiser Chiefs topping the bill.

Inside the arena there were few British festival staples to be found (man dressed as a giant turd, Howard Marks wandering around looking lost, troupe of girls in fairy wings), but there were a few nods to the festy spirit. How wacky.

One way to get a good view

Jokers

On the main stage it was Wakefield trio The Cribs’ mid afternoon slot that provided the first lapel-grabbing moment of the day. Their punches of ramshackle scuzz-pop were a treat, and though the crowd warmed to their fiercely indie set-up, singer Ryan’s mid-set assertion that “global warming isn’t as important an issue as the commercialisation of indie music” might be taking things a bit far. Although he would have enjoyed the moment an hour or so later, when the mosh-pit tore apart one of the Sony-sponsored bean bags dotting the site in a burst of polystyrene confetti.

The Cribs

After, such was the popularity of new baggie heroes The Twang, whose album I like a lot more than the new Happy Mondays one, I couldn’t get into the XFM tent to see them. But it turned out to be a blessing, as I caught Editors’ main stage set instead.

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Editors

A sweep of cool had draped across the site as singer/guitarist Tom Smith struck the first notes. It was fitting, as their set was chillingly impressive, the band seeming to grow a foot with each song. I was a bit surprised – their new album hasn’t particularly grabbed me, and I’ve always seen them as a bit sub-Interpol. But today Editors to be made of stern stuff, the likes of ‘The End Has A Start’ and ‘All Sparks’ sounding more suited to massive settings like this than even the £6 hot dogs. It was the best performance of the day. No wonder Smith went to such lengths to scrub up for it – as the close-up camera often showed, this is a man handy with an eyebrow plucker.

Editors: Plucking good

And the Kaisers? Textbook. Every song laced with a three-pronged hook you could catch a great white with, Ricky Wilson asking the crowd to sing along between each number, and a guest “Nanananana” from a member of Polysics, who played earlier, to add a touch of variety.

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Kaiser Chiefs

They’ll do the same at Glastonbury next weekend, playing at the sharp end of the main stage bill. Maybe Editors will next year. And maybe they’ll get some carrier bags like this beauty.

SO, DID YOU GO TO WIRELESS? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND DOES TOM SMITH HAVE THE BEST EYEBROWS IN ROCK? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW

This review is by Jamie Fullerton, so disregard what it says below.


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