Wired at Wireless

What a difference a decent weekend makes. I’m now taking advantage of this new optimism and energy and have almost rewritten my job description for the next year with new ideas. So what happened?

I wasn’t expecting too much from Wireless as after seeing a couple of dull sets from Underworld, last year’s crushing crowd but excellent Daft Punk performance and a doubtful weather forecast for rain. Instead, Steve and Sam came along as first time Wireless playmates getting in for about 3:30pm. This year, the entrance had been moved to the other side of the park which meant a longer walk from the tube but the security was relaxed and efficient so whisked in without hassle. The beer tents looked heaving but were one of the best ideas yet with a snake-like queue and security pointing out the next available server just like post offices. With starting drinks sorted we sat down to overhear Har Mar Superstar with Neon Neon on the main stage.

Japanese Popstars
Out of all the relatively new support acts to see I knew the Japanese Popstars were going to go down well and indeed they did, rockin the place like an Ibizan beach invaded by punk yob mob on electro beer! Even the band members were surprised by the reaction but destined for bigger things I think.

We headed towards the Sandisk tent in preparation for Underworld, even though another two acts were on before. Bootsy Collins was about to come on but couldn’t tempt us with his eclectic sounds. In the tent, we watched ‘Does it offend you, yeah?’, who sounded like aural toothpaste, squeezing out a wall of fuzzy guitar-led sound – all a bit of novelty act really but they may have played better tunes before we arrived.

MSTRKRFT
Nipped out to buy a really crap burger and chips realising I should have walked that bit further. MSTRKRFT were next on and seem to pull in an under 16, pill popping crowd. Slightly unnerved at them using Daft Punk samples, the holy grail of robot rock. It seemed that old age had finally arrived. The rest of the set varied from good, stomping stuff to bland, chat to your neighbours type beats. And what nice neighbours they were as Kerry got asked if she was a model, always a good ego boost. A lot of crowd members were Underworld virgins which amazed me. It was also quite significant that these type of gigs are jaded by drug-taking fudging the memory. Nice to see Sandisk sponsoring the stage reminding us to that these memories are special - now remember to buy our memory cards. MSTRKRFT end their set on a nice Justice remix as the tent gets properly rammed ready for, what really should have been the headlining act.

Underworld

Underworld were amazing! As I said earlier after their last gig at Roundhouse, I thought their live sets would never recover but it seems they’ve been taking notice of other acts by remixing their tracks and combing beats and lyrics from different tunes making it an excellent performance. The crowd were loving it as well whipping them up like a crazed tribe ready for a battle with a frenzied bloke climbing the tent’s pillar and thumping the board as if he’s inciting a riot. The crowd settled marking out their territory and I have to dance like a egg-protecting penguin with my backpack between my legs. I’m also teasing Kev by text but he’s not biting! We meet some class people from St. Albans who we all chat, laugh and stomp along raving about previous Underworld gigs.

At 8:20pm and only 10 minutes to go Underworld end their set and the crowd, although slightly surprised at the early end, take it for real and start dispersing to the main stage. We hang around only to see them come back with Karl Hyde beckoning us to come forward for their proper last tune – cheeky gits but we were spoilt at the closer position.

Fatboy
Like a lot of previous festivals, there isn’t another act that can top that so took our time walking and talking back to the main stage for Fatboy Slim. I couldn’t really say I respected Norman’s set as he kept walking around the stage just sitting about or taking photos and didn’t do that much DJing. New best mates for the night hung about and we even found out a shared acquaintance called Beardo. We had a load of other things in common as well plus Candid, the Belgian lady recommended to visit Southwold pier and see this Tim Hunkin exhibition, which sounded too good to ignore.

We all leave the festival together and head over to Mayfair looking for a pub for extended conversations. Along the way we’re amazed at the fanciness of the shops bumping into pirates and randoms looking for drinking opportunities. At closing time we caught a train to Victoria, caught a cab back to Tulse Hill then gatecrashed Kev and Karol’s. All in all, a great festival with some amazing people - I hope my Facebook gets more interesting.

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