March 16, 2018
Aaron Middleton and the Purple Smoke
The buzz begins the moment you set sail. While the location is rather remote, the festival was surprisingly easy to reach with WightLink ferries frequently running throughout the day. After docking at Fishbourne, you could choose either between a short bus journey or take the festival-style route (hitchhiking).
Upon reaching the festival, we managed to spare some time to explore in between the maniacally filled lineup. What makes IOW so refreshing is the variety in music. There’s something for everyone. While the Main Stage boasts the bigger artists, the Jack Daniels Tent invites festival-goers to venture beyond the mainstream and to explore new musicians. Its not all about the music either. Back again for another year, we stumbled across the bizarre Cirque de la experience accommodating the most eccentric of festival-goers with a sport known as ‘sock wrestling’.
A hectic Friday resulted in a late arrival to the festival, being greeted by the sound of indie-rockers, Kaiser Chiefs. Despite missing the first big name on the lineup, we headed straight towards the Jack Daniels Tent to witness the sensational Brocken Witt Rebels who offer an alternative sound to that of other venues. Having discovered the band last year, they’ve since gathered quite a following. The performance was riddled with energy and frontman Danny core put on quite a performance showing off his throaty, powerful vocal voice. It was an ensemble effort from the four-piece.The night came to a close with a vibrant set from French DJ David Guetta, who encompassed fireworks, confetti and flamethrowers as part of the set. Playing original tracks such as ‘Damn Sex Bitch’ and ‘Want you to Stay’, he also put his own spin on hit singles from Chainsmokers, Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas. Guetta also treated the audience to a brand-spanking new single featuring Justin Bieber, later revealing it had topped number one in 48 countries around the world. It was an astounding set from the Guetta who certainly went out with a bang.
Saturday rolled on and we were fortunate enough to collaborate with the majestic four-piece My Baby. Having travelled from the Netherlands, the trio welcomed the crowd with a electric performance of blues rock. It was a unique set, combining old blues and folk music, but with an edgy dance vibe. Performing favourites from their second album Shamaid, the band also featured a number of fresh tracks such as ‘Cosmic Radio’ and ‘Love Dance’. After their set, we caught up with the band to find out more about their Autumn UK Tour, with stopovers at major festivals including Glastonbury. You can check out the interview on our YouTube channel.
Saturday evening came to a close with performance’s from The Kooks and Catfish and Bottlemen. For the Kooks, it was a set full of classics, with tracks such as ‘Ooo la’ and ‘Jacky Big Tits’ pleasing the crowd. There were moments where frontman Luke Pritchard thanked the crowd for coming to watch, whilst also expressing his political views: “Theresa May is a t***”. It had a mixed response. After some time, Catfish and Bottlemen appeared through a black cloud of smoke, with frontman Van McCann singing ‘homesick’. The performance combined tracks from their debut album The Balcony and their most recent album The Ride. It was a slick performance from the band, with Van at one point standing on top of the piano singing his heart out.
The Sunday saw the likes of London-based JUDAS take to the ‘The Big Top’. We were delighted to catch the four-piece on the last stop of their Summer Tour, having previously seem them perform at 60 Million Post Cards and The Joiners. Yet again they put on a remarkable performance, with the addition of a brand new track ‘Ceasefire’. Next up we caught indie rock band, The Amazons who have made their mark in the alternative scene in the last few months. Performing tracks from their self-entitled debut album ‘The Amazons’, the crowd warmed to the track ‘In My Mind’ as they mosh-pitted to the heavy riffs. Frontman Matt Thompson also revealed his inspiration behind joining a rock band, paving the way for The Sherlocks. He told the audience how he’d been listening to a cassette in his car when it clicked he wanted to join a rock band. Lastly, we caught a glimpse of Bastille. Opening the set was ‘Laura Palmer’ followed by classics hits including ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Good Grief’. The band seemed to be taken back by the audience, having only been performing on the strongbow tent a few years back. It was a confident show from charismatic Tom Smith as jumped around on stage and even appeared in the crowd at one point!
This year’s Isle of Wight Festival demonstrated that yet again it is one of the best festival’s around.
Attending an event of this size can often come with doubts. However there there was something for everyone; from the electronic tent to the alternative tent. We’d like to thank Isle of Wight festival, John Gibbings and his team, the IOWightPolice for keeping us safe and joining in with the festive fun. When terrorism and hung parliaments try to divide us, music is there to unite us.