Echo And The Bunnymen haven’t changed one bit over the years. Ian McCulloch still performs like a man hiding behind an oversized coat, and his vocals are still perfect. -The Killing Moon’ remains their -these guys wrote this?’ moment, and they’re still propping up festival bills when they could comfortably perform far higher up the list. It’s muddy down the front, and State can walk right to the barrier without the slightest obstruction and soak up the vibe amongst the front-row Eminem fans camped out for the duration. They might be moaning about the -early start’ (we can only assume musicians wake up in the afternoon), but Echo And The Bunnymen are still a top-notch act.
Up in the Red Bull arena, Robot Koch (classy name) is providing one of the oddest moments of the festival. Playing his own brand of indistinctive techno, Robot seems to be having his own little smoke-filled party in front of a whopping crowd of about five. Two members of the audience get a bit sarcastic and sit on each others shoulders, prompting security to pour in from all sides, and Robot allows himself a wry smile before returning to his introspective, beat-driven set. The nearby queue to meet Jared Leto in the signing tent has already reached at least 50, three hours before the man arrives, offering up a moment of weird contrast.
Down in the Green Spheres tent, We Are Scientists are demonstrating that their lack of success with the newer albums has not diminished their fan base. Their early tracks – efforts like -It’s A Hit’ and -Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt’ still sum the New Yorkers up best, and plenty of on-stage banter (including some great witticisms on the dying elephant in the room – a reference to the vuvuzela kicking off between songs). Jamie T follows closely, and while State only catches the first half of his show, the man who’s created his own twist on indie rap-rock is going down a storm, especially in -The Man’s Machine’, and happily struts around at centre stage lapping it all up.
Ocean Colour Scene are another act that are setting the Green Spheres tent on fire today, drawing in a huge crowd to sing along to feisty renditions of -The Riverboat Song’, -The Day We Caught The Train’ and a selection of other mod-rock smashes that have arms waving and beers raised. They might be bordering on the -oldies but goodies’ category, but Ocean Colour Scene still inspire a whole lot of passion.
Faithless, though, are the big pre-headline draw. Maxi Jazz throws down every one of their biggest hits, with the likes of -God Is A DJ’, -Reverence’, -Insomnia’ and festival favorite -We Come One’ lighting up the day. Every time Sister Bliss drop a beat, the arms in front of the main stage rise and thousands of people bounce along captivated. Maxi, of course, is his usual self: thin to the point of gaunt, strutting around looking uber-serious when delivering his message of love and harmony, one there’s no doubting he believes with all his soul. A great, great day of music.