WEEKENDERS!

The bands battle the weather for triumphant performances…

Kaiser Chiefs, GWEN STEFANI and The Futureheads brought RADIO 1’s BIG WEEKEND to a triumphant close yesterday (May 8).

As was the case yesterday, lightening, torrential rain and hailstone again blitzed Sunderland’s Herrington Country Park as snow began to fall on the festival site.

But fans paid little attention to the weather and packed to the main tent for a giddy performance by Kaiser Chiefs.

“It’s just nice to be back in the UK,” singer Ricky Wilson told NME.COM, shortly before hitting the stage for a set that included ‘Oh My God’, ‘I Predict a Riot’, and a rapturous run through of new single, ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’.

“I’m excited to be here, having our great friend Lemar supporting us,” joked Wilson. “It’s nice that we could help him out and let him support us today.”

Later Gwen Stefani was carried from her dressing room to the stage by a member of her road crew to play a hit laden set that included ‘What You Waiting For?’ and ‘Rich Girl’.

Hometown boys The Futureheads closed proceedings with a triumphant second stage headlining set – their second show of the day, after they had previously played at the Stadium of Light, the ground of Sunderland AFC.

Playing songs mainly taken from their recent gold-selling self-titled debut album, the four-piece played ‘Meantime’, ‘Stupid And Shallow’, as well as a semi-acappella version of ‘Danger Of The Water’ – only the fourth time they’ve ever performed the song live.

It was also bassist Jaff’s birthday and the crowd sang happy birthday en masse.

“The festival has been amazing!” gushed The Futureheads

guitarist Ross Millard. “It was weird because I was spotting people at our show that I went to school with. All standing in the front row. People that I haven’t seen in years, and they were winking and yelling at us in the crowd. It was mad!”

And Millard was keen to point out that the day had been a great one for their hometown.

“When we played ‘Hounds Of Love’ everyone put their hands in the air, and when we played ‘A To B’ everyone clapped along. I really feel like the crowd believed in us today. It’s a celebration for Sunderland.”

He added: “The football team is back in the Premier League, the town has had the biggest gig it’ll probably ever have, and it’s Jaff’s birthday too!”