A perfect weekend mix of sun, surf and music in Cornwall
Boardmasters Festival 2017 took place this weekend (August 9-13), bringing its unique mix of surfing and live music across two sites in Newquay under the Cornish sun. Here’s what went down.
Headlining the festivities on the first night were Two Door Cinema Club, bringing out the disco vibes of their latest album ‘Gameshow’ as well as classics like ‘Undercover Martyn’ and ‘Something Good Can Work’. Frontman Alex Trimble was sporting a pretty slick new haircut too.
Friday’s Main Stage highlights also included The Flaming Lips, who’d brought out this brilliant bunch of balloons to show their appreciation of the Cornish coast.
The mixture of fog and rain on Friday didn’t prevent frontman Wayne Coyne from living it up like the psychedelic pirate he is.
Meanwhile in the Land of Saints tent, here’s Slaves’ lovely Laurie roaring along to the material from their 2016 album ‘Take Control’ and their 2015 debut ‘Are You Satisfied?’
Singing drummer Isaac was giving it everything too – but he didn’t scrimp on the sweetness, asking everyone to “grab the person next to you and give them a little cuddle” when they played ‘Cheer Up London’.
Early risers on Saturday got a chance to distil their Chi at a morning yoga session on the coastline. Alas, we were not among them – we went surfing instead.
As the sun lit up Saturday at the Fistral Beach site, Team NME headed down to try our hand at the ultra-zen sport with help from Mike at Newquay’s Escape Surf School. We like to think we looked a little something like this.
Later on in the morning at the Fistral Bay site, Kiwi surfer Jay Quinn showed us how it was really done in the men’s open competition.
Sam Fender stepped up to the mark for the second time after his performance on Friday, doing a Main Stage double whammy to fill the Saturday afternoon slot left open by Raye, who couldn’t make it to the festival. Keep your eye on this guy.
Loyle Carner took over the Main Stage next, delivering a huge set drawn from his Mercury shortlisted debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’. “There are a lot more people than I thought were gonna come today,” he said. “You lot are ridiculous. Thanks for moving with us like this.”
Showing his colours, the Liverpool FC fan had a massive red number 7 shirt hanging above the stage.
The Vaccines’ Justin Young was loving life as the band took over the Main Stage to belt out material from their three albums to date, alongside banging new tracks ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘Your Love Is My Favourite Band’.
Saturday’s headliner was funk lord Jamiroquai, who kept the crowd moving into evening. Even his futuristic helmet antennae had a little dance to classics like ‘Canned Heat’ and ‘Cosmic Girl’ alongside new tunes like ‘Automaton’ and ‘Cloud 9’.
Here’s a shot of the brilliant Brighton indie-pop five-piece chilling on Sunday. The same day, they played a huge set over at the Land of Saints, playing their crowd established tunes like ‘Swim’ and ‘Hello’ and giving live debuts to the sweetest stuff from their ‘Glue’ EP: ‘Vanilla’ and ‘Sugar’.
A Blaze of Feather’s frontman Mickey got barefoot to play their Land of Saints set, drawing on the dark indie-folk of their recent self-titled debut album to deliver a memorably atmospheric performance.
Meanwhile over on the main stage, Stormzy was starting a festival-stealing set prior to headliners Alt-J. As the enormous crowd moshed away he pulled out his work on Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Fester Skank’ and ‘Dude’, Solo 45’s ‘Feed Em To The Lions’, and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ – plus a load of ace stuff from his Number One debut album ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’.
Vibing off the crowd – his “energy crew”, shown beautifully here in this drone-shot pic – didn’t stop Stormzy from preventing the huge mass from hurting themselves. He pulled up during ‘Wickedskengman 4’ to stop the crush at the barriers, saying: “We got a turnout, but we can’t have people getting hurt at the front.” Too right.
When Sunday headliners Alt-J took to the stage, energy was at peak levels. The 2012 Mercury Prize winners wove in new cuts from third album ‘Relaxer’ into their setlist, bringing the likes of ‘Hit Me Like That Snare’ and ‘Deadcrush’ to bassy life, while classics like ‘Matilda’ and ‘Tesselate’ had the Sunday crowd singing their hearts out to close the festival for another year. Until next time, Newquay…