Ian Brown, Maximo Park, DPT brave the elements

The first Hi:Fi North takes place in Newcastle

Ian Brown, Maximo Park and Dirty Pretty Things battled against the elements at the first Hi:Fi North Festival last night (May 27).

Due to bad weather in the run-up to the festival, the event in the grounds of Matfen Hall near to Newcastle Upon Tyne also had to contend with the loss of one of its live areas just 24 hours before show time.

That meant several band’s slots, including local acts The Motorettes and The Sound Explosion, were pulled.

The new line up meant that yourcodenameis:milo opened up proceedings at the Live Stage however by the time Dirty Pretty Things came on the crowd still appeared below capacity.

Despite the lack of numbers, torrential rain and heavy sleet, a set full of tracks from their debut album ‘Waterloo To Anywhere’ managed to keep the crowd warm.

After their slot, singer Carl Barat told NME.COM that the weather “seemed to bring on the war spirit” and the rain provided “some of the most inspirational moments” of their set.

Following on from Dirty Pretty Things were Maximo Park but just before they made it onto the Live Stage, singer Paul Smith admitted to NME.COM that he “had no idea what to expect from the crowd” before adding that “that’s why we (the band) do these festivals”.

Fortunately for them the band were greeted by the biggest and most enthusiastic crowd of the day so far, the audience having noticeably swelled despite the band’s new early-evening slot. They stormed through tracks from ’A Certain Trigger’ as well as playing fan favourite ’A19’ and several new songs including ’By The Monument’.

Headlining the festival was Ian Brown, who opened with ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, the first of three Stone Roses tracks that also included ‘Made of Stone’ and ‘I Am The Resurrection’.

Brown was in fine form and even took to task someone in the audience when a coin and beer-can hit the stage. Asking the crowd to keep an eye on the time as it was going to cost him “£1000 every minute we do over 11pm”, Brown appeared to have ended his set with ‘F.E.A.R.’ and a warning to “stay off cocaine”. However he quickly returned with a cover of the Bob Marley classic ‘3 Little Birds’.

For a full festival guide, see this week’s NME, on sale now.