Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods joined The Prodigy on stage last night (June 12) as the rave vetetans brought the first night on the Isle Of Wight Festival main stage to a close.
Williamson reprised his guest vocals on ‘Ibiza’, taken from the Essex group’s recent ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ LP, in a hit-filled, bullish set from the band.
While Keith Flint prowled the stage in a Crusaders’ tabard, Maxim gave constant shout outs to “All my Prodigy people. All my soaking people”, referring to the pouring rain that had turned the field into sludge below their dancing fans’ feet.
“Tomorrow ain’t gonna be better than this, trust me” teased Maxim, baiting fans of the festival’s other headliners, Blur and Fleetwood Mac. “This is the real deal.”
‘The Day Is My Enemy’
‘Get Your Fight On’
‘Run With Wolves’
‘Invaders Must Die’
‘Smack My Bitch Up’
‘Take Me To The Hospital’
Suffering from the worst of the weather were The Black Keys, but their long-awaited return to the festival circuit was gleefully received by a huge crowd.
Core duo Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney were joined by bassist Richard Swift and organist John Wood, the four huddled tight in the centre of the stage around a heap of vintage instruments. Auerbach was in jubilant mood, punching the air with his guitar and entreating the crowd to join in with favourites like ‘Lonely Boy’.
There was no visible evidence of Carney’s recent shoulder injury as he drummed forcefully through a career-spanning set that reached as far back as ‘Leavin’ Trunk’ from The Black Keys’ debut.
Elsewhere in the festival, the small Jack Rocks stage witnessed a swaggering performance from Manchester five-piece Alias Kid, who’s tuneful debt to the Gallagher brothers was matched by some swear-filled bickering. A far more polite show on the stage came from fellow Manchester group Slow Readers Club, who pulled a good crowd out of the rain for the subtle, electro guitar groove of recent single ‘I Saw A Ghost’.
In the absence of David Bowie (a previous Isle Of Wight headliner) from the live scene, the festival’s Big Top witnessed a tribute show lead by loyal producer Tony Visconti and former Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey. Filling Bowie’s boots was the sparkle suited figure of vocalist Glenn Gregory, from ’80s hitmakers Heaven 17, for a set drawing from ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ and other early classics.
The festival had got underway in baking sunshine a day earlier (June 11), before the main stage opened. Unable to use the arena, thousands of good-natured early revellers piled into the festival Big Top for a set by punk showman Billy Idol, who stripped to the waist for ’80s rock hits ‘Rebel Yell’, ‘White Wedding’ and an expletive-ridden ‘Mony Mony’. “I dunno about you but I’m having the time of my life,” he told the crowd.
The Isle Of Wight Festival continues today (June 13) with headliners Blur.