Musical refreshment came firstly in the form of Scouting for Girls, a rather interesting three-piece not dissimilar to Keane, being keyboard-led and without a lead guitar. Their songs are nicey-nicey in a very harmless way: everyone you’ll think you’ve heard before, because it’s all been done before, and four to five years ago. Tell me that latest single ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ doesn’t sound like something The Feeling would produce, and I’ll say that you’re either deaf, or have no long-term memory. Still nice songs to have another Pimm’s to.
Most Memorable Moment
Oddest award of the night – second only to “Most Memorable Moment” (which incidentally went to the moment when Snow Patrol coaxed down ‘Spiderman’ at T In The Park) was Best Pop Act, which went to McFly. Mc-Fuckin-Fly. Quintessential manufactured candy pop crap. Girls Aloud won the award last year. You can imagine which act I would rather see covered in mud, with the other being covered in excrement.
Speaking of excrement, the second band, The Brightlights, were not quite that bad, but they weren’t that great. The levels once the band started playing seemed terribly high, with quite a few of the VIP crowd down at the front covering their ears. The songs were Kings of Leon-esque – indeed the band have been compared to the Southern quartet. I couldn’t really hear it myself, though they certainly looked the part. More Pimm’s please.
Best European Festival went to Exit Festival, a massive crowd favourite, though Benicassim would have been this reviewer’s festie of choice. Though the thought of partying in an old Roman fortress, listening to bands whilst getting hammered on Balkan Vodka that costs as much as a Sherbet Dib Dab, does, however, sound very appealing.
The award was collected by Ivan Milivojev, the festival’s Production Manager, and Konstantin Polzovic, Head Associate (whatever that means?!). The two looked chuffed to bits with their win. Nice one fellas – any chance of a ticket for next year?
Best Festival Newcomer
Best Festival Newcomer went to The Enemy and Best New Festival went to John Lennon Northern Lights Festival.
And then the big three: Best Small, Best Medium and Best Major festivals. The cream of the crop. The best the UK has to offer, and therefore, the best the world has to offer. Because make no mistake, the United Kingdom is the best place in the world for festivals. The weather’s shite, but the festivals are awesome.
Blissfields won Best Small Festival (to be small, a festival has to have a capacity less than 10,000) much to the delight of the crowd. For a third time in a row, Bestival won Best Medium Festival. A jubilant Rob Da Bank leapt to the stage, thanking everyone who worked to make Bestival the independent, inventive, exciting event that it is. Man, that guy has got one long pony tail. Rob even paid particular thanks to the legendary festival fixer Melvin Benn who’d earlier picked up Latitude’s Fan-Friendly Award.
Best Major Festival went to the Isle of Wight Festival, snatching the award from Glasto’s or T in the Park’s waiting hands. A rather shocking result, considering Glasto had been absent for a year. It seems that Isle of Wight could more than fill the hole left by the World’s Greatest Festival®.
The audience did seem surprised that it was not Michael Eavis collecting the award, but rather Isle of Wight organizer John Giddings. Still, you’d have thought a guy who both promotes for The Rolling Stones and manages Iggy Pop (who beamed a congratulatory message over from across The Pond) would know a thing or two about putting on a good show. Which, incidentally, is exactly what this year’s UK Festival Awards was: a bloody good show.
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year. Roll on next summer. See you at the front…