REVIEW: Chester Rocks 2011 – Saturday
5 July 2011
By James Drakeford: If Carlsberg did music festivals… No, actually, if Pimms did music festivals it would probably be something a little like Chester Rocks.
It was something of a culture shock to exchange the sniffer dogs and security searches at student festival Beach Break Live in South Wales a couple of weeks ago in favour of Chester Racecourse where Cheshire ice cream, a Moet bar, and a Pimms stand greeted you upon your civil arrival for Chester Rocks on a glorious Saturday afternoon.
If the location didn’t give you an inkling to the ambience of this festival, you were assured upon arrival that this is modestly middle-class.
While the Sunday line-up consisted of ageing rockers, and ‘songs your dad would listen to’, Saturday kicked off what we called the ‘family day’ with the teeny-pop line-up attracting a deafening level of screaming 14 year old girls who were accompanied by their parents.
Stephen Langstaff and The Christians opened early to a small crowd who were still arriving or enjoying the stalls and the funfair, while Eliza Doolittle followed to draw the crowd in with her unique sound of folk pop.
With the crowd now sitting and enjoying the sun, Sugababes got the crowd onto their feet as they reminded us exactly how many chart topping hits we all know word-for-word with a recognisable 40 minute set, before The Saturdays and The Wanted exemplified our decision to call it ‘family day’.
The Wanted interacted with the crowd brilliantly and really came across as a bunch of down to Earth lads who were having a good laugh and enjoying being where they are as they pointed out a female police officer dancing along while patrolling the festival.
McFly wowed the crowd with their set complete with all their hits, an explosion of confetti, and a big fiery McFly sign on stage. The pop-punk Londoners biggest cheer of the night came towards the end of their set however, when they performed a unique cover of Tinie Tempah’s hit Pass Out.
Headliner Taio Cruz closed the evening with his chart-topping singles ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Break Your Heart’ in what proved to be a great day to sit out in the sun and enjoy the music and the accompanied family friendly atmosphere.