We preview some of the top acts on the bill this year.
Summer festival season kicks into high gear this weekend with the first big event of the calendar taking place on the south coast. Tens of thousands of people will be heading to Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight for a bill, which is top heavy on heritage acts that bring with them a sense of nostalgia. While recent years have welcomed the likes of Jay-Z, Calvin Harris and Kings Of Leon to headline, this time round it seems big names with an even bigger back catalogue are being used as the main attraction.
However, many of the headline acts seem to be experiencing a renaissance of sorts. For example, Blur, whose new album 'The Magic Whip', their first since 2003, has won critical acclaim. The former Britpop poster boys will take to the Main Stage on Saturday night in the knowledge that this is one of the first times that UK crowds will get to see this new material given the live treatment. You can expect a set heavy on those new songs, but peppered with all the classic singles, certainly a formula for a memorable festival appearance. It's a similar story for The Prodigy who'll headline the Main Stage on Friday after The Black Keys. Both acts have played the festival in recent years and here they're repeating the joint top billing that was given to Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris last year. As with Blur, The Prodigy's new album, 'The Day Is My Enemy', has revived interest in the band following an extended period out of the spotlight. Elsewhere, Fleetwood Mac will bring proceedings to a close on Sunday, bolstered by the return of Christine McVie to the band, a set covering Rumours era gems like 'Don't Stop' and 'Songbird' is a strong possibility.
MTV Unplugged was a great idea. Strip down the sound of your favourite band and have them play, usually, quite out of character. Throw in the odd quirky and inventive cover and hear their reminiscences whilst the appreciative audience stoke their, usually, mammoth egos. Possibly even pull in an all together different audience with the slightly left field approach.
A new take on ones own songs is nothing new, people have been squeezing the last dollar out of long forgotten gems for a good while now and there is no reason to see that ever ending. Collaborations, duets, dance mixes, soundtracks, TV shows and ad work can all potentially rejuvenate a faltering catalogue. Revisiting, reworking, reinventing, rejigging, repackaging, re-mastered blah blah. Is it all 'Flogging A Dead Horse' or 'Money For Old Rope?'
In many ways it pains me to say so but with Close-Up, Vol. 1, Love Songs, Suzanne Vega has failed to see a potential merit in a new take on her old work, it's unlikely to capture anyone from a different audience and could be accused of running the well dry. Vega has gone all acoustic on a selection of her best loved tracks. Gone acoustic! She was never electrifying in the first instance, rarely a guitar strummed in anger, a drum beat to awaken the birds or a bass note likely to trouble your neighbours.
Continue reading: Suzanne Vega, Close-Up. Vol. 1, Love Songs. Album Review
Date of birth
11th July, 1959