THE 2012 V Festival kicked off yesterday (Saturday) with The Stone Roses headlining the southern leg at Hylands Park near Chelmsford and The Killers in Weston Park, Stafford.
IT was all about The Stone Roses on Saturday at Hylands Park.
The reformed Madchester legends headlined V Festival for the first time since the band’s long-awaited reunion – and didn’t disappoint.
Opening with classic I Wanna Be Adored, the Roses showed their ‘second coming’ wasn’t just about the money.
It’s also about bringing their musical legacy to a new generation of fans who weren’t lucky enough to have seen them the first time around.
Having caught Ian Brown, Mani, Reni and John Squire live before they imploded, The Stone Roses have definitely matured well with age and are now a well-oiled machine on stage.
With the rhythm section of bassist Mani and drummer Reni creating the group’s trademark baggy groove, and John Squire’s guitar work simply mesmerising, the Roses in 2012 are a much tighter sounding group than in their early days.
And the embrace between Squire and vocalist Ian Brown – something fans never thought they’d witness up on stage – after a stunning 10-minute version of Fools Gold showed the musicians are enjoying it just as much as those in the audience.
After playing the likes of Sally Cinnamon, Ten Storey Love Song and Waterfall, the V 2012 headliners closed with a thrilling climax of This Is The One, Love Spreads, Made of Stone, She Bangs The Drums and Elizabeth My Dear, before finishing with an epic, spiralling I Am The Resurrection.
Before the Roses closed the night’s main stage activities, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds provided the perfect warm-up on a swelteringly hot day in Essex.
A huge Stone Roses fan, Gallagher showed why he’s in no hurry to reform Oasis just yet with a soaring set perfect for a summer festival.
Mixing newer solo material with Oasis classics, Noel even dedicated a stripped back version of Supersonic to Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah – although he didn’t perform ‘the Mobot’.
Opening with (It’s Good) To Be Free by his former band, Everybody’s on the Run, Dream On, If I Had a Gun... and The Death Of You And Me followed as the sun set over scenic Hylands Park.
A storming AKA... What a Life! was a mid-set highlight before Gallagher treated V fans who felt cheated by Oasis failing to show up at Hylands Park a few years back to a blistering closing trio of Whatever, Little By Little and Don’t Look Back In Anger.
What better way to end a set?
On one of the hottest days of the year, chart-topping singer/rapper Example had earlier got a huge main stage crowd jumping with an energetic set.
Crowd-pleasers Stay Awake, Won’t Go Quietly, Kickstarts and Watch The Sun Come Up were played as the scorching sun beat down, before set-closers Natural Disaster and Changed The Way You Kiss Me raised the temperatures even more.
American rockers The Killers headline in Essex tonight (Sunday), with Snow Patrol also on the main stage line-up.