Whether it was last year’s weather wash out, Springsteen Vs. Curfew battle or Livenation pulling out of the tender to host gigs at Hyde Park, Hard Rock Calling took up home at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this year. A male dominated line-up stretched out over 2 days including Headliners Kasabian (Saturday) and Bruce Springsteen (Sunday).
It should come as no surprise that this venue is more than capable of dealing with the large number of festival goers that descended over the two days. However the Jury is still out on whether it works for a multi stage festival. Smaller tents were left abandoned by the main stage at the festival entrance, holding no real attraction for revellers to make the 10 minute round trip back and forth.
Not much really happened until flavour of the month, Irish pop-rockers Kodaline took to the main stage. Hits such as ‘High Hopes’ and ‘Love Like This‘ resonated perfectly and are welcomely received by the crowd who basked in the hazy afternoon sunshine on acres of artificial and surprisingly comfortable lush green grass.
Miles Kane, fresh from his Glastonbury performance the night before, didn’t disappoint. Warming the crowd up for the arrival of the Mod-Father himself, Mr Weller who looked on from side of stage. Kane impressed with hits such as “Come Closer” and “Don’t Forget Who You Are“ proving that he can more than step up to the mark of a main stage solo performance.
Any Glasto Envy was thrown out the window as Paul Weller rattled through his greatest hits. Highlights include Town Called Malice, That’s Entertainment and Floor Boards Up which had the last remaining picnic participants up on their feet dancing to Weller’s tune.
Days are Forgotten, Club Foot, Fire and LSF – now that’s a way to construct a headline set! A few surprises chucked in for good measure such as ‘Everybody’s got to learn sometimes‘ and finishing on an accapella Beatles track “She Loves You” –Kasabian smashed it! You’d expect nothing less, backed by a string orchestra, Tom & Serge’s chemistry is electric and the way they interact with the crowd would teach many bands a thing or two. Serge reveals “I’m buzzing my tits off!” – looking at the crowd around me, it seems you’re not the only one Serge!
The band Finish strongly with an encore of ‘Switchblade Smiles’, ‘Vlad the Impaler’ and the infamous ‘Fire’ ensuring everyone went home happy!