We traversed the sunny Solent to the Isle of Wight Festival as it geared up for the weekend. One of the biggest festivals of the year in the UK, not just for the south coast, the Isle of Wight Festival has had a long history of hosting music icons, this year is no less legendary with The Who headlining Saturday and Queen and Adam Lambert headlining Sunday with their only UK show in this year.
Stereophonics and electronica legends Faithless were also on the bill as well as Iggy Pop, Adam Ant, Buzzcocks and The Damned taking to the stage to celebrate 40 years of punk.
It's not just classic names there is something for everyone here with so many varied acts across many stages with plenty of things to see and do.
Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys in The Big Top brought us Faithless frontman Maxi Jazz's guitar band. Incorporating melodic funk and blues mixed with reggae beats, dub baselines, Jamaican melodies, and smooth insightful, penetrating lyrics from the most iconic wordsmiths, this lyrically poetic and playful set was a great chilled out set to start off the weekend.
Cast were a perfect pick to get that summer festival feeling flowing. With their hits Finetime and Alright they really stirred the crowd into the festival spirit in the Big Top.
We caught up with the Southsea contingent in the Hipshaker Lounge to round off Thursday as they kicked off non-stop entertainment with Rhythm of the 90's treating us to live 90's dance hits.
Friday started off with Busted playing the Main Stage with a mix of new songs as well as their back catalogue they really rallied the crowd in this early festival set including their hit Year 3000 which went down well.
Back together after over 10 years ... they said it would never happen hence their 2016 tour being named Pigs Can Fly! Bassist Matt Willis who won I'm A Celebrity in 2006 and also appeared on Eastenders returned to music in 2013 with McBusted, Charlie Simpson re-joined Busted this year and has had several solo projects including the rock band Fightstar.
One of the most successful Welsh rock acts Stereophonics were next up on the Main Stage. Singer Kelly Jones' gravelly vocals topped off their classics Dakota, Just Looking and Bartender & The Thief to make a perfect set for a fun fuelled Friday with a happy crowd singing along.
Faithless were Friday's headliners and with over 20 years since the iconic Insomnia was released they still sounded fresh and entirely relevant. Faithless have sold over 15 million records worldwide, toured the globe and been dubbed responsible for the creation of a whole new sonic landscape for Dance Music.
As one of the first to mix dance, hip-hop, blues, folk and classical music and being integral to the whole dance music genre they have always had something poignant to say lyrically with their great mix of musical flavours. Almost ambient at times they created an awesome atmosphere and live show Maxi, Sister Bliss and Rollo rounded off the first day of Isle of Wight 2016 with the greatest performance of the day.
The Lounge Kittens opened up Saturday's music in the Big Top which went down really well, beautifully rendered popular alt rock classics performed in their own lounge style was a great start to blow away the cobwebs of the previous night's festivities!
With Dodgy in the Kashmir Cafe performing their feel good hits Staying Out For The Summer and Good Enough to a packed out audience and Irish folk pop siblings The Corrs gracing the Main Stage Saturday was shaping up as another great day of music.
Festival organiser John Giddings led a tribute to David Bowie on the main stage while Andrea Corr and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp gave a beautiful rendition of Bowie's Starman.
The Sex Pissed Dolls have just finished a tour playing songs by The Jam, The Clash, Nirvana and The Specials, and these fierce ladies were in their element celebrating The Sex Pistols to honour 40 years of punk.
At the core of The Kills is a bluesy, anthemic and uniquely alternative sound. Alison Mosshart brings a country edge to Jamie Hince's rousing soul-bareing guitar style and both fuse perfectly to form an effortlessly cool sound.
Meeting in the middle collaboratively The Kills show just how much the two-piece can be an epic partnership with just the right amount of creativity to bounce off and inspire each other ... not too many cooks with so many great ingredients make for an awesomely delicious, perfectly constructed mix.
Ash & Ice, their fifth studio album is out now, with more electronic synthy elements on this album ... it was great to see them live at Isle of Wight Festival's Main Stage to get the full live atmospheric experience of the new songs in what was a really great performance.
Iggy Pop certainly is one of the most dynamic stage performers of all time known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. He bounded on stage with epic amounts of passion and all the energy and enthusiasm we have come to expect, with absolutely no hint of restraint.
Smashing his set through our ears with epic amounts of on the Main Stage at the Isle of Wight Festival with the anthemic classics Lust For Life, I Wanna Be Your Dog and The Passenger this really was a truly captivating performance. The set could not have been better, Iggy cavorted about the stage writhing with such a passion and vigour, rallying the crowd and demonstrating exactly why he is known as the godfather of punk rock.
Almost 40 years since their inception Buzzcocks are still going strong and played a cracking set with all the energy and enthusiasm you would have expected in the early days. Their more melodic brand of punk still packs a punch and you can really tell how much these guys love playing together. On great form to a packed out audience they mixed new material with old favourites like I Don't Mind, What Do I Get and of course Ever Fallen In Love....
Punk pioneers The Damned are also on their 40th anniversary tour this year. With the iconic Captain Sensible cavorting around the stage they pulled off a great live show. New Rose went down a storm today and 40 years on from being the UK's first punk single, it is as fresh and rousing as it was then, performed with boundless snarling energy and enthusiasm.
As Smash It Up's gnarled glorious noise rolled out over the audience reminded us all of the energy of of a generation of kick ass UK punk music and how that lives on today as they influenced future hardcore bands with their fast-paced style.
Adam Ant rounded off the day for us in The Big Top with his alternative classics Stand & Deliver, Prince Charming and of course Goody Two Shoes. Adam Ant proved today that he is still the dandy highwayman and great entertainer!
One of the most influential rock bands in music history The Who headlined the Main Stage today, celebrating over 50 years. Pulling a massive crowd of adoring fans in with so many classics like My Generation and Baba O'Reilly they put on a cracking show. Roger Daltrey's gravelly vocals accented the large psychedelic, rounded out sound, demonstrating how they are still a great live band firmly cemented as the legends of rock that they clearly still are.
Pendulum closed off an epic day of music with a storming set in the Big Top that started just before midnight and sent their light show streaming across the field. The still pumped crowd went absolutely crazy for their track Propane Nightmares and the night ended on a great buzz around the festival site.
Sunday started off with Glasgow rockers Twin Atlantic playing the Main Stage and although a little slow for our tastes they played a good set and singer Sam McTrusty's unique vocals were really refreshing.
Billed as the "loudest silent movie on earth" we checked out Gutterdammerung in the Big Top which features a host of rock icons including Iggy Pop as a renegade punk angel Vicious, who sets the world on fire to test humanity and Henry Rollins, (also co-screenwriter) as a "priest Svengali". The brain-child of Belgian-Swedish visual artist Björn Tagemose, this is a fully immersive experience, primarily visual, with a live band playing the epic score to this dark fairytale. With Grace Jones portraying the "ultimate nemesis, an African goddess from Hell" and Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes as a bounty hunter who "kills sound for money," working for people who "use false morality as oppression" visual artist Björn Tagemose's film is a fully immersive experience.
Whilst primarily visual, this is like no movie you have ever experienced - a live band plays the epic score to this dark fairytale in what is surely to be a cult classic. With so many iconic legends in one film, including Lemmy and Slayer's Tom Araya, the film showed us how sparce dialogue can be loud as hell! With a surprise appearance by Henry Rollins himself this was one not to be missed!
Indie pop-punkers The Cribs gave a great performance on the Main Stage having supported Sex Pistols, played on the Weezer Cruise and had Johnny Marr in the band for a while, this upbeat indie sound was the perfect summer Saturday afternoon tonic. 90's Britpoppers Ocean Colour Scene also brought out all the big hits, from the Beatles-esque Day We Caught The Train to the Riverboat Song and Hundred Mile City for a great festival set.
Another 90's band were up next in the Main Stage lineup, Reef's plodding melodic rock tune Come Back Brighter showed they were a great choice to go before Queen with Place Your Hands making the crowd erupt with singalongs and hands aloft.
Headlining the Main Stage today Queen & Adam Lambert played a sparkling set in their only UK date this year, playing a mix of their popular and lesser known material. Possibly the most recognisable song and loved by all kinds of music fans, their performance of Bohemian Rhapsody was a real sight to see live with rapturous sing-a-longs from right across the heaving crowd. Adam Lambert is truly a great frontman, with all the showmanship and poise you could want for such an iconic band.
Welsh rockers Feeder played their one of very few UK festival appearances for 2016 after being quiet over the last couple of years. With their well loved singles Buck Rogers, Just The Way I'm Feeling and Just A Day this was a great set to close off an enormously varied weekend of superb music.