Monday, June 25, 2012

Hackney Weekend: The best bits

So, I was down at Hackney Marshes on Saturday, marvelling at the scale of the whole enterprise. I grew up on the Radio 1 Roadshow - which basically meant watching T'Pau on top of a winnebago in some desolate corner of Northern Ireland. Hackney Weekend was a full-blown festival (although I still wish Mike Read had come on to do Bits and Pieces).

If you want a blow-by-blow account of what me and the Newsbeat team were up to, ace reporter Greg Cochrane has helpfully put together a twitter list that compiles all of our activities (I was running the @BBCEntsTeam account, if you're interested).

But if you don't have time to plow through hundreds of tweets, here are my highlights from the weekend.

8) Jay-Z forgetting he'd paid for thousands of pounds of fireworks
There were literally hundreds of pyrotechnics lined up across the back of the main stage on Saturday evening. They were all timed to go off at 3:18 during Jay-Z's first song - Run This Town, with Rihanna. He stopped the song at 3:07. Perhaps he'd realised the performance incendiary enough on its own.

Jay-Z and Rihanna - Run This Town

7) The Maccabees' improbable singalong funtime radio show
I love The Maccabees - Given To The Wild is a dead cert for my end of year Top 10 - but I would never attempt to sing one of their songs. Orlando Weeks' ethereal voice, and his tricky, obstuse lyrics don't make you want to holler at the top of your voice like, say, Living On A Prayer does. But the band's audience on Saturday was of one distinct, harmonious voice for half an hour. And it was beautiful.

Maccabees - Pelican

6)Lana Del Rey going acoustic
She said it was "almost like Jazz", but Lana's set - backed by a chamber orchestra - was simply mesmerising. Just watching her dusky-voiced performance of Blue Jeans on a tiny monitor brought a lump to my throat.

Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans

5)Jessie J's exceptionally bendy legs

4) Mamas doing the hump
Rizzle Kicker Jordan should be very proud of his mum. That is all.

Rizzle Kicks - Mama Do The Hump

3)Everything Jack White did
In a weekend that had it's fair share of miming (I'm looking at you Nicki Minaj), Jack White was a shining beacon of how to do it properly. His band were so tight they could have played themselves through a crack in the wall. And as soon as he finished, Jack wiped himself off with a towel and went to watch Jay-Z on the main stage. Dude.

Jack White - Seven Nation Army

2) Rihanna showing signs of a personality
Dead-eyed pop autobot Rihanna actually smiled during her headline set on Sunday. A proper, genuine "I am pleased to be here" expression of joy. I think it was a first.

She also proved to be the biggest tease of the weekend: "Do you guys know Eminem?" she asked. The audience screamed "aaahahhhahhahahhagggeheheyeggooowhaaaa?" in anticipation of a Slim Shady cameo. Rihanna grinned, and said: "Well, he's not here".


1) Beyonce in the mosh pit for N****s In Paris
Obligatory comment: That shit cray. (The moshing moment starts at 5:10 in this video)

Jay-Z and Kanye West - N****s In Paris

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