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Gig Review: Calling Festival 2015: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Hives & more ✭✭✭✭

Calling Festival 2015 


Saturday 4th July 2015


The Calling Festival returned to Clapham Common for a second year, noticeably this festival has become a lot smaller, from its three day stint in Hyde Park to one day in Clapham Common. This year Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds tops the bill on a beautiful sunny day in South London. 

It is actually quite refreshing to not have to walk miles to get to different acts, obviously that is what festivals are about, different stages showcasing different music. But on this day all you had to do was swivel 180 degrees to view each stage. With the festival being so small acts on the two stages couldn't perform at the same time, but you always had something to listen to.

Before going in to talking about my favourite performance of the day and headliner Noel Gallagher, it is worthwhile mentioning the other big acts. Echo & The Bunnymen were good, they had a bland stage and simply concentrated on the music, they performed the songs 'Killing Moon' and 'Nothing Lasts Forever' which were massive hits with the crowd.

Ryan Adams
Photo credit: Justine Trickett
In a complete contrast to Echo & The Bunnymen's bland stage Ryan Adams had a complete show of a backdrop with 80's inspired items, including video games. Even though the backdrop was impressive it couldn't quite detract you from the fact that the performance was boring, you could see some hardcore fans covered in merchandise, but on a whole the crowd seemed bored.

It would however seem that Modest Mouse, probably had the unluckiest day of everyone, all of their instruments were stuck in Calais and they had to borrow instruments. Clearly not liking the borrowed equipment, Isaac Brock the band's lead singer made it a point to let the crowd know, just in case their performance wasn't as good as it should have been. Still the fans of Modest Mouse had a great time and I think by the end of the set Modest Mouse had enjoyed themselves, minus the instruments.

The Hives
Photo credit: Danny North

The Hives
Photo credit: Danny North
The Hives were one of the acts on the main stages during the day, and their performance seemed to liven up the audience. I do believe they might have stolen a little limelight for headliner Noel Gallagher. The Hives' front man, Howlin Pelle Almqvist oozes energy, charisma and stage presence probably unequal to any front man today. He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand, even at one instructing the whole crowd to sit down and jump back up when told. The whole performance was fantastic, with the whole band having fun it transmits into the crowd. With countless crowd pleasers in the way of  'Tick Tick Boom', 'I'm Alive' and finishing with 'Hate to Say I Told You So', The Hives rocked Clapham Common.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Photo credit: Justine Trickett

What Noel Gallagher lacks in energy compared with The Hives he definitely makes up for in songs. The crowd was definitely satisfied with his chosen set list, with Oasis classics of 'Champagne Supernova' (accoustic), 'Whatever' and of course the crowd pleasing anthem 'Don't Look Back In
Anger'. Noel Gallagher has effortless stage presence he simply doesn't have to do anything to make you in awe of him and this is simply because of who he is and the unbelievable songs he has written over the years. From his High Flying Birds days, favourites included songs from the newest album Chasing Yesterday - 'You Know We Can't Go Back', 'Riverman' and 'In the Heart of the Moment'.

A great beautiful sunny day, topped with some great music, good performances and finishing off with a legend.

Four stars ✭✭✭✭

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