The Great British weather’s gift to celebrate Spendour Festival’s 10th Birthday was the perfect day.
20,000 visitors enjoyed the festival this year which is set within the stunning grounds of Wollaton Park. Not too hot, not too cold and not a drop of rain in sight ensured the popular festival was a great day out.
We arrived slightly later than planned. Partly thanks to my inability to be ready on time, the fact that I was babysitting someone else’s dog and public transport. OK, they’re all my fault but after two years of attempted visits and failures due to illness, I finally made it!
I managed to catch the end of the set by Nusic winners, The Dandylions. A fab group from what I saw with a The Darkness vibe. Destined for big thing. Yes, I know Splendours big but you know what I mean.
Next up is Nottingham’s Nina Smith. Criminally unknown’ she performed tracks from her new album due for release in October as well as some of her earlier work. Fantastic vocals warming up the crowd for a day ahead filled with chart topping acts, old favourites, upcoming artists and local talent.
I stayed around the main stage to catch the set from another local artist, Ady Suleiman before having a wander round to take in the sights and sounds. The event is really well organised and there seemed a really friendly atmosphere. Police were on hand in case of any incidents but were happily posing with visitors for photos. There were lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy including fairground rides, comedy and crafts.
The drink token system seemed to work well and the bar staff quickly served thirsty partygoers.
Next up on the main stage was Sophie Ellis-Bextor looking and sounding great. She performed the Groovejet classic Groovejet (If this ain’t love) as well as hits Take Me Home, Murder on the Dance Floor and a cover of Lady (Hear Me Tonight) by Modjo. The crowd really getting into the spirit and enjoying her 30 minute set.
Bjorn Again were the perfect act to follow on the main stage, another real crowd pleaser, delivering the ABBA hits everyone knows and loves injecting the set with a little humour and even performing a medley of SOS and The Police hit Message In A Bottle.
Marc Almond followed, a real professional, he knew exactly how to work the crowd and again delivered the hits we were waiting for; Days of Pearly Spencer, Somethings Gotten Hold Of My Heart and Tainted Love.
The act whose faces dominated the audiences t-shirts the most were The Stranglers, delivering a tight set over on the Confetti Stage as sun began to set.
The Charlatans hour long set included many of their hits. A great set if you are a hardcore Charlatans fan but a little long for others who wandered off to explore the other stages, but that’s the great thing about Splendour, the ability to make the day your own and move around between stages.
Sharing her birthday with the festival is headliner Paloma Faith. Showcasing her unique vocals she treated the crowd to her hits including Lullaby. Picking up the Pieces, Changing and the Mama Cass cover; Make Your Own Kind Of Music. Fans at the front hang on to her every word but at times it was hard for the rest of us to hear what she was saying. The gist of it was about how remarkable the human body is, the importance of being yourself and comparing herself to a Skoda.
Paloma bought a fantastic day and beautiful summer evening to a close with a breathtaking performance of Only Love Can Hurt Like This.
As Splendour continues to be one of Nottingham’s biggest and best festivals keep a lookout for details on NottinghamLIVE of next years event.
By Tanya Louise
Additional words Richard Newbold
Photographs by Chris Marsh & Michael Mills for NottinghamLIVE