Today was just as good as I expected and I’m very glad I went. It was really exciting to hear the first ever performance of Popular by Darren and to see acts like V, The Calling, Nelly Furtado and Lemar who I love but have never seen live before. Some acts, like Nelly and Gabrielle, really impressed me with their singing talents and others like Girls Aloud and McFly were just great fun.
First to play was Rachel Stevens but sadly we missed her and only heard Some Girls as we were walking into the park. We were under the impression that the show started at 2pm but she came on at 12.50!
The Sugababes were on at 1 as we arrived and sang loads of songs: Freak Like Me, Overload, Round Round, Too Lost In You, Caught In A Moment and Hole In The Head – it was half a concert!
The ‘Babes were followed by Peter Andre who appeared to a few boos from the crowd but actually went down quite well when he launched into Mysterious Girl. Then he totally embarrassed himself by ranting about the fickle media (“but the public aren’t fickle, they’re great!”) and the bizarre “no more war!” he usually inserts in Insania became “and I say no more war!”, highlighting how out of place it is even more.
Then we had The Calling who sang Our Lives, Things Will Go My Way and Wherever You Will Go. They were very good live and Alex looked lovely as ever, although his hair did cause an argument with my sister’s friend.
McFly were next and sang catchy album This Girl followed by singles Obviously (one of the best recieved songs of the day) and 5 Colours In Her Hair. A lady near me mistook me for a mega McFly fan (probably something to do with me jumping up and down saying “I can’t see Dougie!”) and asked me if I wanted to stand on their stool but it looked very wobbly so I declined in case I broke it or it broke me.
Next were the always ace V who did Blood, Sweat And Tears and their Discomania cover, Can You Feel It. It was a shame they didn’t do Hip To Hip or their amazing ballad You Stood Up though.
Today was the 3rd time I’ve seen Girls Aloud live but the first to hear Jump or The Show. Shame they didn’t do NGA (still my fave) though they did SOTU which was good. Nicola had a very nice t-shirt that I want.
Then we had Blazin’ Squad who luckily only sang 3 songs, Here 4 One (which went down well as people joined in with the “oh-oh”s), Flip Reverse and the horrid Shorty from their last album which may or may not be the next single (they can’t seem to decide).
Javine was next on getting the crowd singing and dancing along heartily to Real Things, then puzzling everyone with Don’t Walk Away. Seems the original was not such a classic as no-one around me remembered it, which is a shame for the ace Javine, who incidentally sang very well indeed.
Then it was time for my top boy Darren Hayes to make his return to the pop scene. No-one else seemed to notice the momentum of this occasion but I sang along to every word of Popular, which sounded excellent live and has some extra fun bits not on the record, and Insatiable (“This song is so rude!” exclaimed a girl near me) and danced like a loonywoman to the fantastic Affirmation (4th time hearing that song live and as fab as ever!).
Then we had Deepest Blue, obviously nothing in comparison to Darren but quite good and singer bloke looked quite good. They only sang Deepest Blue and Give It Away which was a shame as I much prefer Is It A Sin and the great forthcoming single Shooting Star, neither of which made an appearance.
Bellefire came next and were generally just boring. They sang Say Something Anyway and new single Spin The Wheel which wasn’t too bad, and confirmed their position as the Corrs without instuments, Jim or fans.
Then I suddenly found myself surrounded by excited mums and even a few grannies as Lionel Richie (who arrived and left by helicopter!) took to the stage. The over 16s were singing and grooving along to Dancing On The Ceiling and All Night Long (although his new single was mostly ignored as it was terribly dull) while I even spotted one young girl engrossed in Harry Potter on a sun lounger whilst her brother was fast asleep!
Up next were VS who sang Call U Sexy then announced that we would definitely know their next song. Love You Like Mad began to a chorus of “What is it?” After explaining what it was to everyone else I accidentally let slip my scary love of Marvin VS. How embarrassing.
As the rain began to pour down our umbrella was almost knocked across the park by a stampede of young girls in flourescent rain macs screeching, “Did they say Sam and Mark?” The cheery duo had indeed turned up to chat at us for a few minutes then launched into With A Little Help From My Friends. Surely The Sun Has Come Your Way would have been more useful at this point?
S&M were followed by the lovely Shaznay who sang Never Felt Like This Before and a new track, Dance, which was rather good and groovy. She sounded great and didn’t look nervous like she did when she first began promo for the single. Perhaps the good chart position has given her more confidence.
Mark Owen was next, reminding us all of his utter loveliness and getting everyone singing along to Four Minute Warning despite the rain that was still coming down. He even tipped water over his head so he could join us in our wetness. Mark also treated us to a rendition of his new song about boogieing (can’t remember exact title) which was fun with lots of “oh oh oh oh oh”s.
Then was Natasha Bedingfield who looked lovely and not at all wet (bitch) and sang her annoying single Single and the much better jaunty new one These Words.
She was followed by surprise guests The 411 who must have replaced Mania and were a bit boring actually, singing new “from that advert with Not Sarah Jessica Parker” single Dumb and the hit On My Knees. The fact that I know not one of their names (and I should by now with me being a pop addict and all) and wouldn’t recognise them in the street even if they were all together, says a lot I think. And one of them has turend into Jordan!
Ronan Keating was next and was not bad despite sound problems on stage – he couldn’t hear himself and the backing vocals could not be heard by us. He sang Turn It On from the album, Last Thing On My Mind (But no sign of LeAnn Rimes…or Steps), Lovin’ Each Day and Life Is A Rollercoaster. I realised I have seen him live 6 times or perhaps more. Eeek!
After him was Gabrielle who did 4 songs and sounded fab. She has to join Mark Owen in the nicest people in pop club. She sang When a Woman, new single Ten Years’ Time, Out Of Reach and Dreams, which even got the pikey boys near me singing along and excaliming their undying love for it.
Lemar completed my collection of the FA1 top 3 to see live and was really great. I know some people don’t like his singing but he I love him and his voice and songs very much. Lots of people were shocked to hear his version of I Believe In A Thing Called Love but it went down well and is in fact the song that has been stuck in my head ever since. He also sang 50:50 and Dance (With U).
Finally Nelly Furtado was the closing act and a brilliant one at that. She sounded great and looked cheery and glowing in pink. She sang I’m Like A Bird which was the biggest sing-along of the day, Forca which is such a perfect song for singing live with a big audience, Try, Turn Off The Light and Powerless (Say What You Want). A great end to a great day!