LIVe : Jack Rocks This Feeling Stage – Isle of Wight Festival 09.06.16-12.06.16

4 days, 40 bands, all new (ish) and with a load of buzz around them. No doubt about it, if you wanted to checkout the next big thing at IOW, this tent was THE place to be. Apologies to anyone missed out, the quality was that good it’s impossible to name check everyone. But make no mistake, every single band was class and drew big crowds, so hat’s off. OK…here we go…

Thursday:

An amazing introduction to the weekend and a sign of things to come; Local lads Costellos booted things off with a sound not too dissimilar to a young Arctic Monkeys, Broken Witt Rebels performed an incredible set (these boys will be huge. Fact), Carvella lost and found half their equipment before playing a storming set of high class indie rock as did fellow Leeds lads The Barmines, whilst Bright Young People finished day 1 with a heavy dose of punk rock n roll watched by all the bands as the camaraderie began to grow backstage. The preliminary day promised lots for what was to come…

Friday:

Friday played host to another set of great performances…YAK played an intense headline set worthy of any stage at any festival (these will surely graduate onto main stages, and high up, next year). The Shimmer Band gave an unbelievable set, big things and sure to come from them (sound like a glorious combo of the Beta Band, The Verve and the Stone Roses. Yeah, that good).  The Vryll Society filled the tent with their early Verve soundscapes watched by mates Blossoms who’d just finished wowing 10,000 people over on the big top (geezers). Hidden Charms made sure YAK had a very hard act to follow and young guns White Room showed just why there’s so much hype around the band and why Paul Weller has named them his favourite band. The bands done, it’s party time. The DJ’s spinning indie anthems, bands mixing like long lost friends out front with punters and new best mates backstage alike. This tent is special, sprinkled with magic and spirit.

Saturday: 

As the bands from earlier in the weekend began to stick around the atmosphere backstage was one of support and friendships formed (or re-inforced, many of the bands had played with each other up and down the country for This Feeling), a This Feeling family was forming and everyone turned out in force to support fellow bands. The tent filled quickly for Nottingham’s Same Streets who kicked things off in style. They’re managed by the same management as Jake Bugg and it’s easy to see why; great songs and my god, what a voice. Jackals Rose brought snotty punk rock to the tent. Lairy as but good as. Liberty Ship drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend at the tent, clearly word’s out about their infectious La’s sound. Paves had the girls and assorted press in the crowd drooling with a set that will surely progress to the biggest stages next year. Judas, April, Cupids and FRONTEERS were superb, whilst Secret Company drew an impressive crowd despite clashing with the football AND Richard Ashcroft. Headliners Little Comets finished the day in style drawing a HUGE crowd. Bands done, party time again…

Sunday:

Faces backstage became more haggard as the lack of sleep (Hidden Charms were found asleep on the backstage sofas, they loved the tent that much!) and showers started to take effect but sets from singer / songwriters Willow Robinson, Jake Evans and Billy Lockett (sporting the best hair cut of the weekend), who all brought a different sound to the tent which was perfect for a sunny Sunday afternoon, and Cabbage, who sensed things needed stepping up a bit and promptly did so, they literally shook people back to life with a blistering set (these boys are going paces, fast). From Cabbage on, it was non stop bang, bang, bang till headliners Broken Hands (who ensured the weekend finished on a glorious high) closed the stage. First Sisteray, then The Wholls who are built for huge stages, The Amazons, then Baby Strange, one by one they showed how many great new bands are out there. This weekend, this stage, it proved that. What a weekend, one of the best. Most of the punters and bands would agree, most I speak to saying it’s one of the best weekends of their lives and/ or the best festival experience they’ve ever had. This stage was so good, it could have plotted up in a field of it’s own and been it’s own festival. Now there’s an idea…

Words : Nina Almond

Photo : Katie Willoughby