After tightening the hood on my anorak whilst the rain lashed down on central London and drying off in the queue waiting to get into the barracked part of Hyde Park, the O2 Wireless experience was ready to rumble.
The first band I saw were the Norwegian electro-dudes Datarock, who jumped out on stage in matching red tracksuits. Now, I wasn’t familiar with them and so I was excited to hear what they had to offer, but was soon let down when their singer showed a complete lack of tone and couldn’t hold a note for very long. The music itself wasn’t awful, but suffice to say they didn’t make a new fan of me.
So I then trotted over to the XFM tent to see Calvin Harris. Waiting for him to come on, we were treated to the MSTRKRFT remix of Justice’s D.A.N.C.E. which immediately put me in a good mood and when Mr Harris bounded on stage, hands clapping and body jumping, my mood got lifted even higher. Running through tracks from his recently released album I Created Disco, Calvin had the packed tent in the palm of his hand and when the singles, Acceptable In The 80s and The Girls were played, the eruption of cheers was deafening. Belting.
Back to the main stage and the less said about Plan B the better. The biggest cheers of his set came when he played Roots Manuva’s Witness and Blur’s Song 2 but his swearing and shock rap lyrics really did nothing for me. Thankfully, he was followed by Brazilian funsters CSS and with Lovefoxxx breaking out 2 intensely colourful all-in-one jumpsuits and the band played tracks like Alcohol and Alala, the dancing was back and generous applause came their way.
Once again I made my way to the XFM tent and again was hearing some great tunes from the DJs, especially the Radioclit remix of Bonde’s Gasolina. Klaxons stormed the stage as the last few people that were allowed into the tent piled their way forward and immediately went crazy to Atlantis To Interzone. The crowd really came alive for the entire set with the highlights being Golden Skans, Totem On The Timeline and Magick.
To finish the night off was a group that were riding high on my “must see live before I die” list and Daft Punk certainly didn’t disappoint. Standing on a raised platform in the centre of the stage, the robot-personas began their set with Robot Rock and immediately every single person in Hyde Park was screaming and dancing. The light show on stage was incredible and their mixing of Around The World and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger was a real grin-inducing part of the set. As the two DJs got more into it, heads bopping, arms waving, the tracks came thick and fast from 1 More Time to Technologic.
As they came back for a short encore, the entire stage black and the only illumination coming from their now red helmets, the Frenchmen showed just why they are regarded as pioneers and giants in their field. They were absolutely incredible.
Photo by Kim Norbury