With England knocked out of the World-Cup and spirits waning, Citadel festival was the perfect distraction and mood lifter. Although it was only a day-long fest, there was a spectacular array of music, talks and activities taking place. From the Corona Sunsets stage to Sunday Papers live to the Science Camp, there was truly something for everybody.
Each performing artist brought something new to the stage, this created an atmosphere with a variation of sound, leading toward the long anticipated headline act, Tame Impala. The stellar live music lineup and clashes throughout the day was a cause for some difficult decision making. An initial highlight of the day was Goat Girl’s energetic, punky, heavy riff filled performance, showing that the band are set for success in 2018.
Over on the Communion stage The Barr Brothers provided an eclectic performance of rhythmic North African sounds, mixed with classic rock. When you come across a band/artist you haven’t listened to before it ignites a special feeling, The Barr Brothers left me with some new tunes for my playlist. Meanwhile, The Horrors graced the mainstage taking us back to the 2000s indie-rock scene, with bangers such as ‘So Now You Know’.
In between bands the Smirnoff House boasted a batch of notable selectors, ranging from straight disco DJs to fusion jazz to techno. Special mention goes to the Earthboogie set, with a myriad of styles from Afro-disco to classic Chicago house with a ripple of synthy acid sounds. In keeping with Tame Impala’s mind-bending music.
Fat White Family cooked up a storm on the mainstage, with a tireless performance filled with experimental sounds and post-punk fury. Renowned for their outlandish live performances, the boys did not disappoint and pushed the crowd into an increasingly energetic mood.
A big highlight of the day was Old Dirty Brasstards on the Corona Sunset stage. A 10 piece brass band covering a blend of classic and recent pop music. The band provided the perfect dancing tunes for a sunday afternoon, with incredible authentic sound and covers such as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ that had everybody grooving.
As time drew closers to Tame Impala’s set, crowds swarmed towards the mainstage to take their place for the long awaited headline act. Kevin and the gang eased us in and began their set with ‘Nangs’, followed by the mind blowing opening track from Currents, ‘Let It Happen’. There was an ecstatic energy in the crowd and hands raised high toward the trippy visuals ahead. What followed was a trip down memory lane to the bands first official single release ‘Sundown Syndrome’. The audience swayed as the sun set, it was the perfect weather to enjoy a psychedelic Australian band. During the set frontman Kevin stopped to make a special shoutout to French drummer Julien, for France's success in the World Cup. This was cruely met with ‘Its Coming Home’ chants from disgruntled English footie fans, but they were soon calmed by the music that followed. Despite not having made an album since 2015, the fans loyalty to the band is clear and the anthems from Currents still stand strong 3 years later. Tame Impala made sure not to fill the set with the entirety of Currents and moved between Lonerism and Innerspeaker, definite highlights include ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ and ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind’. The boys took an encore and finished the set with ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ followed by ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ and as the last note droned on, the crowd stood in awe.
Citadel was a well organised, fun-filled day. I was impressed by the swift entry and the lack of queues at the bars. The only fault I can think to mention is that the Corona Sunset stage was running late and as a result Kamaal Williams set began at the same time as Tame Impala’s, which as a fan was disappointing as I had to rush to see the headline act and miss another great act. However, all in all the weather was perfect and each artist performed with a grateful amount of energy. I look forward to the release of next year’s lineup and for Citadel to turn Sunday into funday once again.
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