Evolution 2010 - DAY ONE

Michael Wardley | Thursday, 03 June 2010

Evolution 2010 - DAY ONE

Problem is, Evolution does not require any of the above, there is no camping, it's all on concrete and no drink is allowed. But they don't fail in the most important necessity: superb live music.

It may only be a small festival with three stages, but there is something for everyone. At Spillers Wharf, or the main stage, are the more well-known acts. Ten minutes down the Quayside and you come to the Bellast Hills stage, also known as the Folk stage, and the selection is topped off nicely with a leisurely stroll over the stunning Millenium Eye bridge where you'll find the Baltic Square stage.

Since its launch in 2005, Evolution has always been a fan of showcasing local artists; today it proved no different, with the performances of up-and-coming band Frankie and the Heartstrings and more successful fellow Sunderland based indie band, The Futureheads.

The sun was just beginning to reappear after a dismal performance from the weather, just as Jaff, Ross, Barry and Dave rushed onto the stage. Barry had clearly strapped a pair on that afternoon as he shouted out the fact that they were from the red and white half of the region, though surprisingly this didn't get as many boos as you would expect.

A strong 40 minute set featured the band's best known songs, including 'Decent Days And Nights', 'Heartbeat', 'The Twist', and - of course - crowd favourite (and cover) 'Hounds of Love', in which Jaff and Ross played the Futureheads Singing Game which involved both halves of the crowd joining in on the "oh-oh's".

Next up, with the sun beaming down on the 15,000+ crowd, was self proclaimed rap vocalist Tinchy Stryder. Despite having a microphone that was blantantly too big for the little man's hands, Tinchy delivered a fantastic set, whilst girls were fainting and being carried out by stewards; for a moment it was more like a Take That gig from 1994. Stryder ended with with his 'Number One' hit.

Meanwhile, over at the Baltic Square, the dance day was really taking shape with Rusko coming to the end of his set, and Benga waiting in the wings to support Fake Blood, who were, quite rightly, headlining this stage on day one.

Back to Spillers Wharf, with the sun starting to set, take to the stage Mr Calvin Harris, who was better dressed for a christening with his black shirt and trousers and his tie neatly knotted. After waiting a good few minutes more than his band and with chants of "Calvin! Calvin!" coming from the drunken teenage crowd, out he came to perform songs off his two studio albums. God bless loud music and the blatant use of auto-tune because the man can't sing for toffee. Though in fairness to him, the Scotsman is a self confessed DJ as opposed to a singer.

Calvin's 45 minute set included 'Ready For The Weekend', 'Born in the 80s', and chart topper 'The Girls'. Calvin was the first artist to do an encore and ended with fan favourite 'I'm Not Alone'.

A superb debut for day one of the Evolution Festival.