Eastbourne Festival - Winter Gardens, Eastbourne (24/04/2009)

Lindsay Putland | Sunday, 26 April 2009

Eastbourne Festival - Winter Gardens, Eastbourne (24/04/2009) It's not very often that Eastbourne is graced by the presence of any band, let alone bands as talented and hotly tipped as the likes of The Maccabees, Friendly Fires, The Joy Formidable and Data.Select.Party.

Spread over two nights, Eastbourne Festival is possibly the least festival-esque festival in existence (it takes place inside a small theatre).

Nonetheless the venue is packed by the time opening act Data.Select.Party start, who are originally from the Eastbourne area. The locals all seem to know the band and they deliver a great start to the night. The set is energetic and loud complete with catchy hooks and sing-a-long choruses.

Next up, The Joy Formidable. There has been a lot of buzz about this group, so it was slightly disappointing when they actually took to the stage. Everything just seemed a little flat and there were no stand out tracks in their set. Unlike Data.Select.Party's performance, the crowd just didn't seem to be excited by their music.

Friendly Fires have been around for a while now, but they still manage to feel like a new band. Every single they bring out sounds fresh, and they've managed to develop their own unique style. Luckily, they manage to bring this energy to their live sets. As soon as they began with 'Jump In The Pool'. the room began to dance (as did lead singer Ed Macfarlane).

The small venue, euphoric throughout, gasped with excitement at the start of each track. By the time last track 'Ex-Lover' came to pass, the audience had nearly exhausted itself and the boys themselves were almost dragged offstage.

By the time The Maccabees come on stage the buzz from Friendly Fires was dying out and everyone was ready for a bit more dancing. Having been away for a while, the boys were on top form, presenting material from the new album as well as old classics such as 'Toothpaste Kisses'. 'No Kind Words' was instantly recognised and seemed to be an instant favourite among those gathered at the festival. Singer Orlando Weeks continuously thanked the audience for both being there and for enjoying themselves. If anything, the crowd should have thanked him for such an outstanding set.

Rating: 4/5