As I type this out I am laying on my bed with a fan blowing on me to my right and a window to my left, a window which is as open as it possibly can be, enjoying a gentle breeze blustering around my room. I am also staring at a purple wristband still intact following a weekend that I couldn’t stop thinking about on the triumphant Megabus back to Reading.
I use the word triumphant to describe what was a great weekend for us at Severn Sport, both from a technical standpoint but from a marketing one also. It is a word that I think will be passed around not only from us but from Sportbeat’s organisers and everyone who came over the two days. It was hard to really have any form of expectation going into the early Saturday morning set up, after all this was the inaugural year for the festival.
This led to an air of mystery around the majority of the festival but by the afternoon of the Saturday (and after we had moved to find a power supply) it all just seemed to fall in to place due to everyone letting go and starting to feel comfortable for how the festival was shaping up for the rest of day one. It helps when you have the previously mentioned lucrative purple wristband which practically told everyone “Yeah, I’m going to meet the band. Have fun out here in the sun.” The stewards didn’t even bat an eyelid as they knew what was up. “Purple wristband? Come on in.” This enabled us to gather some pretty sweet content which we broadcast (and you can listen again to soon) in the form of interviews with punters, retailers and bands (most reviewed below).
One factor that probably effected proceedings, especially my performance was the heat. Being out in the sun at 3pm on what was probably the hottest day of the year with minimal sun tan lotion on took its toll on me pretty quickly. It pretty much rendered Saturday as nothing but a blur except the latter bands once it had cooled down. Between my roaming around the campsite and the beginning of Young Kato all I can remember is being approached by The Voice’s own Smith and Jones, whom Penno and I interviewed. Everything else is nothing but a distant blur. However, I still clearly remember Matt taking a pasting at the hands of Zak on the Swingball set. 3-0.
On the Sunday there was a different feeling around the site, a feeling that The Feeling were going to be closing out the show in their first live gig in the UK for ages. Maybe I said feeling too much. That’s just my feeling. Anyway, I had consumed not one but two cans of Relentless (£1 a can in Tesco. Bargain) so I was much more hyped up for the day. Add that to the fact that Welcome to Marathon and Andy Oliveri were playing and in all honesty it felt colder due to the near enough constant breeze whirling around. So we knew it would be a good day.
Without blowing my own trumpet, I brought my A game on my roam yesterday, I had to make up for my sub standard input for half of the broadcast on day one so knowing most of the teenage girls patiently braving the sun to see The Vamps, I went into Radio 1 style mode and went to interact with them. When this clip is available on the Severn Sport site give it a listen and you will know what I mean, but I did two controversial things to gain input from them. I thought, if a 6 foot + giant came over to me and shoved a microphone in my face I wouldn’t know what to say or do. So I spoke to the first fans who volunteered to talk and asked “Which member of the Vamps is hotter?” A question in this day and age with all the “fandoms” around could get you some flack. But this made for great content when I yelled to the other fans that “This girl here says Brad is the hottest member of the Vamps. Who disagrees?” And oh boy were there some disagreements on that. However during that piece of roaming one girl told me that in order to see the Vamps at 5pm she was up at 4am and travelled from Birmingham. Incredible commitment to a band she adores. Bravo to her.
Overall, the festival was a success and a big one at that. Everyone from the children who came to play sports in the sun to the people who only came to watch The Twang and The Enemy on the Saturday night, The family feel to the event enabled those who came to have a great time and allowed them to consume local product both in the form of food and drink as well as musically. Penno and I spoke about on air on the Sunday that there is only one problem with Sportbeat festival and that is how do you top it band wise next year? The Feeling and The Enemy both showed why they were headlining and interestingly, showed it in different ways. The best weekend I have had in a while, maybe even ever just due to the purple wristband.
Pick of the Music – THIS REVIEW IS THE VIEWS OF RYAN BUTLER (@abaconButtee)
Best Set – The Enemy
The setlist was perfection and the way they played hit after hit was amazing. There was evidence that they had thought about which songs complimented each other and whether certain songs should follow on from each other. For example the transition of Saturday straight into Be Somebody was simply incredible. One of, maybe even the best band I have seen live.
Best Interaction – The Feeling
For a band that hadn’t headlined a festival for 5 years, The Feeling capped the weekend off nicely with a set that was energetic when it needed to be and complimented itself with the slower numbers thrown in with some of the unknown, yet to be released singles. The way in which they got the crowd up and dancing from front to back was the perfect curtain closer for the festival.
Best Local act (Saturday) – Canary Swing
This was the second time I had heard Canary Swing live. The first time they got my attention and now they have my support. Very nice guys who’s toe-tapping songs and interaction with the crowd get better as they grow as a band. Having bought their E.P. after hearing them at the Tall Ships festival a few weeks ago it was refreshing to hear more of them. After opening the festival on the Saturday they were still seen backstage having fun on the Sunday. They did themselves proud this weekend.
Best Local act (Sunday) – Welcome To Marathon
Four guys I know from my time at University. I have now seen them four times, each time I am left wanting more. From the dynamic front man in Pete to the multi tasking Max on drums and trumpet – AT THE SAME TIME!- I seriously would describe the band as “the real deal.” I interviewed Pete and Phil from the band after the set and they seemed care free, life loving and that is how their set came across to an audience who wouldn’t have heard them before. But by interacting with the Vamps fans flooding the field by talking about the band Pete enabled to advertise themselves in a positive like. One girl claimed Pete looks like Leonardo Di Caprio. I didn’t see it then and I don’t see it now.
Surprise of the Weekend – The Vamps
Before the gates had opened. Before the stage had even been built, there was a buzz – mainly on Twitter- for a band called the Vamps. Admittedly a band I hadn’t heard of (word of advice, don’t say that to Vamps fans. I did and was given evil looks and even now I swear I heard someone ask what was wrong with me) however once I had spoken to their fans I ran into James and Brad backstage. They were polite enough to give me two minutes of their time after playing football in the boiling heat and I could visibly see their need for water. But having learned they are only 17 has taken them up in my estimation. The interview like the others can be found on here over the next week and potentially on Radio Winchcombe on Friday night. Two humble guys who were clearly loving life and living the dream and they even told me of their pre- show ritual of chin stroking. As soon as I heard that I threw out every question I had thought of and poked further. It seems they rub each others chins before they go on. Something that Brad described as “A good old chin rub.” Something that for me, isn’t that weird. On stage they performed well for guys their age, impressive even. I don’t think for one minute they are going to be everyone’s cup of tea but for me they are somewhere between McFly and One Direction on the boyband scale.
A word of note. After their performance the guys hopped down to see the fans, something I feel I instigated after relaying questions from fans to the guys. You’re welcome Vamps fans.
Band to watch – Young Kato
A special mention to Young Kato. These guys played the difficult slot of about 6pm on the Saturday, everyone getting tired after a hot day in a field but they raised the tempo and temperature in a positive and refreshing manner. With catchy songs and a charm and likeability factor these guys are making waves in the music scene after being used on Made in Chelsea (I don’t watch it, this was information I was told by Matt as they were playing). They look like a good band in the making and will get bigger with each passing year. Good luck to them.
Sporting Moment of the Weekend – The Tennis
No, not Andy Murray’s record breaking and historical Wimbledon win but the first ever Severn Sport, Sportbeat Tennis Championships. Taking place on the Severn Sport centre court on the Sunday it was the battle of the Gloucester boys. Matt vs Zak. Different in approach, similar in desire to win. This thrilling four set match (two of which were commentated on live on Severn FM by yours truly) saw Yatesey humbled again, this time 3-1. It was obvious early on that Zak was the more agile and athletic out of the two, however Matt’s unorthodox gameplay made the match closer than the scoreline suggests and it was his poor backhand for set point in the third that blew it really. The turning point, from then on it was all Zak. A worthy champion.
And that is What the Butler saw this week, in a field, in the searing heat in Gloucester.
I love you Sportbeat.
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