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READER’S REVIEW: A tangible buzz at the Norfolk Spectacular

PUBLISHED: 14:56 04 September 2011 | UPDATED: 17:17 04 September 2011

Norfolk Spectacular 2011 at the Norfolk Showground in Costessey. John Fisher on the arena stage.

Norfolk Spectacular 2011 at the Norfolk Showground in Costessey. John Fisher on the arena stage.

Angela Sharpe

The weekend has finally landed and our first chance to sample Norfolk’s festival offerings has arrived.

As we made our way towards the Norfolk Showground yesterday and successfully negotiated the queue we entered into the main stage area and were greeted by a wonderful vibe.

The music was well underway and there was a tangible buzz about the place as campers arrived, people basked in the sun and festival goers, young and old, soaked in the atmosphere.

Walking about the festival showed a good level of thought had been put into the stores, bars and food outlets that had been selected. Facilities-wise, all the boxes were ticked. There was a good security presence which was proportionate to the size of the crowd. Most importantly, it was a welcomed break from the otherwise unavoidable festival norm to note a distinct lack of toilets; in their place were clean, well maintained facilities. Win.

We discovered that the arena area was the Norfolk Showground’s Exhibition Hall; a vast space with huge ceilings but surprisingly good sound and incredible acoustics.

The Cads took to the stage soon after we arrived there and we were instantly impressed. Their Math Rock sound, utilising complicated riffs and vocals, went down really well. Comparatively speaking, These Ghosts didn’t manage to pull a huge crowd and this, quite frankly, was not appreciated by the band.

At most points during the performance, the drummer and bass player appeared as though they had watched back to back episodes of Eastenders-most-depressing-bits for days on end.

The general mood epitomised most succinctly by the bass player’s hanging head at the end of the gig followed by the band’s literal stomp off stage without even the slightest hint of a goodbye.

If there was a criticism to be made of the festival it would be the stark contrast and incongruence that existed between the main stage and the arena stage.

Whereas the main stage was blessed with a great vibe, central location and more publicity than you could shake a stick at, the arena stage appeared a mere after-thought stuck on at the last minute out of necessity.

Nonetheless, next for us were the Kabeedies who pulled off an incredible performance. The band affectionately alluded to the musical gap between the two stages by affectionately teasing acts on the main stage.

The Kabeedies were quite literally wonderful. They were fun, danced around relentlessly and were appreciative for the impressive crowd. This was mirrored in the crowd whose spirits went from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds.

The Kabeedies left the crowd on an absolute high that, for us, was maintained until the festival closed with an incredible performance from Chase and Status who predictably were absolutely sensational.

On balance, a great day was had by all.


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