Sunday at Beach Break Live 2012 provided solace from the rain at last, the sun reared its beautiful/overdue shining face midway through the morning and immediately it was time to hit the beach, for the first time.
The stage situated on the beach was a simple one, playing host to a variety of acoustic acts who all believed that they we going to all do an Ed Sheeran and become immensely popular. Sadly, the talent on show meant that if they were to do a Sheeran, it would take 100x as much luck as the ginger-haired ‘Lego House’ maker had.
The first highlight on the main stage were another TGTF favourite, Dry the River. While the audience may have just been using them as a bridging act before 90% of the crowds crush for Ben Howard, the Dry the River boys still knocked out a fantastic set, with astounding depth, especially from a band only 1 album old. ‘New Ceremony’ is an anthem soaring wildly above Pembrey, and on that track alone, it is easy to see why there is such a buzz about them in 2012. ‘No Rest’ was a joy to behold, and the boys left the stage with their heads held high. They’d won this fight. Onto bigger things, methinks!
One of the acts which everyone had been waiting in earnest for was up next. That “beautiful blonde man”, Ben Howard. Now, while I was told before how he had bullied a member of the crowd back at school for not paying attention, I watched on in amazement as from the first strum of his acoustic guitar he held crowds gaze with seemingly no effort.
Now while his set may have been cut short, meaning that the audience were starved of hit ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and popular fan favourite cover track ‘Call Me Maybe’, in the short set he was allowed, he pulled out all the stops to an audience who obviously held him in an extremely high regard. Track ‘The Wolves’ closed the set and with a casual howl, he left. I can’t say he won over anybody that day though, mainly because everyone around me knew every word and seemingly worshipped him. Screaming girls and all. Hardly Beatlemania, but Benmania seems like it’s taking off.
To help close the weekend, the English indie heavyweights the Maccabees strutted onstage. Now while their songs are brilliant, after the excitement and sense of unpredictability that Ben Howard created in his earlier set, the larger and more established Maccabees struggled to mirror it. Sure, the diehards at the front clung to every word, but by and large the audience were largely unreceptive to the band.
Friendly Fires were the final act of the weekend and with weights of expectations high, they delivered, with a cracking set covering both ‘Pala’ and their self-titled debut. ‘Hawaiian Air’ soared through the muggy Welsh breeze and their stylish, indie beats were the perfect end to a weekend of beer, dancing and fantastic music.