V Festival attracts the crowds

ONE of British music's biggest festivals went off with a bang as a plethora of top talent thrilled thousands of gig-goers.

ONE of British music's biggest festivals went off with a bang as a plethora of top talent thrilled thousands of gig-goers.

V Festival may be only 12 years old but it is already firmly established on the summer live music circuit.

And with A-List acts including Amy Winehouse, Muse, Duffy, and the Kooks, it is hardly surprising that V is so well-respected.

Even 90s icon The Verve rolled back the years, cast aside old differences and produced a breath-taking set which fans cherished.

Weather forecasts which predicted a wash-out were wide of the mark, with sun sneaking through the clouds at regular intervals.

This year's V was the biggest yet. With more than 155,000 people flocking to Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

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A similar number were in Staffordshire, V's second venue.

Miles Donovan, 27, from Tattingstone was one of those enjoying the music.

He said: “This has been my first festival and it has been superb. It really is a pleasure to enjoy such an array of magical talent,”

Jon Revell, 26, from Brantham, said: “The Pigeon Detectives were excellent and the frontman worked the crowd brilliantly.”

Tom Brown, 23, from Holbrook, enjoyed Jaime T. “His band were very good and the crowd lapped it up.”

Luke Hines, 27, and also from Holbrook, picked Alanis Morissette as his festival highlight and he said: “After the first few notes of her first song, the crowd quickly remembered why Alanis is such a star.

“Her powerful lyrics took me back to the first time I heard her album. She was an absolute delight.”

James Fairweather, 22, of Grantham Crescent in Ipswich chose The Feeling as his favourite act.

He said: “It has been a super festival. Now I cannot wait for V 2009.”

THIS year's V had all the crucial elements of a classic festival - fun, rain, mud, and top top music.

The line-up is always sparkling and this year certainly did not disappoint.

The list of performers was a real nod to the past while Amy Winehouse, The Kooks and Kings of Leon satisfied lovers of new music, the emphasis was placed firmly on the 90s.

First came Mancunian Indie Icon Ian Brown who delighted a packed JJB Arena.

Stereophonics were up next, performing new material but earning greater acclaim with a string of 90s hits.

The Charlatans, Alanis Morissette, The Pogues, Travis, The Verve, and The Prodigy completed the list of vintage acts.

It was perhaps The Verve. Fronted once again by vocal superstar Richard Ashcroft, who stole the show.

As Bitter Sweet symphony echoed out across Hylands Park, another chapter in V's glittering history was written.

The beauty of the festival is the opportunity to sample some of the lesser-known acts in more intimate surroundings.

Noah and the Whale, the Cortinas, and Gabriella Cilmi all took to V like ducks to water.

There are those who knock V for being too commercial, but this year's festival proved it really does have soul.

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