So for another year we attend Newquay’s finest festival, Relentless Boardmasters; a festival that always boasts an impressive line up of talent across a wide range of genres. This year saw headlining performances from amazing solo artists Ed Sheeran and Dizzee Rascal who have both flown the flag high for British music throughout their colourful careers.
With the line up being so impressive this year we are slightly disheartened with having to give a few negative thoughts on the weekend. We arrived Friday afternoon and headed over to the Vans tent to watch A Wolf At Your Door Records’ band and one of Kent’s finest rock outfits, Hildamay. Instead of seeing the beginning of their set we only saw the last 10 minutes due to them starting 15 minutes early because of a previous act pulling out. This is understandable but we were not made aware of this at all, and this was a re-occurring offence for the whole weekend.
Acts such as Maverick Sabre went on 10 minutes early which involved photographers darting to the stage to not miss their ‘three song rule’ which sometimes was just a two song rule. Photographing the headline acts was also a bit of a nightmare as you were not allowed in the photo pit because of capacity and health and safety. Again obviously this is understandable but it took realising how bust they were for Ed Sheeran to actually get it sorted. Hopefully this is something that can be sorted out for next year.
Apart from our few moans, we loved the weekend: the music was awesome! Standout performances for us on the Friday came from firstly headlining delight, Ed Sheeran; he blew us all away. There were fans on shoulders, singing along to the point where you could hardly hear Ed over his audience. They sang his whole set at the top of their lungs; such a breathtaking moment to experience. Ed’s song writing really goes so deep. Favourite tracks of the evening for us were ‘Lego House’ and ‘The A Team’. This guys has balls of talent and his humbling smile amongst his pitch perfect vocals tonight did not go unnoticed – perfection!
Other standout performances came from the Vans stage! First up were Feed The Rhino who as expected went completely mental. This band always know how to get their fans moving and cause such destruction whilst they perform – it it hands down incredible to witness. The tracks that stood out the most for us were from their latest offering ‘The Burning Sons’, with title track and ‘Left For Ruins’ getting the biggest reaction from their onlookers. Watch this band live – seriously, you bloody need to!
Final mention of the day goes to While She Sleeps – all that needs to be said for these guys is wow. Lawrence Taylor is one of the best frontmen out there right now: the emotion he puts into his performance every time you see him live is unimaginable. We will forever live in wonder at how this guy gets his energy!
After a hefty party on the Friday night we were overly appreciative of the late afternoon start to the line up on the Saturday. The first addition for us today was solo artist inspiration Josh Kumra. A guy who can get hundreds of people on their feet dancing and singing at 4pm at a festival deserves more than a pat on the back. Watching him perform number 1 hit single ‘Don’t Go’, which he wrote with UK rap sensation Wretch 32, was fascinating! Everyone on their feet watching sang the words back to him perfectly – perfect!
Our second main stage favourite was English/Irish singer songwriter Maverick Sabre. The way the guy has with the crowd today is most definitely a highlight of the whole weekend for us. As you watched everyone on their feet waving their hands in the air to his hit single ‘I Need’ it was obvious this guy gave the festival something special for the second year running.
Vans stage highlight of the day goes to Reading five piece Exit Ten who undoubtedly shocked so many people watching them so early in the evening. Leading vocals from Ryan Redman matched with top notch guitars and drums from the band behind him made a formula of goodness for us all. Old track fave ‘Technically Alive’ received the biggest welcome in their set today with the front row bellowing the lyrics back at the band, which obviously caused a fit of smiles from them and all of us watching. It is about time this band got their big break as for years they have wowed audiences up and down the country!
Final mentions of the whole festival go to firstly the mighty Don Broco! With an hour long set today on the Relentless Stage we were more than excited to witness their new material for a full 60 minutes! Obviously their well known greats such as ‘Thug Workout’, ‘Dreamboy’ and ‘Beautiful Morning’ were in their set today but we cannot express to you how well their new material went down. ‘Fancy Dress’ is arguably one of the best songs the band has ever written with single releases ‘Priorities’ and ‘Actors’ a close second.
Then it was time for arguably one of the UK’s finest bands right now Young Guns. To perform with so much perfection so late in the evening was amazing! The band’s entire set list was loved and it became beyond impossible to pick a favourite amongst the bunch!
Overall this weekend was one of the best regardless of our moans! Well done Boardmasters, until next year! HTF x
Reviewer: Steph Knight