Beach Break Live!

Right well, now that I am home, have showered, eaten and rested a little after an epic weekend I suppose that its only fair to share with you all the wonders of my little festival weekend. To start with, Beach Break Live is a three day student festival based in Pembrey Country park, South Wales right on the shores of an 8-mile long beach. It is heavily themed around the extreme sports crowd with such events as boarding contests (Snow, Skate, Wake. The Lot) and also Animals bike tour doing some shows etc. As you may expect with being in Wales, the weather was abs0lutely ghastly from Thursday right through until Saturday afternoon when the rain finally disappeared and was replaced by blistering sunlight through until the festivals end.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon, set up camp with some friends of my mates who were all part of their unis snow sports team so needless to say we then headed over to the dry slope to watch the inter-university Ski/Snowboard contest. It was fun to watch, even if a little painful when watching a few of the bigger bails onto the seemingly unforgiving surface. I cant really remember much of what else happened that night, mostly because it seems like forever ago.

After a fairly disturbed nights sleep thanks to the endless downpours of immense force we rolled into Friday and yet more naff weather but the show must go on as they say. I wasn’t really looking to see many acts that were performing on the Friday but overheard some Maverick Sabre and wasn’t too impressed. We then headed down to the beach to see if it really was as big as it was claimed to be and yes, it was massive. The sea was a little bit nippy and the wind was killer but yes, it was a beach trip. We decided to head back into the festival and chill before the evenings sets. Friday evening had me watching through the sets of Professor Green and then Tinie Tempah. Several surprises here. 1 – I actually chose to go and see these acts. 2 – Professor Green was a lot better than I had expected and I did reasonably enjoy the set as a whole despite it not really being my style of music. 3 – Tinie Tempah was somewhat of a let down, I personally felt anyway. When he played his own material he seemed ok at best but a fair amount of his set seemed to be just him rapping/MCing over other songs which really didn’t impress me at all. During these sets I managed to lose everyone that I was there with and after an hour or so of trying to find them decided to head to bed, skipping Zane Lowe and only really catching a small part of London Elektricty’s set.

Yet another night of too much rainfall took us paddling on into Saturday. The day that I was there for thanks to that one act and reason that had sold the entire festival to me in the first place, but we’ll come to that in time. The weather was still a little grim so we decided not to rush around too much. We went for a casual stroll again and headed down to the beach with all the guys we were camping with and had a fairly chilled out day again not expressly paying attention to those smaller daytime acts and instead saving for the big night. The rain finally decided to jog on and the big night was started off with Beardyman, the most enjoyable and entertaining act to have played the stages all weekend. For those of you that don’t know, he is a beatboxer and all his music is made with the sounds he can make. Whilst it is musically amazing, he also doesn’t take himself too seriously so its a good laugh too. If you haven’t already, go check him out! Next up was the New York based indie band, We Are Scientists. I didn’t know a whole heap of their stuff having only heard one of their five albums, so we took a chilled approach and sat at the back to check these guys out. They were also quite cool and really did work the crowd quite well. Typical Indie experience really.

Following on from these was Example. Again an act I do quite like but wouldn’t have gone to see at one of his own gigs if you know what I mean? He put on quite a good show though, really good crowd work with the massive crowd he’d drawn, decent music and a lot of bouncing. Worth the watch if you get the opportunity and it doesn’t set you back too much. Then finally, the headline act of the day and the highlight of my entire weekend, White Lies took to the main stage for their performance. By this point it was clear that the majority of attendees didn’t really feel for this sort of darker rock and had ventured elsewhere, as had all those I went with. This didn’t bother me as I was happy to watch them alone though I was worried that having built them up so much that I would be let down but wow, what a performance. I absolutely love this band and to see them live was something else. Their music was flawless and up to their studio quality. GO SEE THEM LIVE! Once I’d found one of my party again we headed on over to catch the sets of Nero and ShyFX a couple of DJs that I have listened to quite regularly and quite like. The sets were fairly standard, there was much dancing and generally a fun party atmosphere. I did feel though Neros entire set seemed to sound exactly the same whilst ShyFXs had more variation.

This took us through to the final day of entertainment and some welcome sunlight. The weather was absolutely blistering, still a slight chill on the wind but otherwise roasting, so hot in fact not a lot got done and we just chilled out playing with the Frisbees and balls we had been given by some advertising companies. This easy summers day carried on into the afternoon when we decided to check out the daytime display by Animal Bike Tour. (We had watch Martyn Aston do a trials set the night before in the dark) Martyn Aston again took to his trials bike along with Blake Sampson the dirt jumper for what proved to be a very impressive show of biking talent and also proof that sometimes even pros can bail.

We then headed back to camp to chill some more before heading back into the main arena to get kicked off for another night with Newton Faulkner, sort of an indie acoustic act really. I enjoyed this guy, again not really knowing much about him bar a couple of singles made me pay a little more attention and chance are I may well investigate him further. Next on was Katy B who was also quite a good act, though I’m still never really sure if I like her style of music or not as at times it verges too close to dub-step for my taste. Magnetic Man then followed and with them came a lot, a lot of pushing and shoving of the crowd. This I will add is quite a good, reasonably non-violent way to let out some tension and anger by holding back a couple of thousand students. I didn’t really rate the set that much again due to my own personal music tastes. Again as the main stage acts finished the DJs started in the outer tents so we headed on over to an old favourite. DJ Yoda, again, another drum and bass remix merchant who doesn’t take themselves too seriously as you can tell by the many remixes of the A-team and Raiders of the lost ark. If your ever at a festival and he’s about, its another of my recommendations to go see him. After this the final set of the festival was that of Mark Ronson. Now, I don’t really rate this guy as he seems to have made a living from an album of covers and a few mediocre singles, but again its all taste. The DJ set kind of left me with the same impression however so I can’t really say much more.

So, yeah. There you have it a fairly wordy but massively compressed overview of my weekend. If you don’t know any of the acts I’ve mentioned check them out for yourselves and see what you think. All in all it was an amazing weekend and I had a really good time. I’d also like to thank those that we camped with from the Chichester Uni Snow-sports Soc for making us feel welcome and for being so damn cool!