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AAA Music | 22 February 2024

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Common People 2018 – Live Review + Photos

| On 04, Jun 2018

Will it, Won’t it… on, then off… Rain and thunder is the big question of the day, even Mr Da Bank is keeping an eye on the sky as we open the rusty doors to Common People 2018. People! For the third time in history, ever, the Bestival collective have been busy behind the scenes sewing canvas together for tents, making tasty food, kidnapping bands and cutting the grass with tiny scissors; they are seriously committed to bringing Oxford the very best two-day music and family knees-up. And they only flippin’ did it! Again!

It seems the arena is bigger this year, but maybe its all an illusion as the main stage has been shifted around a bit, or maybe it actually has beefed up?? Anyway there is plenty room to get around and see all the day has to offer.

We check out what’s about, and there’s a decent amount of stuff for your hard-earned dollar. 5 stages, from huge to modest to kinda intimate, regardless of girth we check out a wide selection of bands and acts through the day and with no sign of the dreaded wet stuff, the paying punters are shuffling about too, getting a good eyeful and chillin’ in the sunshine.
We have a beer to celebrate.

Now….. I do have to rant a bit. The first main stage act Hak Baker. Now Mr Baker has a decent size following and to be honest I thought he should definitely commanded a higher slot in the line up. HOWEVER, all was going well, the songs are very true to form and feed back to the darker and lighter side of London life, this x sun x beer = good times…. That is until we get to the last song. Which turns out to be a barrage of ‘C’ words and ‘F’ words, at 12:30 on a lovely Saturday afternoon in central Oxford. This is a family festival guys, why this set was allowed to carry on for some 5 long minutes was not cool Bestival. All I saw and heard were mums and dads going nuts and kids ears being covered. Oh dear. Not a good start………… we hold out breath and carry on regardless.

Shortly afterwards the Cuban Brothers lift our spirts with their bouncy brand of songs and jumping about with a cheeky joke or two along the way, much needed. I find myself on google and double checking the line up – The Jungle Brothers – I think really, the real Jungle Brothers from the 80s. Yep, it totally is, and its properly jumping all around the arena. Unexpected and brilliant, a flashback and a half. I like the way CP shoehorn a couple of sneaky diamonds into the line up. I’m doing the double thumbs up.

Boney M – That happened. I think that there is only 1 Boney member left standing……. Ehhh, anyway, yes only 1. The rest seem less Boney and a more my age, but they know dem tunes and run around a lot and get some of the crowd excited – I say some as no one under 35 had a clue really…… but even at that, the main stage was not for everyone all the time and CP had thought of this way ahead and provided other things to keep us smiling.

These being the biggest inflatable bouncy castle on the whole plant, big ass disco ball, helter skelter, tight rope and things up in the air, plenty space to chill and a check out other bands and acts. You really couldn’t squeeze any more into the hours available.

The day rolls on and we see 90s smooooothhhiiesss, Morcheeba get the hoards to calm down and take a knee with a slew of old favourites and some other stuff too, all ahead of legendary crusty side kicks The Jacksons, yes kids, The Jacksons – the brothers with the infinitely more famous other brother. We wonder (in advance) how this will go down without the main Jackson. The 4 brothers bound onto stage with an unexpected amount of energy whilst dressed in spangly suits and sporting some cool moves man – I recognise some of them moves man……… mmmmm. Anyway, the backdrop reflects the lives and successes of the family and the songs bring home pure 70s disco and I love it, as do several thousand others behind me. Great ending to the evening and unfortunately for me then end to my festival – as I have but 1 day to party (sad face). Big shout to Chloe for putting up with me again…. And I hope to see you soon.

Dave Livingstone