T4 On The Beach doesn’t really warrant the word “festival” but it’s a notoriously good day out nonetheless. A series of pop acts take to a stage erected for a day on a Somerset beach, perform two to four songs with live vocals over a pre-recorded backing track, and then trot on to bigger and better things.
It’s a TV show above all else – the whole day is centred around the filming for broadcast, with a guy cueing the audience applause and apologising while a presenter films an intro for the fifth time. It’s all good fun though, despite the fact that some acts really aren’t suited to such an atmosphere. For people like Florence + The Machine especially, it was just too big a stage and too far off the target audience. Some were surprising, especially Will Young who, in the throng of spectacular rain, actually went down surprisingly well. Metro Station’s Shake It was performed just as the rain began to pour down in spectacularly aggressive fashion, and even though it gave the crowd a “FUCK IT, RAVE!” type of lift, it was still performed appaulingly, and the performance of their follow-up single, the #89 “hit” Seventeen Forever, fell ridiculously flat.
Acts who were meant to be amazing but ended up being overwhelmingly average were Daniel Merriweather, who shouted his high notes as a cunning alternative to singing them; Basement Jaxx, who delivered a set that was overall quite messy; Shontelle, who left most of the hard work to her backing singers; and The Saturdays, whose vocals were somewhat average and their performances lacking in energy and excitement. Sophie Ellis-Bextor… well, she had a go.
Kudos to Alesha Dixon for turning in solid vocal performances for her three-track set of singles and also for getting the crowd going more than any other artist, and well done also to The Noisettes frontwoman Shingai for delievering equally flawless performances of the groups’ two singles. Amelle took a few notes to warm up for her Tinchy Styder duet but was absoloutley fine once she got going. Dizzee Rascal undoubtedly stole the show when he closed with four fantastic performances that got the crowd going unlike any act before him. There’s surely a number one spot reserved for ‘Holiday’ when it’s released next month.
Special mention though for Peter Andre, who’s ABSOLOUTLEY AWFUL performance of his CATASTROPHICALLY SHIT new single was injected with a bit of hilarity when he fell off the stage.
Added a small amount of excitement to his performance at least.