Festival Monkey (Rex)

Bestival, 3pm Saturday

Watching Hurts in a tent in the rain, typing this into a phone.

This thereby gives the impression that I’m at best bored, and deeply rude, when in fact I’m really enjoying it. People are fleeing out into the deluge outside. I'd say Hurts are pretty brilliant live. They're putting on a show, really giving it some and they've dressed up for the occasion. The songs are huge (too huge?), immediate and heartfelt.

 

So it seems a shame that everyone is leaving. A shame that people would rather watch a passable rendition of the kind of thing they like, rather than a brilliant realisation of something new (or, in this case, 25 years old).

 

Of course, there's a problem with Hurts. They are RIDICULOUSLY Eighties. You probably thought La Roux was as Eighties as this decade could get. But she's a mere Eighties-tribute compared to Hurts. She’s an Eighties-tribute with contemporary elements and some vinyl scratching by comparison with Hurts. They dress in silver-grey Heaven 17 suits, hair slicked back like the Pet Shop Boys, the music is lush, electronic and, well, cheesy. But it's perfect, that's the thing. I'm not sure what I think of a presentation that goes into this level of detail. When previous bands have harked back to the past, even when the steal is Oasis-blatant, it has always felt less like overt re-creation than this. It probably doesn’t matter, though. They seem happy to greet a crowd who aren’t just watching them for the shelter. “We would have come in fancy dress,” they say, “but our favourite look in the world is… a businessman”

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    Having Fun In The Sun All Summer. The MSN team report back from the biggest UK music festivals.

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