As with so many of our daily line-ups, this one made us swoon just a little bit when it came together. All of the acts playing the stage today provided us with some of the most memorable moments throughout the Olympic Games- so it was just a bit too amazing to have them all down to play on one day at the Paralympics. What a stroke of scheduling genius.
Now if there was ever an antidote to the loss of summer it would definitely look a lot like the ACM Gospel Choir. They seem to have some kind of superpower flowing through the twenty-strong collective voice belting out with all the strength of a hundred Oscar Pistoriuses. When they first took to the stage the skies seemed to be clearing- yeah, so what if it was coincidence? Don't spoil the illusion. What we can definitely say is that as soon as their rendition of Jessie J's 'Pricetag' began to soar throughout the park, more and more spectators travelled from over the hills, following the glorious sound like a guiding light in the gloom. Creative Director Mark De-Lisser was insistant that everyone had a good time, but watching the energy fizzing away on stage almost forces the audience to mirror every movement to the positive rhythm anyway. We were all swaying, clapping and having to hold back from doing a Whoopi Goldberg-style 'ALLELUIA!'by the time we got to 'Joyful, Joyful'. Here's that cover of Miss J's for your enjoyment:
Seeing the fantastic response they got from the Bandstand audience, we thought it was only right to spread the happiness throughout the Park... so we staged Emerging Icons' first ever flash mob. It was a bit of a surprise to a lot of people eating their lunch on the picnic benches near the Stadium when out of nowhere beautiful voices began to ring out, before slowly coming together to perform a brilliant cover of Emeli Sande's 'Heaven'. A forest of cameras, iPads and video phones soon sprung up, with so many people wearing a vast array of flags wanting to capture the amazing surprise. You can see exactly what happened right here:
Next- here's a question for you. How many brilliant bands from the Isle of Wight can you name right now? Well, if you're struggling, we can give you a name to log away. Goodbye Stereo are a fantastic group to keep your eye on and we were more than happy to have them join us at the Olympic Park. It was something of an adventure for the indie pop five-piece, with the bright lights of London consuming them more than anticipated the night before. Nursing a port-fuelled hangover on stage was perhaps as big a challenge any athletics final and they surely deserve a medal for not only delivering two belting sets, but also building a great rapport with their audience. They loved them so much that they didn't even mind when sports mad front man Sam Woodford threatened to nick their tickets. The crowd laughed- but they didn't realise that he was serious. We didn't see him being escorted away by the feds, so we can only assume that his Fagin-like ways went asunder.; but a charismatic stage presence, infectious NME-ready melodies and snazzy claret shorts made them an act to treasure. Here they are performing their cracking track, 'Waves'.
Longfellow, an indie folk five piece hailing from London. They've had a fair bit of time to practice for this gig, with Owen, James and Kev having jammed together since they were secondary school little 'uns. Shortfellows, if you will. With an authentic indie-rock sound echoing Arcade Fire and Snow Patrol via a little Guy Garvey-esque magic, these guys have done a hell of a lot of box ticking. Acoustic and electric guitars combined is always a pleasantry to the ears, and Longfellow are no exception. Deep and filling like the apple pie cooling on the farmhouse windowsill (don't get any erotic ideas), their sound has an impressive richness to it.
Heartfelt vocals are textured with backing from Ali drift over their choral and emotive harmonies, producing a truly mesmerising sound. As a frontman, Owen has his own personal richness too - not only in his vocal but in his personality ... he has that unique balance of being naturally endearing, dashing, and folk-cool; without being a knob about it and feeling the need to grow a beard like many other bands in their genre. Beard or no beard, you can take this folky pop rock band seriously. Longfellow are gracefully skipping down that dusty track to success, and it is a privilege to have had them play today. Here's their gorgeous track, 'Evergreen' live from the Emerging Icons stage:
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