BT London Live: Amy Macdonald, Dodgy and Cast take on the Hyde Park Olympic stage
The Olympic live music site at Hyde Park is an inverted arena, where cinematic screens face down to the gaze of the general public who has flocked to witness the spectacle of the Games. The musical acts punctuated the afternoon; each proceeded by the steady opening of the largest screen in the park that tellingly cloaked the stage for the majority of the proceedings.
The afternoon’s acts opened with a brief set by Scottish recording artist Amy Macdonald who recently released her third album, Life In A Beautiful Light. Her rhythm section’s penchant for stomping bass lines and the singer’s triumphant vocals formed a suitably upbeat set, complemented by the first of a series of gushing spoken tributes to Team GB’s Olympians. The performance of her most recent single Slow It Down roused the lethargic crowd, who were mostly reclined upon the bed of wood chips, which covered the site after the muddy debacle of the Hit Factory Live concert.
Later in the evening the lithe frames of the Olympic cyclists on screen were withdrawn to unveil Dodgy, the hench power pop rock trio, which would be the first of two 90s reunions. Opening with a number of songs from their recent album Stand Upright In A Cool Place, the pop rock light of their greatest hit Good Enough is somewhat distant, as a heavier and occasionally more brooding band emerges. However the crowd was not dismayed and seemed to revel in the power exuded by the trio’s punchy rock riffs.
As night approached and Jessica Ennis’ position in her Heptathlon sprint remained uncertain, Cast emerged. The booing that accompanied the abrupt end to the Olympic broadcasting did not persist however as lead singer John Power greeted the crowd in his thick Liverpudlian accent. Old favourites Sandstorm and Walk Away found the now enthusiastic and mobile crowd particularly emphatic in their approval. However the latter’s mournful, gentle call to separation has an emotional grip missing in their recent single See That Girl whose lyrics read as a series of clichés about unrequited love.
Considering the diverse range of tastes found in an audience gathered by the Olympic Games, the organisers have done well to present a solid group of British acts that stand apart from the standard R’n’B and pop fare which dominate the mainstream media and venues.
Photos: Rosie Roberts