Community Festival at Crystal Palace Park: Two Door Cinema Club, The Wombats, The Vaccines, Sea Girls and Baby Queen play a glorious day
Crystal Palace Park is scorching, but the acts at Community Festival are the joyous cool needed to make this an unforgettable day. Two Door Cinema Club headline alongside The Wombats, with The Vaccines, Sea Girls and Baby Queen. A hot-pink bus hosts Climate Live, a stage for young acts to debut their music in between the main acts’ sets: Tummyache, Somoh, Lip Filler and Charlie Bennett are a fun and necessary addition to the lineup.
Baby Queen is a storm in a grungy tutu. Raw Thoughts is an anthemic tune reminiscent of Lorde’s Solar Power album, perfect under the sun and pulling on nostalgic strings. The crowd hasn’t filled out, but that doesn’t stop her from owning the stage. Colours of You is a highlight of her set, refreshing with a melody catchy enough to move people to their feet. Want Me closes, a tangy guitar dream, setting the vibe of the festival perfectly.
Sea Girls kick off with the punchy Damage Done. Guitarist Rory Young is a highlight throughout, his energy contagious, his talent as clear as the skies above. Bassist Andrew Dawson is equally as captivating to watch, cameras often focusing on his handiwork (zero complaints). Justin Hayward-Young, lead singer of The Vaccines, joins them on stage for Do You Really Wanna Know – a song he co-wrote and an apt illustration of how in sync these acts are. Lead singer Henry Camamile has had to pull energy out of the crowd thus far, still early in the day as it is, but they come into their stride for the last few songs with the frontman leaning over the barriers to a sea of hands during Falling Apart.
The Vaccines are chilled in the heat, with old school swagger that you can’t tear your eyes away from. The fans go wild for Post Break-Up Sex, a smooth and catchy fan favourite. Wetsuit may be slower, but it’s made to be played at a sunny festival like this. The voices of the audience only get louder from here, echoes of “come on, come on” filling Crystal Palace Park. Justin Hayward-Young is exceptional, cheeky and suave, with everyone wrapped around his finger. Jump off the Top and Handsome keep the energy up and the crowd entranced; The Vaccines are effortless, full of joy and a good beat – having fun at this party is easy.
It’s time for The Wombats and the venue is teeming with excitement. They bounce onstage in bright shirts and bright guitars, playing the funky Cheetah Tongue. The British band don’t let anyone take a breath throughout the set – not that they want to, anyway, if the reaction to Moving to New York is anything to go by. The audience lose their mind to Techno Fan and Ready for the High as the sun begins to set. Fan favourite Kill the Director is enough to raise any former indie kid from the dead, and Method to the Madness, just a few songs later, proves that The Wombats are kings of the indie scene, and that they’re not going anywhere. Greek Tragedy, Let’s Dance to Joy Division, and Turn see us out, ending the performance with a bang.
The sun has set fully in time for Two Door Cinema Club, the crowd instead lit by bright pink lights. Shouts of “This Is the Life!” embody the euphoric feel in the air. Lead singer Alex Trimble’s vocals are effortless as he takes us through the upbeat I Can Talk, before playing the iconic Undercover Martyn early in the set, making sure every person in the park is jumping. Eat That Up, It’s Good for You is a highlight with its exhilarating guitar buildup and vividly hypnotic visuals, which add to the bliss of the night. Lucky is another highlight: with sunset colours painting the throng orange and mesmeric backing synths, this song is so emotive it’s no surprise some are teary eyed. Career-defining track What You Know needs no introduction or explanation, and explodes when it’s performed live, Trimble thanking the fans afterwards for the moment. As the set closes, listeners hold hands, revelling in a glorious day of great music.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Community Festival’s website here.