09 June 2017 (gig)
14 June 2017
With seagulls flying overhead, clear blue skies and a unique airport setting, arriving at Wild Life festival feels more like a holiday experience than a music festival in Shoreham.
The brainchild of Disclosure and Rudimental, Wild Life has become a yearly fixture on the south coast festival calendar. It’s a festival that prides itself on its nature theme as much as its diverse array of pop, dance and chart heavyweights.
Where to start but with grime.
Unstoppable momentum was built up with lively sets from both Stormzy and Giggs, while JME and Wiley’s take over of the Tropical Stage was met with similar enthusiasm. The flag was flying high for the genre – and not just because of the windy weather.
Pop audiences were also well catered for.
Clean Bandit’s revolving door of session singers including Stylo G and Zara Larsson, who had performed earlier, garnered a consistently strong reception.
Man of the moment, Rag ’N’ Bone Man also caused a storm. The 2017 Brit Award Winner’s soulful set attracting a big crowd despite the early afternoon slot.
While new blood is always appreciated, sometimes it takes a more experienced performer to show the kids how it’s done.
Chaka Khan’s cavalcade of classics, including ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and ‘I’m Every Woman’ caused widespread celebration among the crowd - her session musicians deftly seizing the moment to supercharge the set with vivacious guitar solos.
A similar veteran of the festival scene took the stage on the Friday night, Norman Cook, aka pillar of the South Coast dance scene - Fatboy Slim.
Performing on the Terminal stage, a bizarre tribute to the main edifice of Shoreham airport, his headline set employed an impressive light and visuals show. ‘Praise You’ – a gargantuan track that even your parents could probably hum along to – sounded as potent a big beat anthem as it did at the close of the nineties.
Festival co-founder Disclosure's shared set with Armand Van Helden proved to be a perfect match to round up the festival. Disclosure’s hypnotic beat-driven tracks complimented the souped-up dance-funk of Van Helden and brought about closure to an unforgettable festival experience.
More of the same next year please!