A year on from their performance being cancelled due to torrential rain, 90s acid house icons Primal Scream finally took to the Standon Calling stage.

Monsoon-like conditions scuppered the last two acts from performing at the festival last year, so it was a long-awaited treat for the Hertfordshire music-lovers to finally see Bobby Gillespie and the band on stage.

Wearing an eye-catching red and yellow trouser suit, emblazoned with the Screamadelica album cover artwork, Bobby sauntered on stage in his low-key but enigmatic way, slowly weaving his Glaswegian magic over the audience.

It took a little while for both the band and crowd to get into full raving mode but this was soon achieved when the backing singers, all dressed in white, joined the band on stage, immediately elevating the energy.

The crowd was catapulted back to the early 90s with the band’s best-known hits including Movin’ On Up, Loaded and Come Together.

By the time the band finished with 2006 hit Country Girl and a storming version of Rocks, the crowd were in their element. There was a real feeling of appreciation and togetherness in the audience.

The other act whose performance was washed out last year was Craig David whose set on Sunday drew huge crowds in the blazing sunshine.

With his trademark mixing desk and microphone, Craig delivered his TS5 show with gratitude and love for the crowd.

He emotionally said: “I’m grateful and privileged to be on the stage performing for you. So glad that there’s no rain out, and it’s a beautiful day today for us to be together.

“And after the last couple of years that have been really difficult for so many people, and it still continues to play its havoc on us, seeing us all here today together, enjoying, connecting, showing love is what it’s all about.”
The crowd were in real party mood as they danced to his feel-good selection of hits, which appealed to audience members of all ages.

When he played House of Pain’s Jump, the Standon crowd took the word literally as they jumped in unison, giving the drum beat from the stage a run for its money.

Classic crowd pleasers included Fill Me In, I’m Walking Away, and Seven Days which got the whole audience singing along.

Disco legends the Earth, Wind and Fire Experience boogied their way into the hearts of Standon Calling with classics such as September and Let’s Groove.

The original member Al McKay unfortunately was unable to perform but the rest of the band took us on a slick journey of disco grooves, with their sparkly suits and choreographed moves.

Surprisingly they left out one of their biggest hits Boogie Wonderland, as well as the much-loved After The Love Has Gone – something to look forward to next time perhaps!

Kicking off the live music on the main stage earlier in the day was Olivia Dean who began her career in collaboration with Rudimental and was named Amazon Music’s 2021 Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Abba tribute band Bjorn Again brought the party mood to Standon with a selection of Abba’s mega hits such as Mama Mia, Super Trouper, Dancing Queen and Waterloo.

Fresh from wowing the crowd at Glastonbury, Swedish singing sensation Sigrid brought her exuberance to the main stage with hits like Mirror, Strangers and Don’t Feel Like Crying.

Sunday did what Standon Calling is renowned for, bringing an eclectic mix of top class acts to suit all ages – and the bonus this year was that there was no monsoon in sight and the crowd could rave in a heatwave. Roll on next year.

Photo credit: Sue Archer