British Summer Time: Lionel Richie and J. Lo - Hyde Park, London
Well, this definitely isn't Download. Two weekend's worth of music in the capital, British Summer Time is the festival where JLS headline over The Beach Boys and The View get 30 minutes with their acoustics at the bottom of the bill. It's different but we kinda like it. The day previous might have been all about Mick and Keef and co. but today's bill is mostly easy - although the afternoon start excludes an obvious 'easy like Sunday morning' reference.
Despite most of today's crowd still queuing to get in, Amplify Dot greets a small, but good spirited audience with the energy of a Wembley headliner. Ballsy bass and fluid, pun-filled rhymes are packed into a set which confirms EMI's ability to sign up a bright young prospect early on. A.Dot is equal parts fierce and friendly, bouncing around to warm up the already sweaty Village Hall stage. Recent single 'I'm Good' is a highlight - even without its usual cameo from Busta Rhymes. It's refreshing enough to see an unpretentious rapper, and she cools us down further by ending the set with a soaking from water pistol - much appreciated in the 30+ degree heat.
Delilah was the next act to suffer from poor organisation, but ten minutes in and the rotunda was teeming. Seductive bass lines accompany her drawling vocals and Delilah retains an air of mystery despite her personable approach. Suffering in the heat, she still easily manages to impress a home crowd with her soft serenading, upping the pace with a drawn out, hypnotising 'Go'.
Over on the main stage, Eliza Doolittle's radio friendly hits struggle to match their recorded counterparts. There's little energy behind her vocals, resulting in mammoth queues for the bar.
The sunshine pounding on the main stage suits the disco-smothered, funk vibes of Chic. Overheated amps mean only the front few rows got to appreciate the first couple of songs - to a background noise of boos from the other 60,000. Dealing with the five minute power cut and turning the crowd around with a stomping rendition of 'Let's Dance', the strength of their back catalogue comes to life. A guest appearance from Simon Le Bon is shadowed by the dominating 'Le Freak' - a drawn out, bass-fuelled affair. Nile Rodgers is still thanking the crowd long after his band have disappeared, the smile on his face blinding.
Skip forward a decade and pop queen J.Lo is flying through hit after hit from her late 90s heyday. Accompanied by that butt, Lopez rallies the crowd into a frenzy with a series of R'n'B soaked pop and raunchy dance moves. She's still an all round crowd-pleaser, although her male backing dancers in their S&M themed outfits were probably less happy.
Lionel Richie takes to the stage to a chorus of cheering mums, headlining the rather muddled bill on today's line up. His voice soars, relaying back a career spread over more than three decades. He may be a little ballad heavy, but the closing double whammy of 'Dancing on the Ceiling' and 'All Night Long' dismisses any Sunday evening blues. He's not the home headliner that should have closed the ten day long British Summer Time festival, but his entertainment factor prevails.
Last updated: 18/04/2018 05:32:00