One of the pleasant surprises (at least for me) was the late afternoon Bigfoot stage performance from the Birmingham soul septet St Paul and the Broken Bones. Front man Paul Janeway sang with a ton of energy. He’s got a voice that seems to have an Otis Redding tone to it, with some occasional touches of Al Green. Backed by a pretty solid backing band, he worked the crowd with his pipes and energetic dance moves and spent most of his time on the catwalk at the front of the stage. Towards the end of the set they performed a couple covers of some soul classics; Sam Cooke’s “Shake” and Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”.
Following St Paul on the Bigfoot stage, Temples brought their 70’s influenced psych rock and huge, chugging guitar sound in all its glory. The quartet broke out a new song titled “Henry’s Cake”, and although it started out soft and melodic, it didn’t take long to get loud and heavy. Watching this set I couldn’t help but imagine the band walking around in the artist areas trying to meet Robert Plant.
One of the best performances of the weekend came from St. Vincent on the main stage Sunday afternoon. Annie Clark was joined on stage by 3 backing musicians, and throughout the set she would often engage in choreographed moves and routines with her keyboardist and bassist Toko Yasuda. At times her movements were rather android-like, and it’s this weirdness and these idiosyncrasies that make her so captivating to watch live. She totally owned the stage every second she was on it on Sunday, and every guitar riff sounded aggressive and powerful. Late in her set she threw her guitar into the crowd, then excitedly went crowd surfing after it.
Back on the Bigfoot stage James Blake played a fantastic night time set with some of the loudest and heaviest bass beats heard (and felt) all weekend. Blake used a lot of looping to layer his falsetto vocals and set the framework for his keyboard and electronic beat-based songs. He also had lights synced up with certain drum beats, adding some visual emphasis to his already engaging songs.
(Lots of thanks, love, and credit for the folks who posted their videos to youtube so quickly so that we could share them here.)