AFTER months of excitment, Parklife 2017 was finally upon us. Headlined by The 1975, the day was filled with excitment from the very begining.

LEVELZ (7) provided a local twist to the grime and hip hop infused Temple stage. The twelve-strong, rowdy Manchester crew get the crowd shouting, singing and skanking along to tracks like “Drug Dealer” with abandon. Seeing the vast collective on stage all together is exciting; with the amount of bodies on stage it’s hard to know where to look. With LEVELZ, it’s impossible to know what sort of view – or sound – is going to grace the stage next.

Over on a packed-out mainstage, Two Door Cinema Club (8) play a hit-filled set just a few hours later on Saturday afternoon. Frontman Alex Trimble commands his voice – and the crowd – impeccably, hitting every note with a breeze. The band bring along with them an excellent light show, with lyrics and videos blaring out of screens behind the band completing the slick indie experience.

Back over on the Temple stage, the crowd are preparing for Giggs (8). Giggs is, at this point, a grime stalwart. Last years “Landlord” album was received with adoration critically and was successful commercially, pushing him to sub headline status at Parklife, below only grime kings Boy Better Know. When he emerges to latest single “Sexy,” released back in April, it immediately gets the crowd moving.

The MC wastes little time with between song banter, instead opting to fit in as many tracks as possible in his set time. This choice proves to be the right one; Giggs has a ‘greatest hits’ to rival any grime rapper. Tracks like “Whippin’ Excursion,” “Talking The Hardest,” “Look What The Cat Dragged In” and more keep the energy going, especially when the DJ wheels “Hardest,” to get the crowd bouncing.

Last on the mainstage were The 1975 (7). For this bandto headline a festival in their (almost) hometown of Manchester is clearly special to frontman Matty Healy. They lead the crowd on a “moment of noise” in respect of the victims and emergency services who worked tirelessly in the aftermath of the Manchester Terror Attack, whilst members of the emergency services were brought on stage alongside Manchester Andy Burnham to help commemorate.

The night isn’t just for mourning, however. The 1975, it seems, are ready to take the step up to headlining the biggest of festivals, with an impressive set including sing-a-long indie hits from their two records so far. Particular highlights were “Girls,” which gets the whole crowd singing and dancing from the barrier to the very back of the field, and a soulful rendition of “Somebody Else.”

Boy Better Know
Boy Better Know

Finishing off the night were grime legends Boy Better Know. (7) Skepta, JME and crew set the Temple stage alight, with pyro blaring from the stage. Big hitters like “Shutdown,” “That’s Not Me,” “Don’t @ Me,” get the crowd bouncing and shouting along, but deeper cuts, particularly those of lesser known members like Frisco, does slow the pace from time to time. Luckily, the group have more than enough charisma, bars and energy to overcome this and once again prove why BBK is still the name to beat in modern day grime groups.


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