James Blake, Ellie Goulding And Years & Years Kick Off Rock Werchter 2016
What an amazing start to the festival!
Just outside of Brussels in Belgium lies a village called Rotselaar, within this village is an area called Werchter which you’ve probably only heard of through the music festival Rock Werchter.
With a line-up to rival Glastonbury it’s no surprise that people travel from all over the world to spend four days in Belgium, enjoying some of the world’s best artists and bands. Where else could you catch the legendary Sir Paul McCartney on one night, and the equally legendary German metal band, Rammstein the next? Rock Werchter, that’s where.
Kicking off proceedings in The Barn, one of Rock Werther’s three main stages, was Samm Henshaw. You’ve probably heard his name floating around on all sorts of up and coming lists over the last twelve months, and we can safely say that he is worthy of the hype. You will definitely know his hit tune ‘Autonomy (Slave)’ and you should get to know his various other tracks such as ‘Only Wanna Be With You’ and ‘Everything’.
Keeping up the great new music was Barns Courtney over on the KluB C stage. His soulful singing and Ed Sheeran-esque guitar slamming will make you love him straight away (not to mention the fact he’s pretty damn cute!).
Over on the Rock Werchter main stage MTV Crashes Coventry FAVES, Kaiser Chiefs treated fans to a high energy, hit-filled set. Naturally a highlight for us was when they played brand new single ‘Parachute’ and we’re not sure where Ricky gets his energy from but can we have what he’s having please?
Despite the heavens opening and the festival crowds experiencing the worst rain yet, Jake Bugg didn’t let this dampen his spirits. Well, you couldn’t tell because he looks quite miserable anyway but he wasn’t any more miserable because of the rain - just the standard amount of misery (just kidding, Jake, you were great.)
Taking the energy up a whole notch was the wonderful Ellie Goulding. After slaying her Glastonbury Pyramid Stage set last week, fans at Rock Werchter were treated to an amazing show from the pop songstress.
With possibly the biggest crowd at the KluB C stage so far and fresh off the back of his brand new album, Australian producer Flume did not disappoint. We were lucky to be able to even get in the tent, let alone dance along to hits such as ‘Never Be Like You’ and his smash remix of Lorde’s ‘Tennis Court’.
To prove the almost unbelievable breadth of Rock Werchter’s line up, Thursday’s headliner, the legendary Sir Paul McCartney took to the main stage. We had to pinch ourselves multiple times just to believe that yes, that was the ACTUAL REAL PAUL MCCARTNEY FROM THE BEATLES (and obviously from the multitude of other projects he’s done since then, we don’t want to annoy the die-hard fans now do we?).
He was everything a headliner should be and more as he played hits spanning from his earliest songs with The Beatles, right through the his newest, namely ‘Four Five Seconds’ that he co-wrote with Kanye West and Rihanna.
Next we caught Years & Years’ set in The Barn and it was INSANE. We thought they couldn’t get any better but then they went and proved us wrong with a stunning set. Highlights included their new single ‘Worship’ and a special mention goes out to their album track ‘Border’, mainly due to Olly Alexander’s impassioned speech about the EU referendum result and how we should have a world with less borders. YES OLLY!
Concluding our first night at Rock Werchter was the brilliantly talented James Blake. He closed the KluB C stage with an hour long set of tracks spanning from his first self-titled LP right through to showcasing many songs from his new album The Colour In Anything including 'Radio Silence' and 'Choose Me'. We couldn’t have thought of a better way to end our first day at the festival. Bring on the rest of the festival.