BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend promised so much and didn’t fail to deliver. Taking place over 4 UK sites in one weekend, 175,000 people packed the festival arenas to see their favourites perform in Coventry, Belfast, Swansea and Perth. It was to be a showcase of music, covering all genres from the UK and around the world.
Day one in the beautiful surroundings of Perth’s Scone Palace was an eclectic mixture of folk and classical, jazz and ending with the pipes and drums of the Black Watch Military Band. The few thousand who had made their way to the site were well prepared with their deck chairs and picnic baskets when the proceedings began with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Nice!
Eddi Reader followed on with her take on some traditional Scottish folk music, featuring Ay fond Kiss by Robert Burns, and later in her set covering the song which catapulted her to stardom, Fairground Attraction’s classic ‘Perfect’.
Next on the agenda was a celebration of the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, featuring the vocal talents of Mica Paris and Michael Zavier, with Leo Green and his Orchestra, performing a selection of numbers from the numerous hit West End shows Sir Webber has written. Mica Paris has a vocal range which can lend its self to many musical varieties, however, she was particularly impressive on this stage.
Jamie Cullum, the English jazz pianist was next to entertain the crowd with his modern jazz. The crowd really enjoyed his set and were on their feet for the first time this afternoon. We then had a short interval before The Black Watch pipers took to the stage to begin this evenings entertainment.
The Scottish Symphony Orchestra took to the stage with The Karine Polwart Trio, performing I Burn But I Am Not Consumed among others, their roots firmly buried in Scottish folk music. They left the stage and next to join the Orchestra was Dame Evelyn Glennie, who would perform Michael Daughtery’s Dream Machine.
Next to grace, the stage was Danielle de Niese who performed such classics as I Could Have Danced All Night by Frederick Loewe, Habanera from Carmen by Bizet and Bernstein’s I Feel Pretty, which she certainly looked.
Joining the SSO next on stage was Nigel Kennedy, the Aston Villa supporting violinist displaying his undeniable talents playing the music of Gershwin and Bach, then the evening was closed by a second visit by the pipes and drums of the Black Watch, a thoroughly enjoyable day had by all, young and old.