Steve Mason live at Festival No 6

September 7, 2014

Erstwhile Beta Band man Steve Mason cuts the figure of an elder indie statesman these days. With a greying mop of hair, he paces the stage, maraca in hand and marches with an impetuous Ian Brown-esque stomp. He looks like a man in possession of a sense of purpose and it’s a purpose he’s not willing to relinquish lightly.

The iArena tent, so empty at the start of the day and not exactly overflowing for Spector, is now commendably stuffed (if not teeming at the seams). He delivers a set of diversity and swaps from freestanding vocals to an acoustic, and then an electric, guitar. Songs such as ‘Oh My Lord’ (introduced here in the profane manner ‘This one’s called ‘Oh My Fucking Lord’) and ‘Fire!’ (itself dedicated with scorn to Tony Blair) pulsate and cut through the drunken revellers in attendance. The true standout would most probably be the lithe, popping ‘Seen It All Before’ from his 2013 release Monkey Minds In The Devils Time, during which the whole tent surrenders to the deep power lines of a seductive groove.

Mission accomplished, he exits the stage and the tent evacuates.For the time he navigated its space, he hypnotised the fervent throng. Attention then diverted over to the main stage for headlinersLondon Grammar. The iArena had been provided with a fitting conclusion to its first day of activity.

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