Sziget Festival: Day 5. We're still hanging in there. Read on for our recap of tonight's festivities, featuring incredible live performances from the likes of Kasabian, Avicii, The Subways and Marina & The Diamonds
Ah, Friday. The end of the working week. A time to relax, a time to catch up with friends, a time to ignore life's pressing decisions until your Netflix binge has finally run its course. Unless, of course, you're here with us at this year's Sziget Festival, where we're wrapping up day five of seven following a simply stellar set of performances. Between last night's Confetti Party and Ellie Goulding's kaleidoscopic show on the Main Stage, we tumbled into bed feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, waking up what felt like five minutes later to begin our coverage of the weekend's impressively dense lineup. Having built us up yesterday following a truly stellar breakfast, the food bar drags us back down with a bump. No croissants this morning. Unfortunately, we don't have time to stick around and wait: we've just been informed that something very special is on the cards this afternoon. And as it turns out, good things come in twos.
But first, to this evening's lineup! The delightful Marina Diamandis, AKA Marina & The Diamonds, takes to the Main Stage at 5:45 sharp and by the end of her performance, we're clamouring for more. Promoting her third album, Froot, which was released back in April, the singer puts on a stunning display across a set lasting just over an hour. Known for her attention to detail on stage, Diamandis' impressive vocal skills are often overlooked when it comes to her live performances, but don't let the visuals get in the way: this girl can sing. Disappointingly, the audience isn't as large as the immensely talented Diamandis deserves, and we're almost ashamed to leave the crowd in order to catch The Subways' 6:30 set over at the A38 Stage. It's the trio's third time playing Sziget, but their enthusiasm hasn't waned: with grins on their faces a mile wide, the group proceed to lay on one of the heaviest sets we've seen all week. We barely have time to breathe and we can hardly hear ourselves think over the ear-splitting howl of frontman Billy Lunn (having briefly heard him speak earlier today, a kind and gentle soul, we're at a loss to figure out where on earth he gets his razor-sharp voice from) but in terms of sheer stage presence, these guys take the crown. An electrifying performance.
Did we mention surprises? Of course, a festival wouldn't be a festival without a couple of interviews. Shortly before their set, we sit down with The Subways' bass-plucking demon Charlotte Cooper to discuss the group's impressive decade-long career. No spoilers, obviously - good things come to those who wait - but if you want to know who the band's dream collaboration would be with, we suggest you keep checking back. (Hint: you'll never guess.) We then get the opportunity to fire a few questions at Kasabian's lead singer and raconteur-in-chief Tom Meighan, and all we'll say is the final result is more than worth a watch. In the meantime, we suggest you check out the highlights of the band's stellar performance above. Opening with what's since become the surest crowd-pleaser from last year's 48:13, "bumblebeee", the group immediately set the tone for the rest of the evening: a defiantly self-assured Meighan swaggers about on stage in the manner of a court jester, while guitarist Serge Pizzorno launches into a surprisingly credible cover of Eighties classic "Word Up" following a brilliant rendition of "Re-wired". Other highlights include "Switchblade Smiles" and a rollicking version of the classic "Empire", and when DJ Avicii takes to the stage to close the party two hours later, our expectations are correspondingly high. Were we let down? Not in the slightest: the crowd is the largest we've seen since the festival opened, and the feeling in the air is almost tangible. All in all, the best day we've had so far, but never say never. Come back tomorrow for our recap of Day 6, with Major Lazer and Kings of Leon!