Athlete - V 2005 Chelmsford

This is the third Athlete festival performance I’ve seen and they’ve grown in stature on each occasion. A couple of years ago they were an Indy band with a decent debut album, now they’re a major draw with the songs to have the massive crowd in full voice.

This set opened with ‘You Got the Style’, which will forever be a live anthem. They proceeded to work their way through a good mixture of songs from both ‘Tourists’ and ‘Vehicles and Animals’, with ‘Half Life’, ‘El Salvador’ and ‘Wires’ being notable highpoints.

Joel talked to the crowd more than most singers from the weekend and took the time to point those watching in the direction of the Fair Trade stand. The band seemed genuinely touched by the sheer number of people that turned out and the response their music got, and rounded off their set by throwing loads of yellow balls into the audience after a typically rousing rendition of ‘Westside’.

Without question this was one of the big sets of the weekend, from a band who have now made main stages at Festivals their home for the summer. I for one am looking forward to the day when Athlete are one of the headliners.