Wait for it

The Hold Steady are one of those bands that I've heard plenty of people mention over the last year without ever actually seeing or hearing any of their material; so it's with some interest that I head over to the Carling stage for their headline set. I'm certainly in for a few surprises, not least of all the bands unorthodox appearance! If all the odd ball teachers at your school formed a band they'd looked like these guys, except keyboard player Franz Nicolay, who has come straight from selling moonshine during the prohibition!

After a day of hardcore on the Lock Up stage though what a refreshing change the Hold Steady are, the material is largely upbeat and uplifting and all delivered with huge smiles. Nicolay's keyboards add a crucial element that makes them stand out, as does the quality of the songs that more often than not centre around some huge choruses. Naturally this is easy fodder for the enthusiastic crowd and they respond to the energy given over by the band.

Guitarist and vocalist Craig Finn is part Elvis Costello and part shiny happy person! He spends the whole set beaming whilst demonstrating all manner of wild gesticulation. It's all very visual and all great fun, you just can't help but get swept up in it and by the end of the set the crowd are smiling as much as the band. Feel good rock and roll never sounded or felt so good, a great end to the day.