Kings of Leon showed their regal class but it was two British bands who took the crown at the Gibraltar Music Festival.
The energy of the Kaiser Chiefs and the feelgood factor of Madness showed why British pop music is still definitively the best in the world.
Incredibly, on their first ever trip to the Rock, Madness had no intention of embarrassing themselves.
Kicking off with appropriately, Embarrassment this was a crowd-pleasing trip back to the 80s and 90s perfectly set up by ‘special guest’ Gabrielle (Dreams will come true, etc) before them.
With saxophonist Lee in fine form and lead singer Suggs in sparkling humour, the Nutty seven embarked on a medley of greatest hits which had the Gibraltar radio stage truly hopping.
Over on the main stage – somewhat bizarrely overlapping – the Kaiser Chiefs were showing why they are one of the true festival kings of the summer.
After an amazing showing supporting Blur at Benicassim – here Ricky and Co were warming up for rock gods Kings of Leon…
And they all but blew them off the stage with stunning renditions of hits, including I Predict a Riot, Every Day I Love you less and less and Ruby.
One of the world’s best front men (think Freddy Mercury, think Jim Morrison) Ricky Wilson has a wonderful mix of charisma and energy (all very apparent from his appearance on The Voice).
When he launched into Angry Mob, the crowd – with a legion of teens camped out at the front – went wild.
It was a hard act to follow though, and Nashville-bred Kings of Leon took a while to warm up.
A touch linear, perhaps a little jetlagged, they seemed serious and slightly out of place.
But what they have in droves is sheer musical talent.
A massive coup for the Rock, they were tight, driven and slowly got into their groove.
With an amazing filmatography backdrop, they began to show their class.
The deep country and western roots, the slick guitar riffs – their energy started to come through.
In particular, Use Somebody, Molly’s Chambers and the amazing The Bucket, from their first album Aha Shake Breakdown, were standouts.
Finally came huge hit Sex on Fire to bring down the stadium and certainly put a smile on the face of First Minister Fabian Picardo, them being one of his favourite bands, as he told the Olive Press two years ago.
All in all, Gibraltar showed it properly Rocked once again.
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