Power to the people

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IT wasn’t just Take That who rocked the region this weekend. Across the Tyne, a host of big names were keeping the crowds entertained at this year’s Evolution Festival weekender.

We were there to capture the highlights.

POP powerhouses pumped the Tyne with some top tunes this weekend.

Iggy & The Stooges, Katy B, Tinie Tempah, Plan B, Jamie Woon, Example – the Evolution Weekender had the lot and more.

Evolution’s evolved big time since its birth as a free event in 2002 to become one of the highlights of the region’s music calendar, attracting some 60,000 music fans.

And it’s easy to see.

I visited on the second day of its outdoor live shows, which takes place over three stages: Spillers Stage, Baltic Stage and Ballast Hills Stage, which straddle Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides.

My aim? To catch headliners Plan B and Tinie Tempah.

For more hardcore festival-goers though, there was a whole day of live music including slots from local favourites Detroit Social Club, Annie Mac and Darwin Deez.

There’s plenty to keep you entertained between acts and your walk between the stages, from face painters and oxygen stalls to global foods and drinks tents.

The latter wasn’t much use to the bulk of the audience on my visit though. The place was peppered with neon Ray Ban-clad teenagers who’ve latched on to Evo’s reputation as one of the region’s coolest festivals.

At the ripe old age of 28, I felt a little old, but it didn’t hamper my enjoyment one jot.

After drinks at the Pitcher and Piano – Newcastle’s quayside pubs do a booming trade out of Evolution – we made the 20-minute walk down to Ouseburn Valley, home to the Spillers Stage for the duration of the festival.

We arrived in time for rapper/singer Example’s set which featured latest single Changed The Way You Kiss Me and older tracks such as Won’t Go Quietly.

As the summer sun shone down, it was his Watch the Sun Come Up track which drew the biggest reaction from the crowd as we swayed along in appreciation.

Up next, was the man many had been waiting for – Brit darling Tinie Tempah.

The showman of the moment had the thousands in the crowd jumping to hits from award-winning album Disc-Overy, including Miami 2 Ibiza, Written in the Stars and Pass Out.

Though we avoided the mosh pit – and its flying bottles – we couldn’t help but get swept along by Tinie fever as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Top headliner Plan B’s set was a more sedate affair, but no less entertaining as his vocals shone through on soulful tracks such as She Said.

l For a review of Pitcher and Piano, see today’s Eating Out page.