A celebration of British talent

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The weekend’s Evolution Festival saw tens of thousands of people flock to the banks of the River Tyne for a fix of top tunes. Katy Wheeler and Marissa Carruthers were there to capture the highlights.

FORGET bunting and flag-waving, my Jubilee weekend was spent dancing in the rain to Dizzee Rascal and getting swallowed up by the throng of the crowd who went crazy for a man dressed in giant mouse ears.

In many ways it was a celebration of British talent so in that sense I’m sure the Queen would approve.

Grime act Dizzee and rodent-eared producer Deadmau5 were the headline acts over the two-day festival but this was an event which showered the crowd with good music from start to finish.

In a sign of how far he’s come in the past 12 months, East Herrington act The Lake Poets, aka Martin Longstaff, opened the main stage at Spillers Wharf in style on Sunday.

Such was his enthusiasm to his set that he snapped a string from thrashing his guitar and cut his fingers resulting in a blood-stained instrument – now that’s dedication.

Fellow North East outfit Maximo Park were on top form too and seemed delighted to be playing in their home region.

Their set featured some classics including Apply Some Pressure as well as some lesser-known new material. The crowd too, mostly made up of denim shorts-clad teenagers, were as enthusiastic as ever throwing themselves forward to get as close to the stage as possible.

By the time Sunday headliner Dizzee took to the spotlight, the young fans had sardined themselves at the front – causing the star to stop briefly so security could intervene.

It was somewhat of a return to form for the star who’s been enjoying a sabbatical from the charts.

As the heavens opened up, Dizzee stormed his way through a rip-roaring set of his biggest hits including Sirens, Just a Rascal and new single The Power.

By the time he broke into Fix Up, Look Sharp there wasn’t a still pair of feet in the house as he proved just why he more than deserved the headline slot.

Monday’s top highlight, meanwhile, was provided by English hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks.

Clad in baseball hats which echoed the dress code of much of the audience, they launched into their annoyingly infectious brand of music including Mama do the Hump and Down with the Trumpets.

Despite being about twice the age of the crowd, I couldn’t help but join in. Hopefully, I’ll never be too old for Evolution.