Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
Fusion Festival returned for it’s 2019 weekend taking place at its new home in Sefton Park, Liverpool where tens of thousands of fans turned out for a top weekend of rock and pop headlined by Kings of Leon, Rudimental and Little Mix.
Friday went under the billing of “Fusion Presents” and was headlined by American rock giants Kings of Leon with a supporting cast that included Franz Ferdinand and Sam Fender amongst others. The day saw 40,000 fans pour into Sefton Park awaiting the return of the rock headliners meaning Irish band The Clockworks had a decent crowd for their set. Elsewhere, Geordie favourite Sam Fender arrived in Liverpool ahead of the release of his long-awaited debut album, Hypersonic Missiles, and an almost sold-out tour. Airing tracks like Borders and Our Home from the album, Fender was the perfect act for the early afternoon.
“You’ve all taken the day off work to be here. That’s pretty cool..” joked local boys Circa Waves early on in their set while Jake Bugg may not be the most boisterous of performers but he certainly throws his heart into tracks like “Trouble Town”. Returning Scot rockers Franz Ferdinand had no problems working through crowd up with hits like “Take Me Out” getting their hardcore fans bouncing across Sefton Park. Which just left headliners Kings of Leon to bring the first day at Fusion to a close and boy did they sign off day one in style. A twenty-five song set was peppered with hits like Use Somebody and Sex On Fire along with fan-favourites like Supersoaker, Closer and Eyes On You as Caleb and Co made sure the Fusion weekend kicked off in glorious style.
Kings of Leon Gallery – Photo Copyright © Stephen Farrell
As was the case last year, the first day of “Fusion Festival” saw Sefton Park handed over to the DJ’s with Creamfields DJ and local celeb Anton Powers starting a party which saw Sigala perched on top of a forty-foot pyramid and Jonas Blue turning up the heat with a barrage of flames. The evening was headlined by Rudimental and, while the group may not have had the impact of the previous nights headliners, they certainly brought the party to Sefton Park. It wasn’t all DJ’s though as Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt bounced about the stage delivering her brand of electro-pop and while we can’t get enough of the Scot and tracks like Love Letters, we’ve seen her set enough times now to know it off by heart.
Elsewhere John Newman dedicated a track to his mum while tracks like Stand By Me and Feel The Love saw the Yorkshire born singer continue his return in classy style. Finally, if anyone was going to turn Sefton Park into one big party ahead of the headliners Rudimental, grime star Dizzee Rascal couldn’t have been a better choice as he bounced across every inch of the stage pumping out tracks like Fix Up, Look Sharp.
The final day, headlined by Little Mix, kicked off with up and coming boy band New Rules who, ironically, will be supporting the all-girl headliners on their UK headline arena tour later in the year. As a taste of what to expect from the band, their short set surely guarantees they’ll have a few fans in the crowd when they take to the road with the headliners. The volume from the crowd shifts up a notch as youngster Hrvy brings a pop party to Sefton Park with his young fans singing along to songs like the sassy Hasta Vuergo. Rak-Su continue the party with their energetic dance moves and infectious pop hits like I Want You To Freak while Mabel followed her Reading/Leeds appearance with a sizzling set filled was crowd favourites like Bad Behaviour.
As the festival heads towards the finish line, Clean Bandit wheel out big anthem after big anthem while Anne-Marie high kicks the Fusion Festival crowd towards the headliners with a brilliant set including crowd pleasers like Heavy. So, Fusion Festival comes to a close and who better to sign off the 2019 weekend than the biggest girl band in the UK right now, Little Mix. Aside from a few glitches, this was girl-pop perfection from the quartet who kick things off with the anthemic Salute. The rest of the set is littered with pyrotechnics, costume changes, raunchy dance routines and top pop anthems from a group who are simply head and shoulders above the chasing pack.