Citadel 2018 Review

Just as Citadel returns for another year, boasted by a headline set by Tame Impala, we sent Rebecca Worthington to Gunnersbury Park to check out the mind mischief.

There was glorious weather for London’s newest one-day event, Citadel, where notable acts The Horrors, Fat White Family, Goat, Leon Bridges and CHVRCHES impressed at Gunnersbury Park, followed by a spellbinding headline set by Tame Impala.

With a whole host of festivals including Latitude, Lovebox, Mad Cool and Bilbao BBK, falling on this scorching mid-July weekend, music lovers were hardly stuck for choice. Citadel, which, this year, had relocated from Victoria Park to the leafy Gunnersbury Park in W1 seems to still be acquiring its identity. However, its ethos of ‘re-energising the day of rest’ certainly worked as it delivered an array of performers spanning genres and continents. Fat White Family had the crowd grooving in the afternoon sun with set climax “Touch The Leather“.

Elsewhere, Pumarosa, and indie newcomers Goat Girl energised the smaller stages in fine, feminine form and Swedish enigmas Goat mesmerised in their strange masks and feathered headdresses.
Had England made it to the final of the World Cup, Tame Impala’s UK-exclusive set would have followed a tense main stage screening of the match resulting in what could have been an unpredictable crowd.

But as it wasn’t ‘coming home’, CHVRCHES had the penultimate slot, where they delivered synth-pop anthems from their debut album such as “Gun“, “Recover“, “The Mother We Share” and their contribution to the updated Drive soundtrack, Leave a Trace. Unfortunately, newer tracks: Get Out, Forever and Never Say Die, the latter of which concluded their set, didn’t go
down as well.

The anticipation was high for the Aussie psych rock giants. After set opener, “Nangs“, confetti cannons exploded into the crowd for “Let It Happen“, catapulting the crowd into a psychedelic frenzy. Scattered throughout the set were songs from their 2015 hugely impactful album Currents, including “The Moment“, “Yes I’m Changing“, “Eventually“, “The Less I Know The Better” and “Love/Paranoia“. Equally, Parker and Co delivered guitar-heavy hits such as “Mind Mischief“, “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind” and “Alter Ego“. The band returned with encore opener “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards“, which had the crowd in full song.

However, as the festival came to an end, poor post-event travel arrangements led to thousands of festivalgoers cooped up like cattle in a queue for the underground. Some waited for hours only to be told that Acton station had closed early, as it was a Sunday, leaving no alternative but an expensive taxi ride home. Luckily, we managed to dodge the crowds and head for the nearest bus station. Others weren’t as lucky and were stranded in London until 5am awaiting the earliest tube. An exceptional day of music blighted by poor organisation.

Words by Rebecca Worthington, photography courtesy of Citadel Festival.

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