Saint Motel are a band that’ve been on my radar for a while, songs like ‘Cold, Cold Man’ and ‘Ace in the Hole’ being summer classics in my opinion but being a Californian band, I didn’t have high hopes of catching them live but that’s the beauty of a festival. It seems a lot of people had the same idea and Saint Motel pulled a rather large audience, being quite a tempo change from the soulful London Grammar on the Main Stage.
Before walking onstage there’s an old 50’s style radio transmission, fitting the current saintmotelevision era that Saint Motel are in. Walking on stage looking like parts of different bands with the way each individual is dressed by the time they cut into their first song they’re just as cohesive as you’d expect. Opening with ‘Cold, Cold Man’ the band start off strong. Frontman, AJ Jackson holds the crowd under his spell through his charismatic lyrics and charmingly goofy dancing between standing at the keyboard.
Second follows an older track from Voyeur, ‘Puzzle Pieces’. It’s a joy of a song in the sunshine, having the beachy melodies of 60s surf rock. Then ‘You Can Be You’ gets a loving singalong, Jackson using every inch of the stage to his advantage so that every member of the crowd feels his serenade. Speaking of serenades, they quickly move on to ‘Sweet Talk’ delivering the second instalment of the one-two punch.
A personal favourite from the set comes next in the form of ‘For Elise’. There’s something about the way Saint Motel behave on stage that makes them even more of a pleasure to watch than they already are. They fully let loose and sing and dance and enjoy it just as much, if not more, than the audience which creates an infectious, buzzing atmosphere that’s just incredible. ‘For Elise’ is a mover and a shaker that demands at the least a toe-tap when hearing it live, and with this kind of energy naturally it’s well received.
‘Destroyer’ goes by before the closer, and star of the show ‘My Type’ starts. While the rest of the band play the instantly recognisable intro, AJ Jackson takes to the crowd and climbs the transmission tower in the centre of the audience. It’s a testament to the lengths Saint Motel will go to to make sure the audience are truly immersed in the show, after all it’s evident that the band feel off of the energy they’re given by the crowd.
They left anyone in doubt of their indie grooves thoroughly convinced and any non-believers were put to rest. And as always with a good performer, they left everyone watching wanting more.