21 Sep Northunmbria Uni, Newcastle
22 Sep Met Uni, Leeds
23 Sep Academy 2, Manchester
25 Sep Junction, Cambridge
26 Sep Astoria, London
28 Sep Garage, Glasgow
29 Sep Moshulu, Aberdeen
30 Oct Uni Foundry, Sheffield
02 Oct Waterfront, Norwich
03 Oct Central Station, Wrexham
04 Oct Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth
05 Oct Irish Centre, Birmingham
07 Oct Old Market, Brighton
08 Oct Trent Uni, Nottingham
09 Oct Lemon Grove, Exeter
10 Oct Anson Rooms, Bristol
11 Oct Carling Academy, Oxford
14 Oct The Sugarclub, Dublin
21 Oct Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
Crammed into the back of a small tent at one of the summer’s last music festivals, Jack Penate affirmed his successful arrival on the indie-pop music scene. The start of his set was greeted by a respectable sized crowd, but as he belted out one song after another, the hoards started to drift into the tent. Penate had pulled off an incredible feat: as the Beastie boys screamed unbearably down the microphones on Bestival’s mainstage, Penate’s energetic jumping-arounds worked an ever-growing crowd in the BBCintroducing… tent into frenzy.
By no means comparable to any of his previous gigs, Penate this time appeared much more confident and with an air of knowing why he was there. Almost entirely gone was the nervous schoolboy, and in his place was a performer who was beginning to believe in his own material. After a fantastic rendition of spit at stars, he nonchalantly suggested playing Torn on the platform to an already worked up audience. But before he allowed them their next song, he casually spoke to his fans: asked them how they were doing (fantastically); and, with voice slightly trembling, remarked how he couldn’t quite believe they had all deserted the headliner’s for him (“aren’t the Beastie Boys on stage now?”).
His uniquely seductive mix of arrogance and a sense of being slightly overwhelmed teased the audience who clearly didn’t want to be anywhere else. The start of Torn on the platform was greeted with cheers from throughout the tent and the queue that was steadily forming outside but even though it was past midnight and the crowd had spent all day dancing, there seemed no intention of going home.
Penate’s diffidence seemed to have a reverse effect on the crowd and as shoulders were mounted to get a better view, and sweat wiped from brows, the audience only demanded more from their star. The set was finished with the forthcoming single Second Minute or Hour and was performed to now a screaming sea of sweaty revellers.
Penate seems to have learnt exactly when his enviable energy is required but also when to remain absolutely quiet and let the naive musician in him reign. This will be the last time Penate is banished to the fringe tent: he has earned his place on the stage with the big boys of the music world. I only hope he can still exude charm performing to such a larger crowd.
Dominic Rampat lives in London and studies at the London School of Economics. This was his first time at Bestival but he recommends it to anyone with a penchant for nearly raw sausages, alcohol, sex, good music and sleeping in tents.