Flow Festival 2022 | Live Review

Back to Flow itself, and Goldlink is lighting up the Red Arena playing Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and urging the crowd to mosh while otherwise impressing with his own flow, before Black Midi take to the same stage with a raucous showcase of their experimental rock that flits from jazzy influences to screaming choruses. Michael Kiwanuka aptly gets into the spirit of the sunset Main Stage slot as he soothes any Sunday hangovers with his effortless folk-infused tracks, but the majority of the crowd are already amped up to see final night headliners Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Surprisingly starting five minutes early, Nick’s already launching himself into the adoring crowd within seconds, as he impresses with gems including ‘Jubilee Street’ and ‘Red Right Hand’. Someone at the front holds up a sign asking Nick to dance with them, which he obliges, bringing them up on to the stage for a slow dance, although another audience member who hands him sunglasses has a slightly less warm reception, as he sings “these sunglasses are shit” with a smile. By the time they close with ‘Into My Arms’, ‘Vortex’ and ‘Ghosteen Speaks’ though, any eyewear slights are long forgotten.

While he may not have climbed to a main stage headline spot just yet, Fred again.. showcases in the Red Arena why he’ll be there very soon. Performing to a rammed tent that hangs on his every drop, he wows with his effortlessly compelling electronic beats, and the packed tent’s hands don’t go down for the whole set. Delivering up huge tracks including ‘Kyle (I Found You)’, the Baxter Dury-featuring ‘Baxter (These Are My Friends)’ and a remix of Frank Ocean’s ‘Chanel’, any Sunday lulls are fully pushed away as he launches into new track ‘Turn On The Lights Again’ featuring Swedish House Mafia and Future, giving us a taste of his upcoming project ‘Actual Life 3’. With last month’s Boiler Room set currently going viral, IRL Fred lives up to the hype and then some, closing Flow Festival in the most perfect way possible.

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