Entertainment

Lily Allen livens up final chilly night of Splendour

Lily Allen performs at Splendour in the Grass.
Lily Allen performs at Splendour in the Grass. Mireille Merlet

OH thank you Lily Allen for bringing the cheeky fun we needed at Splendour.

The British songstress's festival-closing set was just what rundown festival-goers needed to round out the three-day event.

It was fun, colourful and a bit silly with giant glowing neon baby bottles and backup dancers shaking their booties while wearing dog masks to Hard Out Here.

Allen opened the show with LDN to a packed Amphitheatre, despite the chilly late-night temperature.

"It's so nice to be here," she said.

"I haven't been here since 2007.

"We're going to have a good time. We're going to close out this festival."

She looked to be having fun, showing no trace of the flu she's spoken of suffering from during her sideshows earlier this week.

Not even getting a wedgie in front of thousands of fans seemed to bother her.

Earlier in the afternoon her distant relative Sam Smith, a third-cousin, performed his first ever Australian show.

The British R&B singer was incredibly charming in his Splendour debut.

Best known for his breakthrough hit Stay With Me, Smith's first and only Australian show came just days after Stay With Me hit the new high of No 3 on America's Billboard chart.

"This is unbelievable," he told the crowd.

"I hope you guys understand this is only second trip to this country and my first time playing."

The polite Smith assured the crowd that while he was playing a few new songs off his album In The Lonely Hour that they might not know, that his songs were "easy to learn".

From the opening guitar riff the crowd recognised his cover of the Arctic Monkeys' Do I Wanna Know?

He explained the significance of one of his early songs Lay Me Down, which helped him land a record deal.

"This is the first song I ever put on YouTube three years ago," he said.

"This song completely changed my life. This song got me my record deal.

"This is basically the song that started everything."

He finished the set with crowd favourites Money on My Mind, Latch and, finally, Stay With Me, which his adoring, mostly female fans, were more than happy to do.

Aussie hip hopper Illy was another highlight, playing the Mix Up stage after Smith.

He played the festival four years ago, and told the crowd he was stoked to have moved up from a noon set on a Friday to the primetime slot of 6pm on the closing night.

He began to play his Like A Version medley cover but stopped after one minute to chastise the crowd for not dancing and clapping along, demanding punters participate and they obliged.

That moment seemed to snap the crowd out of its subdued state and brought the focus back to Illy, and rightly so.

Veteran Aussie rappers Hilltop Hoods summed up the mood of the festival when they bound onto stage with all the gusto of professional boxers singing Chase That Feeling, pounding the air.

The audience reciprocated in kind and were later egged on by the band, "I want you to vibe with me y'all".

This was the gig many had been waiting for and they did not disappoint, their enthusiasm seeping into the crowd.

In addition to a new song about handshakes, they pulled out some old favourites including the Nosebleed Section and Lights Out.

Dan Sultan also joined the band on stage for a few songs including The Hard Road. On Friday Sultan also made a cameo during Spiderbait's set.

At one stage they announced they didn't care about people's race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, asking everyone to hold up one finger while they sang, a gesture mirrored by the lyrics, "I am, you are, we are one".

Which is lucky because as the cold air set in the audience needed to become one to stay warm.

Topics:  hilltop hoods, illy, lily allen, sam smith, splendour 2014, splendour in the grass



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