Relentless Energy Drink Boardmasters 2011


Written by Emily Hobbs
Photos and illustrations by Elliot Bland
23 Tuesday 23rd August 2011

First up were the Stereo MCs on the main stage. They’d wisely ditched the double denim look that defined their 90s heyday and had likewise eschewed their old electronic dance sound for a rockier, soul infused set. They sounded brilliant, with Rob Birch suited and booted on lead guitar. The size and enthusiasm of the crowd was a testament to their enduring ability to connect with the audience (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Stereo MCs

Then it was over to the Relentless Energy Drink stage to check out the ethereal and complex German artist, I Am Harlequin.  For someone who’s only been performing in public since February, she really owned the stage and gave a fantastic, prepossessed performance.

Also a producer, composer, lyricist, screenwriter, remixer, Anne Freier’s biggest project right now is her incarnation as I Am Harlequin. Post-show she said that she’d spent about a year and a half writing and developing what she called, with fierce German efficiency, ‘the product’, before tailoring her band around her songs, fitting perfectly with her creative vision. If ever there was someone who knows exactly what she wants and how to make it happen, it’s I Am Harlequin.

I am Harlequin - The King's Daughter

Another lovely surprise from the Relentless Energy Drink stage was the esoterically titled The Violet May.  As a guitar band from Sheffield, it was tempting to just write them off as another Arctic Monkeys indie soundalike.  But no. Their sound is like nothing else around at the moment. Being almost a bit punk with some Jeff Beck references thrown in there alongside a bit of The Clash, The The and any other dirty, Jack Daniels-for-breakfast rock band where you actually get proper guitar solos. Massive, noisy and very nice.

The Violet May

There’s always a good time to listen to dubstep and there was no better time or place than 7.30pm in a Cornish field as the sun was going down. Sub Focus took to the main stage and kicked everyone’s evening off with some bowel-trembling bass music, sprinkled with some of the biggest tracks from his most recent album. After his set he mentioned some ‘very exciting news’ that you’re not allowed to know about just yet. His rising star is about to become a sun. Or something. That metaphor sucks. Watch this space though.

Crowd enjoying Sub Focus

So onto the surf competition that provided the backdrop for all this revelry. By Saturday night the competition had already been won, with France’s Romaine Cloitre taking the Relentless Energy Drink Boardmasters title for surfing. Antoine Delpero continued France’s winning streak alongside California’s Jennifer Smith, with each of them taking the men’s and women’s ASP Tuaca Longboard Pro 2011 titles respectively.

Surfer dude

The campfire sing song was lead by the hugely energetic Lethal Bizzle, who gave up on the mic during ‘Police On My Back’ and let the hyped-up crowd take over the lyrics for a bit. A topical choice, I guess. And providing the heat with which to toast the marshmallows of everyone’s hearts and bring the festival to a close was an exemplary set from the mysterious Jaguar Skills. He brought the festival to the close, scratching, remixing, editing and chopping between Snoop Dogg, Kaiser Chiefs, Pendulum, House of Pain and Other Great Crowd Favourites.

Lethal Bizzle chillng out

Then it was back to the tent to invite the lapping tide of sleep to wash over us. Except sleep never came. Because we’d all had too much energy drink.


Thanks to Relentless Energy Drink for a great weekend in Newquay. See you all next year. To check out what else happened at the festival, head to Relentless Energy.

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