A five-star performance by Aussie psych-rockers Tame Impala wasn’t enough to save Citadel as the one-day festival was marred by terrible event staff in the guise of Showsec and Britain’s inability to deal with the current heatwave.

Citadel, like Lovebox which took place on the Friday and Saturday had this year moved from east London’s Victoria Park to a smaller site at Gunnersbury Park in west London and the upheaval seemed to have had a detrimental impact on the organisation of the one-day festival. Long queues and a lack of communication meant attendees were stuck at the site with many not being able to leave London until 5am.

Away from the logistical issues Citadel, now in its 4th year, presented an eclectic line up featuring acts established and up-coming across three main stages alongside a myriad of arts and crafts, eateries and other activities to keep attendees busy.

Southend-On-Sea indie-goths The Horrors delivered an enjoyable set despite the 28 degree heat, however it was the afternoon sun that proved to their detriment with the lukewarm crowd clearly focusing on not passing out and finding shade instead of taking in what was a good performance. US soul act Leon Bridges headlined the Communion Stage under the protection from the heat, Bridges treated the audience to a near flawless performance featuring hits including the painfully lovely ‘Beyond” and recent single ‘Bad Bad News’.

Fat White Family’s raucous main stage show brought their somewhat different take on indie rock to a crowd who if confused at the start, were converted towards the end of the set. The group famously formed whilst squatting in a south London pub and their unique style and direction is seen as a result of those humble beginnings – something that has definitely earnt them a few new fans. Elsewhere Swedish experimental fusion group GOAT continued their rise through the festival circuit with another tireless performance of their own unique brand of music.

Tame Impala delivered an impressive performance to close the otherwise stale affair with a set that was as appealing to the eyes as it was the ears. Launching with “Let it Happen” which was met with a fanfare of confetti cannons and rare movement (actual dancing) from the crowd – the searing heat had died down by this point. Kevin Parker and co continued through their surprisingly storied archive with tracks from Currents and Lonerism keeping the tempo up whilst mesmerizing background visuals kept crowds transfixed in a trance like state. After a brief chat about the World Cup final, drummer Julien Barbagallo had been celebrating as the Frenchman’s nation had lifted the trophy earlier on in the day, the band dived straight into what was probably the highlight of the day – an emphatic rendition of breakthrough single “Elephant”.

Citadel is still a confused entity lacking in direction, however by bringing in UK festival exclusives like Tame Impala, it will continue to grow.

Tame Impala the shining light at poor Citadel
2.5Overall Score