We check out Karima Francis, Punch Brothers, Robert Randolph and more
Taking to her Twitter account earlier in the day, fresh-faced acoustic sensation Karima Francis proclaims this the "biggest gig" of her career as she opens the Main Stage at Hard Rock Calling on Sunday.
Beginning with Wherever I Go, she soothes a sober afternoon audience with her sweet, melodic sound, fused with powerful vocals. It's the perfect cocktail to get the party started and each track is proceeded with a deserved applause.
Softly spoken and understandably nervous when addressing the crowd in between tracks, Karima is at her best when displaying her extraordinary vocals, most notably on The Remedy.
Her wild hair waves with every slight gust of wind, but this kind weather allows the early birds at the Main Stage, most of whom are sat on the damp wood chip littered across the site, to enjoy an passionate set.
Karima's next single Glory Days is a notable high in a short and sweet 25-minute slot, with Francis and the chilling Stay closing out a solid opening to the final day of Hard Rock Calling 2012.
Karima Francis reviewed by Jamie Casey
Fans gathered at the Pepsi Max Stage this afternoon for a performance from the brilliant Ryan Sheridan.
Judging by the crowd, this Irish singer/songwriter has certainly garnered quite a following in his relatively short time on the live circuit, his set today being his first ever London gig.
A notable feature of the set was the incredible talent of Sheridan's drummer, who used his hands, a Cajon box drum, cymbals and small toms to hold the beat throughout the set. This combined with an electric guitar and Ryan's own acoustic made excellent viewing.
Sheridan's vocals jump from haunting melodies to aggressive folk to country in a way that perfectly balanced the enthusiasm coming from his band and their high octane set.
An incredible solo on the Cajon was met with rapturous applause from an excited audience, from there Sheridan launched into a no-holds-barred rendition if The White Stripes mega-hit Seven Nation Army. He lapped it up as the crowd chanted the chorus back at him in unison.
The fans came here for a good show today, and they certainly got one. His first London show was a huge success; we'd welcome back this artist any time.
The weather was kind to us this afternoon as Robert Randolph and the Family Band took to the stage after Karima.
Onlookers had gathered en masse to see the blues-funk troupe jam in Hyde Park, and their half hour set was met with awe and rapturous cheers. They weaved intricate guitar work and keyboard effects to create an infectious sound, drawing more and more revellers to the Main Stage to see what the commotion was.
“We only got two hours sleep last night!” Robert shouted, but you’d never have known, as the band happily and energetically jammed on. The tempo quickened as they grooved through a selection of irresistible funk and soul sounds.
“If you feel good about life you might as well scream a little bit!” he called – and from the sounds of it, all of here in Hyde Park feel very good indeed.
With his long, greasy locks and scruffy facial hair, Robert Ellis looks more like a lead guitarist in a heavy metal band than a frontman in a country folk act. Image isn't always relevant, though, especially not when his distinct Texas accent hits home in front of a modest crowd on the Pepsi Max Stage.
Ellis declares himself "super excited to be here" at Hard Rock Calling, but not particularly because of exquisite food or the welcoming audience, more so because Paul Simon, one of his favourite song writers, is closing the festival tonight.
Churning out tracks such as What's In It For Me? and Steady As The Rising Sun, his blues-based folk sound is by no means original. However, his lyrics are far from typically country, as witty songs about watching too much television offer a unique edge.
As has been the case all weekend at the festival's second biggest stage, the acoustics are impeccable and every chord can be heard as Ellis' new song Pride closes an enjoyable 30-minute set.
Robert Ellis reviewed by Jamie Casey