Day two at Fusion Festival, Birmingham

Day Two at Fusion Festival, coming from Cofton Park in Birmingham, was for the hardcore fans. You only need look at the line-up for that.

Day two at Fusion Festival, Birmingham

Sigma perform on day two at Fusion Festival in Birmingham

Friday, very much, appealed to the teeny-boppers, apart from the great equaliser that was Ed Sheeran at the top of the bill. He’ll sit well anywhere.

It’s likely to be the case again today, when the Vamps and McBusted take top billing on the final date of festivities. Boy bands to a man.

You really couldn't argue with the weather, either, with sun blazing down until we headed into a cool evening. Guarantee it will rain today now.

There were far more adults in the audience than on day one, in no doubt down to the credibility of the acts who were performing.

A cast consisting of Rudimental, Labrinth, Clean Bandit, Sigma and Becky Hill was never going to be anything but super-cool. Here’s how it all went down...

Rudimental, with Craig Birch.

The headline act at a festival in Birmingham for the second year in a row, after tearing the house down on the opening night of Wireless Festival at Perry Park last July.

They’ve also done Wolverhampton Civic Hall since 2014 began and it’s bright lights and big beats whenever this drum’n’bass band take to the stage.

Those all-too-familiar with their ‘Home’ album will have loved track three, ‘Right Here,’ but that compilation also reminds you that a hell of a lot of their work is done with featured artists.

While it’s difficult to have ‘Not Giving In’ without John Newman and ‘Free’ without Emeli Sande, it’s also important that it’s Rudimental who make the sounds that are so special.

They were at their best here, with ‘Baby’ the warbling sort of output we’ve come to expect from them. That featured MNEK, who was on stage earlier in the afternoon.

‘Waiting All Night’ is up there with their best and there was an unexpected cover of ‘Welcome to Jamrock,’ made so famous by Bob Marley’s son Damian.

They love doing Shy FX and UK Apache’s ‘Original Nuttah’ on the road and were really excited about coming here, as evidenced by their tweets on route.

The crowd felt the love with their finale, the aptly-named ‘Feel the Love,’ and that was that from one of the hottest acts this country has to offer from their genre.

Labrinth, with Katy Rose Meaney

The penultimate act of day two came from Labrinth.

The ‘Earthquake’ star performed for 45 minutes at Cofton Park, ahead of headliners, Rudimental.

The star jokingly referred to the crowd as ‘V Festival’ telling fans, “I’m joking with you Fusion.

"But as you might know, I asked my girlfriend to marry me at V and I’m not over that yet!”

He proposed to Muz, in the middle of his set in front of 35,000 people last weekend.

He added: “It is great to be here Birmingham, I’m ready, are you ready? Show me you’re ready.”

He performed a string of hits including ‘Let the sun shine, Higher and Jealous and finished his set with Earthquake.

Labrinth has written songs for Professor Green, Pixie Lott and Ola Svensson.

The record producer has also remixed a track for JLS and has collaborated with Tinnie Tempah. 

Clean Bandit, with Craig Birch

Really growing up as a group, but their sound remains unique. The future is certainly bright for this electro group.

There was not messing about here, either, as they launched straight into the collaboration of ‘Real Love’ with Jess Glynne that will no doubt be done again when the lady performs tonight.

They were another act at Wireless last year, but have shot up the list to the main stage from the second tent then on the back of some real sterling work.

Violin strummer Milan Neil Amin-Smith draws some inspiration from the Italian house scene, which was really going off a decade or so ago.

Those sort of crisp beats, along with the strains of the violin and cello, have introduced the mainstream to something out of the ordinary.

They are not above doing the odd cover, though, and they’ve performed Robin S’ ‘Show Me Love’ before. Thirtysomethings will also have loved their rendition of Strike’s ‘U Sure Do.’

And everybody knows their signature tune ‘Rather Be.’ particularly regular shoppers at Marks & Spencer. That will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Sigma, with Craig Birch

It’s been a breakthrough time for this drum’n’bass twosome and Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie have come a long way since meeting at university in Leeds.

They take their work extremely seriously and their group marched to the stage with flags, imploring the crowd to sing ‘Sigma, Sigma!’

They got stuck into ‘Higher’ and doffed their caps to Rhianna by performing ‘Diamond,’ before an unexpected guest returned to the stage.

We probably should have saw Ella Henderson’s return to the stage coming, that said, in the first instance of a featured artist performing with the group.

That made the catchy ‘Glitterball’ all the better, but there was still plenty to see when she went backstage for a second stage.

‘Nobody To Love’ led up to a glorious finale which really worked the Fusion revellers into a frenzy, as we went into nightfall. ‘Somebody say Sigma!’ 

Ella Henderson, with Katy Rose Meaney.

The British singer and songwriter started out as a contestant in the ninth series of X Factor back in 2012.

She got through to the final 12 and finished in sixth place, despite being a strong favourite to win.

That didn’t stop her though and now, at just 19, she returned to Fusion Festival to perform a 40 minute set to thousands of fans.

The No 1 artist performed a cover version of ‘Love Runs Out’ and entertained crowds with ‘Glow’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Mirror Man’ all from her debut album ‘Chapter One’, which was released last October.

As she sang Mirror Man she told crowds: “I wrote this song about the most selfish man I have ever met.”

Before leaving the stage she blew kisses to the ‘amazing’ crowd and reminded fans that she will return to Birmingham for a show in October at the 02 Academy.

She told fans: “I’m back in October and I can't wait. Thank you do much Fusion Fest, God bless and good night.”

The rest...

Fusion Festival kicked off day two of live acts with music from 2pm.

M.O opened the second day of the festival performing for 15 minutes before Dappy, lead singer of N-Dubz, showed off his solo career hits including ‘Rockstar’ and ‘No Regrets’.

A total of 50,000 people will visit Birmingham’s Cofton Park across the three day event, to see acts including Ed Sheeran, Rudimental and McBusted.

On Saturday, the Voice star Becky Hill took to the stage late afternoon in a gorgeous, flowing bright pink skirt.

Performing in the sunshine, with her waist length blonde hair loose, the stunner from Worcestershire belted out her best tracks

The singer and song writer rose to fame in the first series of the reality competition, where she joined Jessie J’s team and reached the semi-final.

The rising star featured on Rudimental’s track ‘Powerless’ and she went to number one with her song ‘Gecko (Overdrive).'

She performed for just short of 30 minutes before thanking the crowd.

She said: “You’ve been amazing, thank you so much Birmingham, enjoy the rest of your day.”

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