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Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 10:23 UK
Tinchy rocks Underage Festival

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat Music Reporter

The UK's only festival for 14-18 year olds heads into its third year with appearances from Tinchy Stryder, The Pigeon Detectives, Santigold and more.

Underage Festival
Underage Festival saw 10,000 teens attend London's Victoria Park

It's the self-proclaimed cure to the teen cliché…"There's nothing for us to do."

Underage, held at London's Victoria Park, is a triumph for getting off your bum and organising something.

Youthful promoter Sam Kilcoyne, still a teenager himself, began the event in 2007.

Now established, this year 10,000 14-16 year olds make it on site, in the afternoon sunshine.

The Pigeon Detectives' Matt Bowman sums up for atmosphere: "It's a bit like Beatle-mania for every band that plays - the kids just get into it and don't mind if they loose a shoe or two as they go along."

Underage is one big party, with people pin-balling between the site's six wooded stages, numerous stalls and offbeat entertainment.

Tinchy Stryder
Tinchy Stryder played songs from new album Catch 22

Marina shines

"We got up at 5am, sorry if I'm a bit dozy," explains Marina And The Diamonds, one of the first acts of the day, prowling on stage with a spangled quiz-master's blazer.

Songs like I Am Not A Robot, a cover of Late Of The Pier's Space And The Woods and 17 [rather aptly] are greeted with high pitched screams and pink pocket cameras.

Next-door, the tent's poles are shaking as dubstep is firmly represented by Rusko and then Caspa [Plastcian and JME play later].

Despite the fact there are more people waiting to sit in some designer deckchairs than watching just-out-of-schoolers Rolo Tomassi, that doesn't put them off.

Lead singer James Spence scrabbles around in the crowd as they rifle through a technically mind-blowing bout of jazz-infused thrash metal.

"We've been off the chart for a little while," says Hadouken's James Smith sporting a head sweat band and Metallica T-shirt, "We're going to come back harder and faster."

The Leeds nu-raver's first outing in a while, they preview their new "harder and faster" sound from their forthcoming Noisia [Dutch drum 'n' bass trio] produced second album.

Underage Festival
Underage Festival began in 2007

Final show

Santigold, wearing a striking pink pastel trouser suit, is celebrating her final gig after two years on the road promoting debut LP Santogold.

Backed by two dancers in gold jackets and white wayfarers she struggles with technical problems but still manages to woo the crowd with her seductive pop.

"This is horrible," she says of the sound, "but you guys are awesome".

Big strides

Tinchy Stryder, playing to a tent rammed with screaming fans, is greeted with the kind of devotion usually saved for girl bands, or U2.

Five people are rescued from the crowd before he's even on stage.

When he does arrive - rapping to Chemical Brothers' Block Rockin' Beats with a towel on his head - the roof is almost taken off.

Santigold played the last gig of her current tour

The rapper, coasts through covers of The Ting Tings' That's Not My Name and Calvin Harris' I'm Not Alone, before rolling through Take Me Back and finally Number 1.

"My head feels like it's spinning right now," he says drying down in his dressing room after, "the underage people enjoy themselves a bit more."

With the day coming to a close, The Horrors bring their current invincible aura [Mercury nominated and highlight of many of the summer festivals] to the Artrocker stage.

Meanwhile, Little Boots and The Pigeon Detectives polish the evening off with sleek sets as parents in cars begin pulling up to the festival gates.

"It's been amazing, there's so much stuff to do. I'll be back next year..." says Livvy, 14, from Hampshire on her way out. "If I'm allowed."

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