Electricity in the air at the Electric Proms

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The Independent Culture

In the true tradition of the BBC's Electric Proms, acts performing this year were challenged to reinvent their music.

Doves, left, performed songs spanning their career alongside a 40-strong Bulgarian choir, and were joined by the North Indian classical musician Baluji Shrivastav on sitar for "Birds Flew Backwards". It was the first time the Manchester band, supported by Florence and the Machine, top left, and post-punk band Magazine, above left, had played "Catch the Sun" in eight years. "So, basically the choir bullied us into doing it because they love the arrangement so much," their frontman Jimi Goodwin confessed.

Dizzee Rascal, right, performed his first headline set with a live band, horns and string section. To his fans' surprise, new single "Dirtee Cash" was an acoustic version with backing singers, and he played an excerpt from his infamous 'Newsnight' interview with Jeremy Paxman.

Dame Shirley Bassey, above middle, and the soul star Smokey Robinson (seen in rehearsal at Abbey Road Studio above right) both performed headline sets with the BBC orchestra, while Robbie Williams won over the crowds with a show backed by a massive orchestra, assembled by Trevor Horn.