Oxegen 2011 – Sunday – Ocean Colour Scene, Manic Street Preachers, Alex Metric and Primal Scream

Sunday was by far the weakest lineup of the weekend but still had a lot to offer. Over at the Heineken Green Spheres tent a sizable crowd was gathering for 90’s indie rock stalwarts Ocean Colour Scene. They have always had a big following in this country and the crowd enjoyed it, clapping and singing along perfusely as they ran through fan favourites like ‘Riverboat Song’ and ‘Profit and Peace’. It just all seemed a little tired and jaded, perhaps old father time is catching up with them.

There was a distinctly ’90s fervor to Sunday’s proceedings with the Manic Street Preachers next over on The Main Stage. This slot summed up everything I hate about the Main Stage at Oxegen. The Manics arrived on stage opening with ‘You Love Us’, ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’, ‘(Its Not War) Just the End of Love’ and ‘Everything Must Go’ before launching into a set full of classics. It was met with indifference from the majority of the crowd who seemed disinterested. For their part The Manics sounded exceptional and would have been much better suited to a later slot somewhere else.

It was a completely different story for Alex Metric who had drawn the largest crowd of the weekend into The Electric Ballroom and this time they were fully in tune with the storm being brewed from behind his turntables. Metric had the audacity to drop his Sabotage Remix, sending the place into a air-punching-frenzy, the highlight of the day.

How many bands can get away with playing a full album, a 20 year album in fact, at a festival? Probably just Primal Scream especially when it’s Screamadelica. The crowds may have been elsewhere but the atmosphere inside the Heinken tent was wonderful, warm and loved up. We were immediately treated to fully fleshed out versions of ‘Higher Than The Sun’ and ‘Moving On Up’ with mesmerizing gospel backing. It was clear Bobby Gillespie was as unworried about the numbers as the crowd was, spending the set strutting and swaggering, a superb frontman.

While it kind of waned a little during the middle finishing off with ‘Come Together’ and ‘Loaded’ almost lifted the roof off the Heineken tent with just enough time for ‘Country Girl’, ‘Jailbird’ and ‘Rocks’. Freed from the constraints of Screamadelica they seemed more comfortable in their rock persona sending people home happy in the cool night air. A joyous climax to a surprisingly amazing weekend.

.

.

Oxegen ’11 Preview

This weekend (8th – 10th of July) Oxegen rolls into Punchestown for the festivals annual appearance in Kildare.

Normally what it lacks in class it makes up with quality acts but this year I’m not so sure. Apart from other issues, I feel this is one of the most uninspiring Oxegen lineups for sometime and I don’t know if I can bring myself to shell out the cash for a ticket.

Now that bit is over I’m sure plenty of you have no such dilemma and can’t wait for the festival to kick off. Whether or not I make an appearance is irrelevant and there’s still quite a lot music worth catching over the 3 days (full stage times etc over on State.ie.

Here’s some personal selections for the weekend and feel free to post your own recommendations in the comments below, it is always greatly appreciated.

Friday:

Tame Impala (17:50 2FM Hotpress Academy Stage)

Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala’s stunning debut album, Innerspeaker stole many hearts last year. Expect a dazzling dose of warm fuzzy psychedelia brimming with feel good vibes, raw fuzzed up hooks and riffs. This is just the thing to set the weekend in motion.

Tame Impala – Desire Be Desire Go via Tim Bretantrum

The Strokes (21:30, Vodafone Stage)

What to say about The Strokes that hasn’t already been said? Ten years ago they helped rescue guitar music from the doldrums. A decade on, following a lengthy hiatus they returned with Angles, a record which proved the are still relevant musical force today. This should be one of the highlights of the weekend with a set full with old favourites, ‘Last Nite’ & ‘Take it or Leave It’ and new, ‘Under Cover of Darkness’ & ‘Machu Picchu’.

The last time I saw them (2004?) they were awful, Casablancas was a state but hopefully both he and the band have got their house in order.

The Strokes – Machu Picchu via smithblogsatalanta

Leftfield (23:30 Heineken Green Spheres)

Dance pioneers Leftfield (albeit minus Paul Daley) return to our shores for yet another show. These guys revolutionised dance music throughout the 90′s, pushing it to new and daring levels with two seminal albums Leftism and Rhythm & Stealth. Their show at Electric Picnic last year was disappointing with much of the atmosphere being lost in the cold night air.

Hopefully playing in a tent will suit them better along with a bit more from the Rhythm & Stealth era , perhaps the once proclaimed ‘loudest live act in the world’ can win me over again.

Other recommendations: Maverick Sabre (18:00), The Shit Robot Show (20:15), Tiga (21:15 ) – all in Red Bull Electric Ballroom.

Saturday:

Cashier No.9 (15.55 Heineken Green Spheres)

Belfast 5-piece Cashier No.9 have been a mainstay of the Irish music scene for a number of years now. 2011 is fast becoming ‘their year’ with the release of the scintillating Goldstar EP and their debut album, To The Death Of Fun to rave reviews. Gloriously catchy, infectious and shimmering indie ahoy.

 Cashier No.9 – Goldstar via SnipeLondon

Continue reading