This weekend, the 9th, 10th & 11th of July sees Oxegen roll into Punchestown for the festivals annual appearance in Kildare. While Oxegen leaves a lot to be desired I continue to go every year, what it lacks in class it makes up with acts and it’s only down the road from me so it would be ignorant not to go, wouldn’t it?
Here is a purely subjective look at what to catch over the weekend. I’m always up for new musical discoveries especially at festivals so any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Vitalic (Dance Arena 20:00)
Vitalic is the man who restored my faith in electronic music in 2005. Now with 2 albums under his belt, I’m expecting an explosive set as he drops his masterful Gallic electro and having never caught him live before I’m hoping he lives up to his rep for sublime performances.
The Coral (Heineken Green Spheres 18:40)
An intrinsic part of the British guitar rival in the last decade, The Coral, now old heads and dreamy psychedelic masters seem to have found a new lease of life judging by their latest material. I’ve been a fan for a long time but this will be the first time to see them live, expecting big things.
Arcade Fire (Main Stage 23:00)
There’s anxious anticipation surrounding the release of Arcade Fire’s upcoming third album The Suburbs, four new songs leaked only served to add fuel to the fire. It will be another first for me and these guys have a pretty redoubtable reputation for live shows – let’s hope they don’t disappoint.
Villagers (2FM/Hotpress Academy Stage 22:20)
Becoming A Jackal was one of the most highly anticipated Irish releases for many years. It’s gone down well with critics and punters alike, including here. This will be another first for me, really hoping the sheer depth, sincerity, honesty, beauty and quality of the song writing on the album translates well to a live setting – no need to worry surely?
Others: Filthy Dukes (Dance Arena 16:15), The Black Keys (Main Stage 16:10), Groove Armada (Vodafone Stage 21:00).
Two Door Cinema Club (Vodafone Stage 16:05) (Edit: Moved to Main Stage 15:15)
The Bangor three-piece head into the festival season on the back of being named in almost all ‘ones to watch’ lists for 2010 following the release pretty solid and tight debut album in Tourist History. I caught these guys earlier in the year in the Button Factory and they didn’t disappoint – expect lots of cheery, catchy energetic indie tunes.
Kasabian (Main Stage 21:05)
I’m not really a Main Stage person and try to avoid it at all costs but this year however, there are a few acts I just can’t miss, so with gritted teeth Kasabian are the second act to tempt me away from my comfort zone. Hardly an unknown quantity with a slew of hit singles, three albums, their last being the best yet. Expect attitude, grit, aggression and most importantly lots of old-fashioned rock n roll swagger from Leicester finest.
Others: Hot Chip (Heineken Green Sphere Stage 22:00), A-Trak (Dance Arena 21:30), Alex Metric (Red Bull Music Academy 23:00), Bombay Bicycle Club (2fm/Hotpress Academy Stage 22:10).
Jamie T (Heineken Green Spheres 18:20)
Jamie T’s second album proved he was able to live up to the potential shown on his debut and not fall on his sword like many others at this juncture. He returned with a rumbustious rattle through London life, combing his distinctive mix of punk, folk and streetwise hip-hop with insightful flowing and often humorous lyrics. He absolutely tore Dublin’s Academy apart earlier in the year with a frantic and high energy show – super stuff.
Fake Blood (Dance Arena 19:15)
Fake Blood has been one of the most talked-about remixers and producers on the electro scene over the past couple of years and this isn’t without merit. I was lucky enough to witness his super live show twice last year, crunchy bone-rattling beats galore, an almost tinnitus-inducing experience.
Mp3: Fake Blood – Blood Splashing (Fake Blood Theme)
The Prodigy (Vodafone Stage 22:15)
As one of the biggest and perhaps important Dance acts of all time these guys need no introduction. If this was just two years ago I wouldn’t have been looking forward to their performance, in fact I would’ve been sniggering at them as they’d become old, tired and stale. However the release of the incredible Invaders Must Die last year firmly placed them back at the pinnacle of dance music where they belong.
Others: Laura Marling (2fm/Hotpress Academy Stage 21:00), Echo & The Bunnymen (Main Stage 14:00), Mystery Jets (2fm/Hotpress Academy Stage 19:00). Oh and don’t forget the World Cup Final kicks off at 19:30 too.
Here’s the stage times for those who missed it.