Oxegen Blog #1 - Top Ten Moments, Ever...
In the first of four daily blogs this week as we build up to Oxegen kicking off on Friday afternoon, Rigsy, who's been to every Witnness and Oxegen since they began in 2000, picks ten of his favourite performances from the last nine years...
New Bands tent, Sunday, 2001
This was actually a wee bit rubbish, but I didn't mind. Their album, the finest thing I'd heard during the previous 12 months, was a lovely mess, an unpolished clattering of samples and seemingly random noises. Made sense the live show would be the same, just louder. It was.
Main stage, Sunday, 2002
First thing on the Sunday morning (after a particularly heavy Saturday night, as I recall) - everyone is crawling out of their sleeping bags and rubbing their eyes, desperately trying to shake off the previous evening's excess. Then a load of guys and girls run on the stage in white gowns singing about the sun and generally bombarding us with spikey happiness. Few of us had a clue who they were, some of us thought it was all in our imagination.
The Chemical Brothers
Dance arena, Saturday, 2003
I've seen the Chemical Brothers four times at Witnness/Oxegen and it's always been incredible, but this one stands out as I was just so grateful to have made it into a ludicrously rammed hanger at the corner of the festival site. When they dropped 'Star Guitar' I hugged everyone in the world.
Main stage, Sunday, 2003
One of the best hours of my life. Dressed as a giant orange fish (that's what I'm saying it was, no one was able to explain what animal it was supposed to be) alongside Neil Hannon and Colin Murray, in front of 30,000 people, with one of your favourite bands of all time. That'll do it. Witnness 2003 has yet to be bettered.
Second stage, Saturday, 2004
When they came out, my, erm... hero Pharrell Williams wasn't with them. I thought, fair enough, what would the single coolest man on the planet be doing mincing about a field in Co. Kildare? When he eventually did come out, looking awesome in a Billionaire Boys Club hoodie, I screamed like a Bay City Rollers groupie in 1976. When they played 'Lapdance' I bounced so high I thought I might touch the moon.
Main stage, Saturday, 2005
There was an old guy in the corner dressed in purple, covered in diamonds and supporting himself with a massive gold cane, doing nothing but just... bein' a pimp. And Snoop had one leg of his trousers rolled up. If they'd not played a single note or muttered a word this still would have been awesome.
Republic of Loose
Main stage, Saturday, 2006
Like it's done for about a third of the time this festival has been running in the last few years, it was raining for the duration of this performance. Proper belting it down. I was on my own, getting soaked to the skin - I might as well have gone swimming fully clothed, I was that wet. I interviewed them afterwards and they seemed generally concerned about the fact I was visibly shaking and clearly coming down with something. But it was still worth it.
2nd stage, Sunday, 2007
A big shiny pyramid, all lit up and some of the biggest dance songs of the last ten years. Classness.
New Bands stage, Sunday, 2008
Just to represent all the Nordies who have successfully invaded the festival and taken over, for a short time at least. It was rammed when General Fiasco played the new bands tent last year and I think they were on second last. In a couple of years time, everyone will claim they saw this show.
Rage Against the Machine
Main stage, Sunday, 2008
Simply because it was possibly the most hyped up and anticipated set we've seen on this island... ever. It was incredible, of course. But I'll probably remember, more than anything, standing beside Radio One's Rory McConnell for half an hour before they came onstage. A grumpy sort at the best of times, Rory isn't a fan of festivals. Yet he was twitching a bit, something obviously on his mind. Out of the blue he turned round to me and said, with all the enthusiasm in the world - "I'm so happy". Sums it up, really.
Tell us your favourite Oxegen moment, and check out my spotify Oxegen playlist if you so desire...