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Oxegen 2010 - Gossip

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ATL | 22:20 UK time, Saturday, 10 July 2010

Green Spheres Tent, Saturday 10th July, 8.30pm

Describe in a Tweet: Beth Ditto eats up music, and spits out the results.

What Happened: A huge crowd has gathered for Gossip, and by the time ATL had fought through the throng, 'Standing In The Way Of Control' comes to an end. Now, having got the hit out of the way, Gossip tears into their back catalogue, throwing in a musical grab bag along the way.

Snatches of melodies and lyrics are peppered through the set, with Beth Ditto appropriating Black Sabbath, Talking Heads, Marvin Gaye, and Tina Turner, amongst others. Placed in context with their own material, it helps frame the band's chameleonic tendencies. Which is just as well, as the set jumps schizophrenically from their garage punk beginings to their later indie-dance stylings, stopping off at various points to showcase the vocal dynamics of Ditto, who howls and shrieks her way into every corner of this cavernous tent.

Whether anyone actually cares or notices any of this is a different matter as a large percentage of the audience are only here because of the electro crossover hits that first brought them to mainstream attention in the first place. No matter, as Ditto is such an engaing presence, so eminantely likeable, that she very quickly has the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand. When she hurls a toilet roll into the crowd, wraps part of it around her head, and then spits the remainder out towards the audience, it's too late: Oxegen has fallen for Beth Ditto. All of a sudden, the mud seems that little bit more bearable.

Crazy in Love: The rendition of Tina Turner's 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' is particularly good, with the band simultaneously treating it in an ironic manner, and delving into the emotional core of the song.

99 Problems: Whilst Ditto clearly is a gifted singer, there are times when it starts to feel like she's oversinging everything, for want of anything better to do.

Oxegen Rating: 7/10

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