Rigsy's Oxegen Runners & Riders!
Way-hey! It's the return of Rigsy's Oxegen Runners & Riders!
Who to see, who to avoid, who to pretend you saw… well, you'll catch on quick enough.
***THE MUST SEES***
Main stage, Saturday, 9.40pm
It took as a while to warm to the Arctic Monkeys 'live' experience, as youthful naivety and a stubborn approach to playing the 'hits' made past experiences a little hit and miss. But under the watchful eye of Josh Homme, they've a beast of a new record to be proud of, four solid albums worth of material under their belt and endless reams of deserved confidence. Now is their time.
Main stage, Sunday, 10.25pm
Just for the first ten minutes which, if she performs the same set as we saw at Glasto, will be two of the finest pop songs of the last ten years back to back. To be fair, it was kinda downhill from there but nevermind that, what an ENTRANCE!
***THE OLD RELIABLES***
The Foo Fighters
Main stage, Saturday, 11.25pm
Seriously, you've forgotten just how many big songs they have.
Main stage, Sunday, 10.25pm
Not the coolest name to drop, but they are SO much better live than on record and (whisper it) *we quite like them in on record anyway*. The songs are beefed up, the live show spectacular and Chris Martin is a lot less annoying than you think.
***THE NAMES TO DROP***
Green Spheres, Sunday, 6.10pm
So insanely cool a name to drop, it's already started to become pretty uncool to rave about them. If that makes sense. Despite *that* jaw-dropping video and any number of eye widening lyrics, we remain a little unconvinced about Tyler The Creator and his merry band of hip hop loons. We'd happily let them blow us away however and, given the hype about seemingly every gig they've done this year, there's a fair chance that will happen.
Electric Ballroom, Sunday, 4.15pm
If you can stomach the 'banger hanger' for an hour on a Sunday afternoon, TEED are definitely an act not to be missed. ATL is yet to witness their live set, but with a name like 'Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs' we're assuming it's going to be quite fun. And hearing those singles, rammed full of spangly disco goodness as they are, TEED could be just the ticket to shake off the inevitable hangover.
***THE AVOID OR DIE***
Vodaphone stage, Saturday, 2pm
Amanda Brunker is a well known socialite in the south, noted for her 'saucy' romance novels and the fact she'll happily turn up to the opening of an email. She is not an actual musician - she just got a band together to perform covers at what will be her first ever gig. We can only assume she was booked (replacing Jessie J) either as a favour or to garner some publicity (or both).
Given the ludicrous amounts of great Irish acts who'd give both their right and left arm for the slot, Oxegen bookers should be ashamed of themselves. In short, a two finger salute to actual music fans attending the festival.
Black Eyed Peas
Main stage, Friday, 11.15pm
Not sure we need to go in to much detail with this one….
***THE GUILTY PLEASURES***
Vodaphone Stage, Friday, 7.45pm
Is this even a guilty pleasure? Who cares. Great tunes, an engaging frontman and a full live band will make it great fun.
Fun Lovin' Criminals
Main stage, Friday, 2pm
(No need to change 2009's entry much) Strange one this - FLC were at their coolest about 14 years ago - and even then they weren't that cool. But a sneaky listen to their greatest hits suggests that, in the right frame of mind, this could be silly amounts of fun. And Huey is beyond legendary.
***THE BEST OF THE MEXICANS***
Fight Like Apes
Vodaphone stage, Sunday, 4.30pm
A band built for festivals. Lunatic frontwoman who likes to get her hands dirty and invade the crowd, stage props, daft party tunes and the chance of a fun cover (at EP it was 'Push It'). We predict unprecedented levels of win.
Little Green Cars
Green Spheres, Saturday, 2pm
We're still learning, but the hype coming up the M1 seems justified.
Tuneful jangle indie-pop from a band who, unlike a lot of Irish acts at the moment, don't try and re-invent the wheel. And it turns out they're managed by a Thrill!
The Bloody Beetroots
Dance Arena, Saturday, 11.15pm
Utterly relentless turbo-electro performed by two utter mad-men who demand (and yes, it gets threatening) that everyone go completely insane. It will be bedlam, that is a promise.
Vodaphone stage, Saturday, 11.05pm
Again not the most credible act to recommend, but it's hard to beat a combination of well known bangers, crazy visuals and daft headgear. Proper Saturday night fun times ahead.
***THE BEST OF THE NORDIES***
Green Spheres, Saturday, 3.55pm
More than disappointing there's only two Nordies on the entire bill, especially given the wonderful renaissance we're currently enjoying, but here we are. It may not be quantity, but it's certainly quality - Cashier No.9 have made one of the albums of the year.
Two Door Cinema Club
Main Stage, Saturday, 5pm
Not much more to say about this lot, you know the craic by now. Worth noting though that last year they had one of the biggest main-stage crowds of the weekend and this year they're bigger still. The show is theirs to steal.
***THE IF YOU'RE IN TO THAT SORT OF THINGS***
Main stage, Friday, 5.55pm
They may be genuine legends, but they're relatively unknown in broad terms and could bomb on the mainstage, which generally attracts a more pop-loving crowd (especially when The Script and Black Eyed Peas are headlining). But for old-skool indie fans, this is the gig of the weekend.
Hotpress stage, Saturday, 11.50pm
Like Weezer, there's a chance this lot could play to one of the smallest crowds of the weekend, for a headliner at least. But with an arsenal of potential sing-alongs and a wonderfully contrary front man, this is my one absolute must for the entire weekend.