Was almost scandalously quiet on Friday, with a handful of people watching Sven Vath and Leftfield while mediocre crowds witnessed big turns from Swedish House Mafia and The Strokes. Even Black Eyed Peas struggled a bit on the main stage. It's clearly less about camping and all about the day tickets though, with the crowd picking up a fair bit on Saturday, doubly so come Sunday.
What that meant for us was more space and less melters - victory for the average punter going about his/her business. If you're talking good behaviour and nice vibes, this was possibly the best Oxegen ever.
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Is networking cool? Doesn't matter - it's necessary.
On Monday's show, I trampled all over Patrick Kane's lovely review of the Desert Hearts (1'09 in) show in Belfast last weekend. My beef was pretty straight forward - not enough people were at the gig.
Desert Hearts have made two classic albums - genuinely incredible collections that would both feature high in my top fifty albums of all time ('local' or otherwise), should I ever make one. Stand out tracks like 'No More Art', 'Seapunk', 'Ocean' and 'Florida Keys' were nicely beefed at the show in question, with DH mainstays Charlie and Roisin now backed up by Leaky and Stu from General Fiasco. But it seemed only myself and a few others really cared. There was about sixty people at the show, in total. Ridiculous.
Bands like And So I Watch You From Afar and (more recently) A Plastic Rose helped boost their initial following by hosting their own elaborate festivals, spreading positivity to a bunch of people, some of whom had never heard a note of their music but would happily return for a proper 'headline' show a few weeks down the line. Don't get me wrong - both bands have the tunes to back up their charm - we wouldn't have bought it otherwise. They're both superb and only getting what they always deserved
But back to Desert Hearts. They don't play that game - they never did. They're lovely people, but maybe not the most sociable when it comes to drowning themselves in the local 'scene'. They've never hosted a festival, schmoozed media types, or gone crazy with the support bill. They just spend their time making incredible music. Yet Desert Hearts first headline show in ages, the return of the decade if you like (and I'm being serious) falls a little flat and goes pretty much unnoticed. People missed out, big time. Hence the slight rage.
Hard to know how to end this piece. I guess the point is, if you're in a band but don't play 'that' game, you need to find someone who does, quick smart.
More importantly, if you're in a band....if you like music....if you have a set of ears on your head....go and listen to Desert Hearts.
Big week for me, I'm buzzing like a maniac. On Tuesday, myself, Warren and Amy from ATL carpooled down to Dublin and watched a pretty special Pavement reunion show
. Tonight I'm for Flight of the Conchords
via a trip on the Enterprise.
Amongst the hype and excitement there will be a little complaining. Inevitable really, I'm from Northern Ireland after all. But this is something that comes up over and over again. Why did I have to travel to Dublin in the first place? Why do some of you guys reading have to do the same to see Rage Against the Machine and Stevie Wonder next month?
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