Wednesday 18 July 2007

Oxegen '07 Part III

Unfortunately, I started to feel progressively worse as the day rolled on. Luckily, the Bacardi tent managed to nurse me back to health with some sweet house music. The excellent MC, who also provided some drum beats to the DJ, created a real feel-good atmosphere despite the sheets of rain teeming down outside. The very cool Irish funksters "Disconauts" played at some stage in there as well. Eventually, I got going again but my enthusiasm for dabbling in the various musical genres had greatly diminished and so I got down to business in the Dance Arena. Missed out on some acts I really wanted to see like Babyshambles, The Kooks, Bright Eyes, New Young Pony Club, Klaxons, and Razorlight but seeing all of these even in the best of conditions would take a serious amount of effort. Leber 2 Mud 3

Erol Alkan and Deep Dish kept me entertained for the evening but I thought they were nothing special at the same time. I felt there was very little diversity between some of the Dance Arena acts with most of them playing electronica sets with very little deviation. Felix the Housecat finished the arena on Saturday night and I've never been more disappointed by a DJ. In short, he was a disgrace. Dance music has long been criticised for extending a reverence and respect for DJs, who often do not even produce their own music. Huge sums of money and matching crowds have been the norm for big name DJs, particularly in the 90s. Many of my best nights have been in clubs with a good atmosphere, tunes and crowd with relatively unknown DJs. FTH has produced some great tunes, but can't mix. At one stage, he played Tainted Love by Marc Almond (totally out of place at the time) and then brought in the next tune with practically zero mixing. He later played "Ready 2 Wear", a tune I really like but had no place in an electronica set.

He finished his set fairly early, around 12:45, and then mentioned something about shooting off because of traffic!! He must know at this stage what people put up with at these festivals and he starts on about the M50. Do not waste your time ever going to see this DJ. He is everything that is wrong with dance music - taking exorbitant fees to play a sloppy set with little regard for his audience. Rant over.

Luckily, my faith in dance music was restored with interest on Sunday. My first viewing of Daft Punk far exceeded my humble expectations. I'd heard all the criticisms of the gallic duo (same live set, lack of new, quality material, huge fees etc.) and hadn't really listened to them much over the last few years. Nonetheless, they put on the greatest live show I've ever seen. The whole thing seemed tailored to perfection - every beat, bass and musical nuance was in unison with the unbelievable light show. Their songs were intermingled and intertwined to a point where you didn't know where some songs started or finished. At one stage, I thought the set was beginning to wind down when this was played ...

Still getting goosepimples watching that. Criticise all you want but as Maximus would say "Are you not entertained?". The best show I've ever seen was spent ankle deep in mud and I loved it. At that stage, I think I was at one with the mud. If you want to enjoy a festival like this, I reckon you have got to love and embrace the mud. Leber 3 Mud 3

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