Saturday 14 July 2007

Oxegen '07

Well, it's taken the bulk of the week to recover from the weekend that was Oxegen '07. Either my powers of recovery have greatly diminished or my capacity to imbibe has greatly increased. I won't repeat the gripes (mud, lots of) and shortcomings ("Lord of the Flies" themed campsite) of the festival, which have been highlighted in the Irish media over the last week. I will try and provide some impression of how my weekend went or, at some stages, didn't.

It all started out bright, optimistic with an unquenchable thirst for the beginning of a musical odyssey. Well, that thirst was well sated on the Friday night in Dublin with a two hour Korean banquet complete with evil Korean rice wine, Soju. My hopelessly optimistic festival timetable had to be drastically amended when I arrived at 2:00pm on the Saturday and struggled badly with the ol' tent construction. Having to eventually resort to reading the instructions I had previously put aside, with the disdain all men possess for such things, I concluded hangovers and anything with labels A, A1, B and B1 do not mix.

Can of cider in hand, I laboured through the heavy muck which seemed determined to wrench the old Air Max runners (official Skanger footwear, I know) from my feet and propel me face forward and shoeless to the floor . I possibly didn't give the aforementioned can due attention but made it to the entrance proudly vertical. The realisation that a weekend-long battle of wits with the stodgy matter lay ahead was beginning to dawn. Leber 1 Mud 0.

My hopelessly optimistic festival schedule (surely an oxymoron in itself) had to be amended already as I was 4 hours late. The Cribs, The View, The Rumble Strips, Director, and The Twang would sadly have to missed this time (Worth youtubing these bands). I might have ambled over to Avril Lavigne as well, if I happened to be passing... the main stage at 15:30, apparently). I just can't dislike the Canadian minx despite her gawdawful adolescent, punk- wannabe yelpings.

Caught the last tune of French duo, Justice, who apparently rocked the Dance Arena.

Their sing along sign-off was the catchy old number by Rage Against the Machine "Killing in the Name of" which would be quite different from their hit tune " D.A.N.C.E"

Not too sure whether I love or hate this tune. Possibly hate... unless drunk.

Was none too impressed that I had missed the Justice hour and stayed on for Booka Shade, who a few of my friends rave about. The duo play keyboards, drums, sing vocal lines and mix live on stage. I wanted to like it. I didn't. Maybe it was just me, but I found them boring. I don't think their sound was suited to the hangar type feel of the "Arena". They rock in this clip in a smaller venue.

After about an hour in the Dance Arena, I was getting anxious to see a few bands but then the heavens opened and my Air Max lodged a sit-down protest. I was going nowhere. Ended up staying there for most of the night which I regret now but at the time it suited me perfectly. Caught glimpses of The Gossip performance which involved Beth Ditto shaking her considerable booty around the stage in suitably green underwear.

I did manage to make a few sporadic missions between showers to the Bacardi tent, which played some excellent house, funk and jazz beats throughout the weekend. I was delighted to catch one of the greatest covers of a classic song ever, earlier in the day. Enjoy!

Disappointed that I didn't make it out for Kings of Leon, Badly Drawn Boy and Air, but I suspected that I knew my early entrance to the Dance Arena was always going to put any wanderings around the vast site with mud underfoot and rain overhead in jeopardy. Leber 1 Mud 1.

More to follow tomorrow... God it's great to have a functioning(semi-functioning) brain, again.


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