The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Review of the first day of Oxegen 2008

Oxegen 2008, festival review Review Snapshot:  Day 1 of Oxegen 2008 was a mix of the good, the bad, and the tuneless. (Check out as well's coverage of Day 2 and Day 3 of Oxegen 2008).

The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10

Full Review: A festival is a difficult place for a humble gig reviewer.  So many acts, so little time and the weather can play an important role in what bands you end up seeing.  The weather forecast was gloomy but the sun shone as the first bands took to their respective stages and Oxegen 2008 began in earnest.

Future Kings of Spain (The O2 Stage)
A larger than expected crowd took advantage of a rare glimpse of sunshine to see the Future Kings of Spain.  They were rewarded with a storming set that was bookended by Guess Again and Syndicate, both taken from the bands most recent album Nervousystem.  It was interesting to see a band I've followed in smaller venues play such a big stage.  The sound quality was better than expected for a festival and the only complaint I could have was the carry over of sound from other stages between songs.

Battles (Pet Sounds)
After the recent review of Battles that caused such a stir on CLUAS, I just had to check them out.  Apparently everyone else at Oxegen did too as the Pet Sounds tent was full to capacity.  Battles are a curious lot, it's dance music for people who don't like dance music and experimental, instrumental indie rock for people who don't like experimental, instrumental indie rock.  I'm afraid I have to agree with the last two reviews of Battles on CLUAS and say I was more bored than overawed.  The people taking ecstasy in front of me seemed to enjoy it though, maybe that's the secret? 

Bryn Christopher (2FM New Band Stage)
At every festival you find an act you had no intention of seeing but stumble across by mistake and end up really enjoying.  It's hard to put a tag on the sort of music Christopher and his band make. It's a blend of funky pop all beautifully complimented by Christopher's wonderful voice.  Definitely one to check out in the future.

Editors (Main Stage)
When I first saw the line up, I was very surprised to see Editors and Interpol side by side on the main stage as they are, well, essentially the same band.  However, quite a large crowd braved the intermittent rain to check out Editors blend of sub-Joy Division indie pop.  Songs such as An End Has A Start and new single Push Your Head Towards the Air were well received by a crowd who were clearly starting to 'enjoy' themselves more and more.  For me, it was all very dull and the band seemed a little bored and it showed in their performance.

The Metros (2FM New Band Stage)
I'll be honest, I only came into the 2fm stage to avoid the rain.  The highlight of the next 40 minutes was watching the stewards throw RedBull Cola over a kissing couple to separate them, in much the same way people throw water over mating dogs.  The music?  A bland, generic Specials tribute.

Interpol (Main Stage)
The best I can say about Interpol is that they were slightly more animated than the last time I watched them.  They weren't much better however and, despite rousing performances of Evil and Mammoth, they failed to engage a crowd who, like myself, looked sorry they hadn't gone to see the Go! Team.

Kings of Leon (Main Stage)
I'm often criticised for saying - with tongue firmly in cheek - that I prefer bands earlier stuff.  It's a standing joke, but it has some truth when it comes to the Kings of Leon.  Their success over the past couple of years, especially on these shores, has been nothing short of phenomenal.  For me, KoL have never reached the heights of Youth and Young Manhood.  Therefore, Molly's Chambers was the highlight of my evening but everyone else seemed to enjoy a set that consisted mainly of songs from Aha Shake Heartbreak and Because of the Times.  For me though, Kings of Leon haven't been the same since Caleb Followill shaved his beard and cut his hair.

Steven O'Rourke

  • Check out as well's coverage of Day 2 and Day 3 of Oxegen 2008.

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Nuggets from our archive

2004 - The CLUAS Reviews of Erin McKeown's album 'Grand'. There was the positive review of the album (by Cormac Looney) and the entertainingly negative review (by Jules Jackson). These two reviews being the finest manifestations of what became affectionately known, around these parts at least, as the 'McKeown wars'.