Dogs have been ripping up venues and grenading the charts for more than three years now, but they've never played V Festival. Describing the two-legged music monster as "the most mainstream event on the British festival calendar", it's clearly not all to Rik's taste. So, rather than ask him for his pick of the bunch, we instead decided to encourage some brutal honesty. Below is Rik's guide to the best and the worst of V Festival, as well as the acts who he predicts could be surprise hits.
Dogs open the Channel 4 Stage this Saturday (19 August) in Staffordshire, before heading down to the Chelmsford site to do it all over again on Sunday. If you like your music with festival-sized balls, we suggest you go check them out...
Five Bands Not To Be Missed....
Some of you may be aware that we toured with Paul and he supported us last year. From this experience I have seen most of his back catalogue. A lot of his songs are great and his performance is exceptional, which of course it should be! I’m a big fan and The Jam have had a big influence on our music.
Simply put, these are just a great band to see. If you want an engaging and humorous performance then Art Brut are the band to watch. The music is shambolic yet energetic, with frontman Eddie Argos holding it all together with his spoken commentaries. There's no other band like them at V - in fact, there's no other band like them anywhere.
Radiohead are just a must-see, really, boasting one of the best live acts around with a back catalogue of an incredible calibre. They seem to be a one off and have their own unique sound, mixing guitars with electronica. The intensity of some of their tracks can really blow you away live. Mix that with the light show that they’re going to have and it's going to be fantastic.
He’s been around for a while and he’s a bit on the wrong side of crazy. The shows that I have seen are really energetic. His band are great and he’s definitely got his own style live. Beck has a load of great songs to get you dancing, or maybe you just want to sit back and take it easy, toking on some danger air singing along to “I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me”!
A new band in comparison to the previous lot but these guys have got it when it comes to festivals - heavy bass and drums with beats that cause the ground to shake, exacerbated by thousands of festival goers jumping around like maniacs. Anyone who saw them at Reading last year will know what I mean. With the release of their new tune ‘Empire’, they’re going to be hungry to put on a big show. The tune itself has great beats and movement in the song, so lets see what the rest of the new tracks are like!
Five Bands To Avoid At All Costs....
In my opinion there are a lot of acts to stay well clear of at V, but this lot top the list. The Pipettes are regurgitated 1950’s style bubblegum that is painful recorded and even more painful live. They consistently miss the harmonies with each other and it just sounds terribly weak. This is not an accomplished band in any way, so if you actually are a music fan don’t watch these.
Sickening middle of the road shit. A band with a lack of – yes, you guessed it… feeling.
The Ordinary Boys
It does exactly what it says on the tin - or in this case the CD - a career now founded on Big Brother exposure rather than their music. The song they released with Lady Sovereign was a disgrace to a band who have also toured with Weller. You can imagine what views are mutually shared now. They’re substandard live and the songs are souless, so if you like being disappointed check them out. I won’t see you there!
Not to be confused with awesome! Named after the sci-fi character that is unseen in Mork and Mindy, they failed as a punk band in America and are now trying their luck as yet another sickly pop band in Britain. To my dismay they got to number 1 in the charts from blatantly aiming for the 8-14 year old female market. So if you are a pop tart pay them a visit at V. Nanu fucking nanu!
Now I have to admit that 'Is It Any Wonder' is much better than their previous efforts, even if they have tried to sound just like U2. However, we filled in for Razorlight in October 2004, playing at the same venues as Keane in Germany. What I can tell you is that it isn’t like seeing a live band, as all the music is on a laptop. The vocals are live and he can sing but the way he runs about is frankly quite embarrassing – it’s as if he is in a musical theatre production. A choice that I’ve made is to never see them again.
Five Acts That Could Be Wicked (Might Be Crap)
I have never seen this band live, however, over the years I have enjoyed a lot of The Cardigans’ music, so hopefully I will be surprised. It’s not like they haven’t had time to become great live and they have enough songs in their back catalogue for a great set. All in all I’m really looking forward to seeing them.
She's a young little gobshite who seems to have had more column inches recently than the war in the Middle East. Lily Allen certainly likes to cause a stir with her words. She recently told a newspaper: ‘Madonna? What's she done since the ‘80s?’ It will be interesting to see whether she can live up to her own hype.
The Divine Comedy
During the explosive days of Britpop in the mid to late-90s, it was Pulp and The Divine Comedy who were the thinking fan’s bands. I’ve heard some songs that I think are pretty good from their back catalogue and Neil Hannon has a real distinct style which I respect. Definitely worth checking out for me.
There are a ridiculous amount of singer/songwriters on the bill, most of which sound the same (Gavin DeGraw, Daniel Powter, Jim Noir). If you want to listen to something more timeless, something that sounds like it should be accompanying a shagging scene from a film in the 60’s (think Bond-esque, a touch of Elvis, mixed with the sounds from Portishead) then Richard Hawley is your man. The Sun actually got it right when they said that this album sounds like a long lost masterpiece.
The Cooper Temple Clause
I really like some of their tunes, especially 'Blind Pilots' and 'Film Maker'. I saw them at a Virgin Megastore a few years ago. They were pretty ok. It will be interesting to see what the new bassist is like, as Didz obviously went to Dirty Pretty Things and he was one of the most interesting guys up there to watch. If they play their classics and have a few good new tunes then they should put on a good performance. I just hope I’m not left disappointed!
So there you have it. If any of you agree with my opinions then come down to the front at V Festival when Dogs are playing. If you disagree, then come down anyway and see what you think!