V Festival 2006 - Main Stage
Alex Gadsby on 19 August 2006
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Main Stage Staffs. Sunday 20 August
As the sun makes a welcome appearance, orange-tinted one hit wonder Daniel Powter takes to the stage and slumbers through a long, bland, piano drone. The torture hits a peak during the closing hit as a microphone turned crowd-ward for the chorus receives a deadened silence. ‘Bad Day’? Too right.
Just when you thought bands of recent times couldn’t rip off the classics any more, out step the Dead 60’s, who remarkably haven’t been investigated for copyright abuses and proceed to play what could easily be a wealth of unreleased Clash and Specials b-sides. The magic of yesteryear works wonders on the restless horde however, and an extended ‘Riot Radio’ sees singer Matt McManamon’s wail echo Strummer’s with uncanny similarity.
It’s great to see that in the post-reshuffle of The Divine Comedy, Neil Hannon still retains a dazzling wit. There’s an element of fun throughout with their eponymous ‘National Express’ and the dedication of ‘Diva Lady’ to “the many and varied characters we saw at Chelmsford”. Endearing.
Hurrah! The sun is finally out and it’s a good job too, because The Magic Numbers aren’t nearly as good under a grey sky. Brimming with joy throughout, the supremely cheerful foursome can’t help but bring a smile to all and sundry with the soothing ‘Forever Lost’ and new single ‘Take A Chance’.
In their final UK show of the year, Bloc Party find themselves in front of their biggest crowd yet. Alongside the glorious ‘Banquet’ and ‘Helicopter’ we’re treated to new tracks from the forthcoming album, highlight being the thrilling ‘Waiting for the 7.18’. Superb.
An alarming number have congregated to catch Keane, and it’s made all the more confusing when their set turns out to be even more soul-destroying than their records. Chaplin might be as charismatic as ever but he can’t do anything to save this dismal offering.
Robotic breakdancing? Food-based percussion? Mass puppet destruction backstage? It can only be Beck who, in easily the most amusing performance of the weekend puts earlier bands of the day to shame with his eclectic live show. Mixing his much-celebrated back catalogue with tracks from the new album and a brief covers medley, the golden-haired pixie and his wooden miniatures bring the set to a close with a deafening ‘E-Pro’.
There simply isn’t an adequate way to introduce one of the most important bands in the world, and anyway, Radiohead speak for themselves. It’s been three years since their last UK festival appearance and expectations are high; the five-piece are renowned for their incredible festival outings. They are at their most spectacular tonight as they stick to the tried-and-tested approach with a formidable setlist, incorporating the epileptic ‘Paranoid Android’ and the devastating ‘Street Spirit’. We also see the welcome return of ‘Creep’ to the crowd’s utter delight, but it’s the true singalongs ‘Just’ and ‘Karma Police’ that drown out Yorke in spectacular fashion. The band are in their element here and it shows – they’re a truly cataclysmic finale to the weekend.