Sunday 13th July 2008

not yet...

I'm old, so camping wasn't an option. We went to Sunday only. This was the important day. Racontuers. I saw them in NY. Wanted to see them again.

Left the house. Travelled light. Water. The binoculars again, tied up with earth wire. My old jacket. Steel capped shoes. Did the park and ride thing - it actually worked. Dublin Bus overcharged people for the displeasure of taking them there. Dublin Bus are incompetent twats.

We arrived. Walked into the spacious mayhem of Oxegen. Huge stages spread in a giant people-worn rolling hollow. Once a field, it was worn to stones and colourless mud. It was big. Slightly clouded skies over a breezed mayhem. The constant noise of a distant band. Clutches of girls uniformed in wellies. Younger people. Drunk people. Happy people. Very few sad people. A massed chaotic refugee camp for the under twenty-oned.

We saw more than one band.

We Are Scientists - such a friendly band. Intellectuals meet. I liked them. The banged out a bunch of happy stuff from the nice stage, the crowdcontrol-less stage, aka the oh-two stage. It was a fringed guitarist, a talkative bassist. A good band.

The Fratellis - a small yet powerful band. Louder than their ensembled mass. Meaner sounding than their name implied. More guitars and bass than the record. Curly singer. Static outputting bassist. Very energetic tight drummer. Second key and guitar guy. Watched them play with the binoculars for a while. When I lowered the binoculars I was violently reimmersed into the shocking mayhem from which I had been temporarily distracted. They played out. A good band, but I suspected the Raconteurs would show a truer form.

The Kooks - The bait of the day. They seemed too youthful. A four piece. An effortless band. Gently moved around the stage and played everything perfectly. A very good band, but understated and at ease. Nice metal telecaster.

There was slightly more wandering before the final event. We tried to go to MGMT but the tent was friggin' full. People kept mispronouncing their name too. We wandered off and had dinner sitting on the ground, watching girls crawl on their bellies into handicapped portacabins.

Popped into Fight Like Apes. It was an interesting sound, but mostly just distorted keyboards with seemingly no substance. It was devastatingly loud, and not in a good way. The showiness seemed a shallow facade. We skipped it. I'm still into my synths. It seemed like a made up band, senseless as that statement is. I've seen real bands, and FLA somehow lacked this intent.

Waited outside the Fight Like Apes tent for my other least favourite band, The Republic of Loose, to finish their set. The plan was to move to the front as soon as the ROL fanbase went to reload their beer/offload their bladders. This plan worked.

We walked though and stopped dead centre, maybe four or five people back. A fairly perfect view of the uniformed guys setting up the exquisite Raconteurs kit.

So, the Raconteurs appeared. They started straight away with some noise. The first occasion I saw them they surpassed the experience of the album. I was hoping for something similar. They delivered. Sound was pretty good straight away, but only got better. In short, the Raconteurs remained the band I'd seen nearly two years before. The rhythm was unreal - Lawrence entertains me greatly, Keeler is awful good on the drums. The frontmen performed flawlessly. It was good to see White and Benson again.

I've gone and waited too long to type this again. The summer's pretty much gone here. I'm off to NY in exactly a week. Walking around. Gonna try and find a bike to roll around the avenues on.

We took it easy once the Raconteurs had finished. There was a long wait for a very nice crepe. The Chemical Brothers kicked off. Same set as the picnic apparently. We decided to call it a day, walking slowly into the darkness as the set built in the background. We fiddled with the rubbish spread across the ground, picked up strange souvenirs, watched small groups of youths wander through to the festivities behind. Went home, through an eerily calm night, on a dark and quiet bus.

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