HELLO DARKNESS MY OLD FRIEND

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And Keane are blown away with the weekend's best reception...

THE DARKNESS brought the curtain down on a soggy OXEGEN FESTIVAL in COUNTY KILDARE last night (July 11) with a get well soon message to DAVID BOWIE – the crocked legend they replaced as headliner.

Bowie underwent heart surgery last week and his cancellation bumped The Darkness up the order. Their set was largely the same as the previous night at T In The Park with new song ‘Hazel Eyes’ and a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out’) amongst their familiar standards.

“I’m sure we all agree the sooner David Bowie is back on his feet, the better for music,” said frontman Justin Hawkins, “but we’ve all had a good time haven’t we?”

Rain had threatened to make day two of the festival a sodden wash-out as torrential showers swept through Punchestown Racecourse, just south of Dublin, during late afternoon.

Despite the rain, Irish rockers Ash lifted the gloom with a greatest hits set and a guest appearance from Thin Lizzy’s Brian Robertson to work through a cover of his old band’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ – “the best song ever,” according to Ash frontman Tim Wheeler.

The Libertines also drew a passionate crowd, keen to lend support despite the absence of co-founder Pete Doherty.

And Keane caused one of the moments of the day when the massed fans gathered to watch them on the second stage started chanting KEANE-O – a sign of great affection as it is a football terrace call reserved for Manchester United star and Irish folk hero Roy Keane. On their very first visit to Ireland, Keane were visibly moved.

Second stage closers Basement Jaxx and The Zutons also drew massive support with the Liverpool’s Zutons playing one of the sets of the day.

This year’s show was one of the quietest on record with police reporting little trouble and just a few arrests for drug offences.