Spiritualized disappoint while Cornershop prove to be the gemsof the day...
The crowd thins some. Spiritualized start playing. The
crowd thins a whole lot more. Two months later when the
second song starts, people are finding better things to
do. Like fall asleep. Sheesh, even Guns N’Roses become
an attractive option for the fans in the face of this overblown
blues psych rock. True, Jason Pierce is fighting a
noble battle as the only British contingent trying to
keep pace with The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev in
sustaining invigorating guitar-driven experimentation,
but his vision doesn’t translate live tonight. Light relief
comes courtesy of ‘Walking With Jesus’, originally by
Pierce’s former band Spacemen 3, but it’s too little
too late. They raced for the prize and lost.
Civilisations collapse, tectonic plates shift, new
galaxies are created, but Sonic Youth’s ‘Daydream
Nation’ remains Year Zero for Texas’ …Trail Of Dead.
Somehow it doesn’t matter, because no matter how much
time has passed they’re still as thrilling a
proposition as when they crashed into Britain via
Bowlie three years ago. Derivative for sure, only
derivative in that very assured sense that they know
they’re coming from the only place that matters and
play with the awe-inspiring conviction of guitar gods who
know we know they’re great.
All hail Cornershop, who bring the party to
life. In a delicious irony, the nu-metal scene or “TSB
Rock School” they brilliantly rail against in ‘Lessons
Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III’ is simultaneously
playing on the main stage in the form of The Offspring.
By the time ‘Brimful Of Asha’ comes,
it’s a reminder that the charts are a better place when
Cornershop are Number One. Long may they rule.
Haven are something of a come down, peddling the kind of soporific trad rock that gives nu metal a good name.
There is a place for this sort of music, but it’s not
at a festival. Their grown-up revisionism is the
provenance of a chin-stroking generation who believe in
doing things the proper way, like drinking real ale,
wearing natural fibres and collecting Travis b-sides.
Six By Seven may have been reduced by one to a quartet,
but they stil make the sweetest of unholy rackets.
Musically maverick as ever, their skewed indie rock is
both inspirational and entertaining. It’s probably too
late for them to ever hit the big time, and they’ll
probably still be playing this stage in a decade’s
time, but it’ll be a long good road for punters.
Conspiracy theorists might argue that ex-Verve members Simon Jones and Simon Tong formed The Shining to make
Richard Ashcroft‘s risible solo offerings good by
comparison. The two Simons are influenced by Oasis and
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particularly Liam Gallagher’s swagger, with no suss or
style of their own, and are nothing more than a poor
man’s Northern Uproar.
Sparta spring a surprise
in the shape of Jim Ward, ex-At The Drive-In, who’s
decided to take life at a pace slower than full-on
frantic. It sounds like Ward’s been listening to the
Foo Fighters and U2, which is no bad thing as it turns
out; on current showing Sparta could run and run.
Hoggyboy put proceedings back on track with an
intoxicating blend of classic rock’n’roll and glam rock
riffs. Proof that hollerin’, fist pumpin’ and a
familiarity with ‘Johnny B Goode’ is enough to keep the
fires burning. Ones to watch.
Capdown start the ‘Ska Wars’ (ho ho,
and enjoy watching Bra Wars on the tour bus, boys) at
breakneck speed. Strictly only for people under the
impression that there’s not enough saxophone in rock
music and jogging on the spot constitutes dancing.
Death Cab For Cutie shrug off that bottom-of-the-bill
ignominy to bring their summer fun pop to Leeds. Kind
of like Joy Division with a sunnier, uh, atmosphere,
they show the world that Seattle’s waking up from the