Spiritualized, ..Trail Of Dead, Cornershop, Haven, Six By Seven, The Shining, Sparta, Hoggboy, Capdo

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

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

grunge hangover.

Ben Clancy