Who: Kings Of Leon
Where and when: Main stage, Staffordshire, 10pm.
Vibe: Majestic… and oestrogen-drenched. Never has a southern-fried rock band been so popular amongst teenage girls who know all the words to the latest Pixie Lott ditty.
Best bit: The ear-drum shattering ‘Sex On Fire’ singalong could have been heard in Birmingham, Alabama let alone just down the M6 in the Midland’s capital. Blur’s ‘Song 2’ has a worthy successor as the festival anthem.
Low point: For four guys in crotch-hugging skinny jeans there was, at times, a mannequin-esque lack of balls. While Kasabian have mastered cage-rattling festival rock, the Followill boys onstage presence is perhaps too… polite. “What a beautiful night, there’s no rain. You guys going to sing along to the next one?” proffered Caleb. Um, ok.
Banter: Caleb: “We were hoping that tonight would be a good show. I can assure you we had no idea you guys were going to be as good as you are. This is going to go down as one of my favourite shows in a long time.” Yep, polite.
Verdict: Kings Of Leon deserve to be headlining UK festivals after slogging their way to the top with radio-flooding songs and a work ethic to make Obama blush. And this year’s mega-shows across Hyde Park and V have been nothing if not seismic in scale and intensity. But has some of the rough ‘n’ ready, unpredictable rock ‘n’ roll spirit that made them so special in the first place been lost along the way?
Pick up the new issue of NME, on sale Wednesday 25 August, to read our definitive V Festival review