Smashing Pumpkins, CSS, QOTSA kick off V Festival Australia

Plus The Jesus And Mary Chain and Robyn perform in Sydney

Thousands of music fans converged on Sydney‘s Centennial Park for the first leg of V Festival Australia last night (March 29) to see the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, CSS and Queens Of The Stone Age perform in Sydney.

The Jesus And Mary Chain, Roisin Murphy, Modest Mouse and The Presets were among the other acts playing for the 33,000-strong crowd.

Hot Hot Heat were one of the first bands to play during the afternoon, with frontman Steve Bays saying, �I�m not gonna lie – it�s a really good vibe out there today. I�m in the mood to go weird� ahead of leading his band through their hit single �Bandages�.

Cut Copy then played a main stage set peppered with tracks from their latest album �In Ghost Colours�. The Melbournians played tracks including new single �So Haunted�, as well as old favourites �Time Stands Still� and �Going Nowhere�.

Frontman Dan Whitford found time to talk about the weather, telling the crowd the three-piece were overjoyed to be in t-shirts on a warm afternoon after arriving from �grey and miserable� New York.

Visiting the festival as part of their first Antipodean tour, The Rakes were also happy to discuss the benefits of visiting the Southern Hemisphere by pointing out that while it had been snowing when they�d left London just days ago, �it doesn�t snow in Sydney�.

The band�s setlist included 2005 hit �Retreat� as well as a new tune, vicious indie-punk number �Sometimes You Can�t Smell The Shit ‘Til You�re In It�.

As it headed toward late afternoon, French duo Air played an hour-long set, showcasing tracks from their extensive back catalogue and finding favour with fans by kindly telling them, �You guys are sexy, too!� after audience favourite �Sexy Boy�.

Brazilian new ravers CSS had the crowd in the palm of their hand as a light afternoon shower set in, decorating their side-stage show with dozens of balloons to celebrate the 25th birthday of guitarist Luiza.

Wearing a gold catsuit with a giant toothy-grin painted on the front, frontwoman Lovefoxxx entertained the crowd with dance lessons before leading them in an impromptu �Happy Birthday� singalong.

The six-piece played three new songs from their upcoming album � �Beautiful Song�, �Give Up� and �Jamaica� � as well as a cover of L7�s �Pretend We�re Dead�. Lovefoxxx then announced �Alcohol� as �a love song for everyone in this room� in this field!�

Back on the main stage, new romantic legends Duran Duran were in much better form after a reportedly rocky start to their Antipodean tour in New Zealand earlier in the week.

Having forgotten the words to their 1982 hit �Hungry Like The Wolf� during their Auckland show, frontman Simon Le Bon had no such difficulties this time, leading the band through that and other singles from the group�s 30-year history.

Smashing Pumpkins were the last international band to take to the stage, playing on their first Australian tour since 1996. Kicking off with �Today�, the reformed grunge rockers played a greatest hits set that included �Bullet With Butterfly Wings� and �Tonight, Tonight�, as well as last year�s comeback single �Tarantula� and a cover of The Church�s �Reptile�.

Frontman Billy Corgan dedicated �1979� to �all our fans in Sydney� all 20 of our fans, I thank you. Actually, I�d like to dedicate this to everyone.�

The V Festival now moves on to the Gold Coast before heading to Melbourne and Perth next week.

The remaining V Festival dates are as follows:

Gold Coast Avica Resort (March 30)

Melbourne Showgrounds (April 5)

Perth Esplanade (April 6)