Blur's 'Song 2' brings day one of Oxegen to a close

Oxegen 2009 review

published: Thu 16th Jul 2009


Friday 10th to Sunday 12th July 2009
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
€224.50 for 3 day including camping, or €120 deposit
last updated: Mon 15th Jun 2009

After being caught in heavy traffic outside the festival I arrived as the first bands were taking to the stage. Once set up I went a dander round the site to see what Oxegen held in store for the days ahead. First impressions, the place looked pretty cool with wall art by Dublin Graffiti artist Maser, hundreds of flags supplied by a locally based company, three funfairs and a plethora of food stalls to cater for everybody's taste buds (naming but a few attractions).

Lily Allen
Lily Allen, the first major act to break in the crowd at Oxegen '09, put in a lively performance singing hits such as the 'The Fear' and her Mark Ronson collaboration 'Oh My God'. Allen made an instant bond with spectators giving a shout out to all those from Co. Monaghan (her family home apparently). Her cover of Britney Spears' 'Womanizer' was well received before the entire audience erupted into a chaotic hoe-down for her final song, 'It's Not Fair'. The first act I saw and a great warm up to The Script.

A quick dash across to the Heineken Green Spheres Stage and I managed to catch Fight Like Apes mid-set. This up and coming Dublin band brought in a large following to which they did not fail to deliver. I'll admit I didn't know many of their songs before seeing them but I wish I did. Awesome set and I highly recommend you check them out on myspace, spotify, etc.

The Script
I made my way back down to the Main Stage again for The Script. The band walked out to an already jovial crowd following Lily Allen, to which this local band had no trouble maintaining. Oxegen represented a significant homecoming for lead singer Danny O'Donoghue to which the Irish were happy to accommodate. Fans were treated to a variety of songs of debut album, The Script, including hits 'We Cry' and 'Breakeven'.

Next on the agenda was Scottish act Mogwai. Whilst they may not have been the most active or interactive, their unique and powerful sound more than compensated with songs such as 'Mogwai Fear Satan' taking the relatively small audience to another place. The only disappointment to myself and a few others I spoke to was the absence of their hit 'Autorock'.

Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol strutted onto the stage as Friday night's first headliner. Glad to be back at the festival lead singer Gary Lightbody made Oxegen his own blasting out, "we've been looking forward to this for ages!" A sentiment echoed by the audience. Chart topper after chart topper was played with everyone singing along. Literally reaching out to the crowd Lightbody had two girls sing "set the fire to the third bar" with him. They didn't possess a note between them but it was fun to watch. Forgetting how good it sounded, a personal highlight for me was 'Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking'.

In a considerable change of tempo, Pendulum blew revellers away as darkness fell on the O2 Stage. Firing out a constant barrage of drum n' bass they had the crowd pulsating to every beat. Slower songs such as 'Coma' were left out of the set as MC The Verse persistently drew everyone into beating their appearance at Glastonbury. In turn Oxegen was treated to the Pendulum take on Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' and Calvin Harris' 'I'm Not Alone', both arguably better than the originals.

Blur marked the accumulation of day one. Receiving the onslaught form the Pendulum posse, they started off strong playing the likes of 'Girls and BoysÂ’ and 'Country House'. However into their set things started to fall flat, not necessarily the band's fault as music and lights were second to none. I just got the impression people were there to hear the chart-toppers. This was evident in the encore chants for 'Song 2', however there's no denying it turned out to be one of the most memorable songs of the weekend.
review by: Andrew McLaughlin

photos by: Andrew McLaughlin

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th July 2009
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
€224.50 for 3 day including camping, or €120 deposit
last updated: Mon 15th Jun 2009

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