The second day of Oxegen 2011 will be remembered for the lovely weather, some great performances and, er, Amanda Brunker. While entertainment.ie didn’t personally witness Brunker’s half hour on the Vodafone stage, word-of-mouth travelled quickly about exactly how cringe worthy she was. We recommend you check out the YouTube video which has amassed over 25,000 views since it was put up yesterday afternoon. Words fail to do it justice.
Other than Brunker, whose set will without question go down in Oxegen folklore, Saturday was full of mostly interesting music. The distinct lack of mud, which afflicted Friday’s festival experience, was a welcome relief allowing people to actually sit on the grass and created a very pleasant atmosphere in Punchestown.
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis’s and their infectious 1950s grooves were the first band of note that entertainment.ie saw. The Durham family band from London played a set of music that may as well have been recorded in Sun Studios decades ago.
There couldn’t have been a harsher transition when we went from that to check out UK rapper Professor Green in the Heineken Green Spheres stage. Green, who initially rose to fame winning a talent competition on MySpace, played to a packed tent who loved every second of his set. He boasts a very authentic hip-hop voice and has very engaging songwriting, even if he does look slightly like Michael Cera.
Up next was the biggest disappointment of the day, and that came in the shape of Beady Eye on the main stage. After watching this band for 15 minutes, it becomes apparent that there’s a key component missing from their music. It really becomes clear how vital Noel’s songwriting was to Oasis because, when you remove him from the equation, the remaining members of Oasis seem clueless about how to construct a well-written song. It was basically a set of several b-side quality Oasis songs, with the snarling arrogance of Liam fronting it. Bland.
Arctic Monkeys, however, were the opposite. While it’s clear that time has left Liam Gallagher behind, Alex Turner and his band are on the rise. They looked like true rock ‘n roll stars on the main stage, playing a mixture of songs from their latest album Suck It and See as well as some of their older favourites like Mardy Bum, When The Sun Goes Down and Crying Lightning. The Sheffield band were the clear highlight of the day.
The elaborate state set up of Deadmau5 over on the Vodafone stage was something to behold too. A light show shone from the stage just as night fell on Punchestown.
Foo Fighters closed the night off. The band were making their first Irish appearance in several years, this time with former Nirvana member Pat Smear in tow. Dave Grohl’s brand of showmanship and stage presence provides a solid focal point for the group, even if they do seem to be more concerned with making the crowd jump up and down than playing authentic, well-delivered versions of their music. Still though, 90% of the crowd didn’t mind.