Despite the torrential downpour and guttural screeching of the surrounding plebs, I managed to get a few hours sleep. Nick was surprisingly chipper, that drip must have really sorted him out. After a hearty breakfast Adam, Nick and I made our way to the main arena to meet up with Pete and Kris. We headed to Cider sponsored dance floor and bounced up and down for a while, before deciding it was far too early for that kind of thing. So we wandered over to the second stage to witness The Dandy Warhols.
I’m a big admirer of a great deal of The Dandy Warhols’ back catalogue. Despite selling their souls to the corporate machine by licensing one of their songs to a mobile phone company, I was willing to give them a chance. I had seen their contemporaries ‘The Brian Jonestown Massacre’ (as featured with The Dandys on the documentary ‘Dig’) and had been blown away by the performance, one of the greatest gigs of my life. Whilst The BJM have yet to successfully capture the energy and amazing sound of their live performance on record, the complete opposite is true of The Dandys. Who proceeded to make even their best songs sound like ill conceived drivel.
Next up was a trip to the second stage for ‘The Feeling’ and their brand of insipid guitar pop. I’m not sure what it was that I was meant to be ‘Feeling’; nausea, hate, indifference. Who knows. The Preening, sorry Feeling performed looking like they had just walked out of a marketing campaign for a soft drink company, they subjected us to a very dull set of songs. The fact that they had spent far too long in front of the mirror practicing their rock star moves was plain to see. Needless to say the crowd loved them.
After the disappointment of ‘The Dandys’ and ‘The Feeling’ I was hoping to be blown away be a great performance by Hard-Fi. They played with enthusiasm and they have a few great songs, but their performance didn’t really do it for me. Maybe it was too early in the day, and the poor sound quality that let them down. I’ll reserve judgment and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Paul Weller was next up on the main stage. The Jam songs he played were well received, as were the hits. I felt my attention begin to drift mid set though, not being a big fan myself. Faithless followed Weller, and whilst I’m no fan of theirs, my friends and the rest of the crowd lapped it up. The atmosphere they created can’t be faulted and I found myself jumping up and down with the rest of the crowd.
Morrissey was the last act on the main stage, a strange choice for V(irgin) Festival. Which is usually very mainstream, as Morrissey himself pointed out ‘You wont hear this new single on Virgin Radio’. The Crowed Booed and hissed at the injustice of it all, and Morrisseys’ transition to pantomime dame was almost complete. His shameless plugging of the new single is probably just a sign of the times. All beside the point, perhaps, the music is what counts. I couldn’t really fault Morrissey and his band on that score. A great performance from the opening strains of The Smiths’ classic ‘Panic’ all the way through to the final crowd pleaser, another Smiths staple and one of the greatest songs ever made ‘How Soon Is Now?’. Morrissey was in fine form tearing off three shirts and throwing them to the adoring crowd during the set.