The Hoosiers open the main stage on Sunday and are shockingly bad. They’re so bad it rains. This is a blessing in disguise however, as everyone crams into the Uncut tent for Cherry Ghost. Playing melancholic Elbow-ish soft rock music journeyman Simon Aldred looks to have finally struck gold at the umpteenth time of asking. Mathematics sparkles alongside other classics in waiting. One of the weekend’s biggest success stories.
Andrew Bird is described in the programme notes as being capable of changing the landscape of American music. If that means we hear more of this guff they can keep it, thanks.
The National follow, starting up like a shouty Interpol but getting progressively more cheerful as the set goes on. The singer looks a bit like the gay bloke from Gimme Gimme Gimme too, which amuses me while they’re on. The National have always been a favourite of the critics, maybe new album Boxer will see them crack the mainstream at last.
Mr. Hopkinson’s Computer is a terrific idea. Basically, a computer sat on a chair plays out a backing track and bleepy vocals in a vaguely German accent. Great entertainment.
Charlotte Hatherley is drop-dead gorgeous. Now that my drooling and swooning is out of the way, I can’t help but notice her voice is a tad nasal, and lacking just a wee bit of vocal power to make a top class frontlady. She is however an axe goddess and must have been born with a guitar slung around her neck. One cannot blame her for chancing her arm at a solo career but the nagging doubt remains that Ash are better off with her in the band and she’s better off in Ash.
Cold War Kids disappoint me. Having worked really hard to get into their album Robbers and Cowards I find as a live act something important seems to be missing, maybe a shot of energy. Unless they buck up, they’ll be nearly men I’m afraid.
But never fear, Jarvis is here! The elder statesman of Britpop is here to show these so-called cool kids how to put in a dramatic, energising performance. It’s pure theatre, and Mr. Cocker has not forgotten his way around a clever lyric and a pop hook from his old Pulp days. His chat between songs is always entertaining too. Jarvis closes with the self-explanatory political opus Cunts Are Still Running The World and, I shit you not, a classy rendition of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger. You couldn’t make it up. Legend.
I would have loved to have caught a bit of Blood Red Shoes down by the lake but I daren’t lose my spot for the best band in the world,
Finally, it is impossible to talk about Arcade Fire without mentioning religion. Religion is ever-changing folks. Some may even say it is dying, becoming ever more unnecessary in the modern world. But having faith is as important as ever. Salvation has arrived in the form of the most important band ever. Arcade Fire will take it from here. They will save us all.