Unlike some of the other Oxegen 2010 previews, I’m not just going to list 5 or so artists to check out, I’m going to tell you who to see and at what times over the entire weekend. Here’s Part 1: Friday, 9th July 2010. All times are approximate. Check the full schedule below for exact times.
James Vincent McMorrow, Heineken Green Spheres
A simple decision this. McMorrow released my favourite Irish album of 2010 so far, and one of the best Irish debuts ever. He’s bound to make it big, as he has the talent, and is just as good in a live setting. Make sure you don’t arrive late for day one, or you’ll never have the chance to say “Oh I remember seeing him at Oxegen a few years ago, and he was on first on the Friday…and not even on the Main Stage either.”
The Brilliant Things, Vodafone Stage
The Coronas are playing over at the Main Stage, and you could catch the end of Readers Wives over on the 2FM/Hot Press Academy, but I’d highly recommend trekking over to the Vodafone Stage to check out synthpop duo the Brilliant Things. They went down a blast at the UCD Ball, and if their EP Stronger than Romeo is anything to go by, their debut album will be immense.
Fox Avenue, Vodafone Stage
If it’s sunny, you should definitely hang around the Vodafone Stage to catch the summery pop of Fox Avenue. While not for the indie snobs who’ll be at the festival talking about how they bought Reasonable Doubt when it first came out, Fox Avenue will surely light up your weekend. If you are too cool for school though, God is an Astronaut can be found over at Heineken Green Spheres.
Vampire Weekend, Main Stage
Another easy choice this one. Republic of Loose are a wonderful festival band if you want to buy Irish, and are much better than the alternative, Delorentos, but Vampire Weekend are essential viewing. Their second album doesn’t stand up to the debut, but their feel-good indie pop is infectious.
CODES, 2FM/Hot Press Academy
Young Dublin band CODES released one of Ireland’s best albums of 2009 in Trees Dream in Algebra, and ‘This is Goodbye’ is one of the best songs of the last ten years. When you’re finished admiring Vampire Weekend, CODES’s set starts at 18:15, so there will be a bit of an overlap, but four or five Vampire Weekend songs should be enough. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
O Emperor, 2FM/Hot Press Academy
By now, you’ll have seen Stereophonics about fifty times. I mean, who hasn’t seen them at this stage? Radio fans out there might want to head over to see Plan B on the Vodafone Stage, but everyone else should stick around the 2FM/Hot Press Academy for yet more gorgeous Irish music. O Emperor have only a few studio tunes released, but they’re signed to Universal and look set to release a phenomenal debut album later this year.
Whoever you want yourself
None of the bands on after O Emperor really appeal to my tastes. They all have their good points though. But around 8 o’clock, dinner sounds good. Perhaps a dodgy burger from one of the chip vans, or maybe even a pizza, whatever you want, Oxegen will have it, as long as it’s greasy. On the music front, there’s the end of Stereophonics, Tinie Tempah. Scouting for Girls, Shed Seven, or Empire of the Sun. Sitting on the grass at the top of the hill having a feed with ‘Mister Writer’ in the background sounds like the best bet to me.
Jay-Z, Main Stage
There’s actually a few acts worth checking out around nine or so. Groove Armada are on the Vodafone Stage (they looked good at Glastonbury), while Chipmunk, Goldfrapp, and Frightened Rabbit are sure to draw in many punters too. But the big name has to be Jay-Z. Many people attending won’t know anything outside of the few radio jams, but the entire set should be filled with cracking tunes. Don’t expect a guest appearance from Alicia Keyes or Mr Hudson though.
Villagers, 2Fm/Hot Press Academy
Yet another time I’m telling you to leave early. At 22:20, Conor O’Brien and his Villagers come on stage, and if there’s one act you must see over the entire weekend, this is it. Every single song O’Brien has released so far has been brilliant, whether it was on Villagers Hollow Kind EP, the Becoming a Jackal album, or else with previous band the Immediate, it’s all stellar. Who needs Jay-Z?
Arcade Fire, Main Stage
Apart from the main headliners, Friday night ends a little poorly. Whereas Saturday and Sunday have other essential acts clashing in the final slot, Friday has you seeing Arcade Fire, Fatboy Slim, David Guetta, Colm K, or Bipolar Empire. Simian Mobile Disco also have a DJ set over at the Dance Arena. But if dance is your thing, wouldn’t Cook or Guetta be the ones to see? For the rest of us, Arcade Fire will wile away our first evening before heading back to the campsite for shenanigans.
See the full timetable here: