Far away from the mud and mayhem of Chelmsford, it seems time to discuss who really impressed us this weekend. Who were the best band? What was the greatest moment? Who annoyed the hell out of us yesterday evening on the Channel 4 Stage? Read on and find out…
Best Band: The Stooges
There wasn’t another group this weekend who even came close to the majesty of these motor city heroes. Iggy was on top form, scaling the stage and smashing up his microphone stand near the end of ‘Funhouse’, while Ron Asheton stood motionless, cranking out driving riffs and blitzkrieg solos. Have they still got it? Do you need to ask?
Best Song: ‘Fuck Forever’ – Babyshambles
Their new album might have had rave reviews so far (including this from Uncut’s Editor Allan Jones), but the biggest surprise of V Festival was that they played a gripping set, with Doherty nearly back to being the raucous showman of four years ago. This final song was the band’s best, Pete even playing the drums at the end as the song disintegrated. In a good way, mind you.
Best Moment: Tim Booth on Tony Wilson
In the middle of James’ set on the main V Stage, singer Tim Booth paid tribute to Factory Records’ Tony Wilson, praising “his intelligence, [and] his vitality”. The amazing part was that the whole audience, thousands of them, raised their hands in the air, clapped and cheered. A fitting tribute to the great man.
Most Popular Group: The Killers / Foo Fighters
Jointly the best-received bands, these two American behemoths drew mass crowds to the main stage on both nights. The roar when The Killers flew into ‘When You Were Young’ was incredible.
Worst Performer: Lily Allen
This ‘accolade’ must go to Ms Allen, who, in addition to putting on an irritatingly high-pitched East London accent throughout at least three of her songs, attempted several soul-inflected vocal improvisations, which, with her exceptionally weak voice, were just horrible.
Best Frontman: Jarvis Cocker
Scrambling for time on the press cabin laptops we didn’t have time to write about Jarvis’ performance over the weekend – and what a performance. As the last chord of his cover of ‘Paranoid’ rang out, Cocker was silhouetted in a statuesque pose on top of a monitor. What a star.
All in all, there was some fantastic music on show, and it’s a shame there weren’t enough hours in the day to blog about it all. V might be the most corporate festival (it’s a closely fought competition, though), but there was still some utterly fantastic, life-affirming music to see.
Words: Tom Pinnock