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Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 04:17 GMT 05:17 UK
Oasis take Reading by storm
Oasis
Oasis will be hoping to put their troubles behind them
Oasis have taken centre stage again this weekend as the Reading Festival enters the 21st century.

The Gallagher brothers have had a troubled year - even by their own standards - and many people have predicted this will be their swansong.

After Reading they are heading for Leeds on Monday - the two venues joined forces for the first time last year to form what is now known as the Carling Weekend.

Primal Scream
Punching power: Primal Scream are a big drawer

But the band defied critics who predicted they would be pelted with bottles - Noel and Liam Gallagher received rapturous applause from a crowd of 60,000.

And speaking backstage before their headline act, Noel would only say: "If the band is going to break up, we're not going to do it before this weekend."

The event boasts one of the strongest line-ups for years, with Pulp, Primal Scream and the Stereophonics among the supporting cast.

Scotland has also got in on the act this year. The Glasgow Green Festival is being held over the same weekend and features a selection of the acts from Reading and Leeds.

Oasis are making the trip to Glasgow on Saturday night and will be hoping the three dates provide a bit of welcome light relief from events of recent months.

Pulp back in limelight

Noel Gallagher has already stopped touring outside of the British Isles and the band have suffered the ignominy of being bottled off stage at recent European festivals.

Add to that the feuding between the two brothers, Liam's split with Patsy Kensit and the widespread panning of the group's fourth studio album - Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants - and it promises to be an interesting few days.

Pulp, on the other hand, have been out of the limelight for the past year or so and will be using the festival crowds as guinea pigs to test out their new songs on.

The band debuted five new tracks at a secret gig in north London on Tuesday.

Elastica
Elastica are one of the acts playing at the festival
Singer Jarvis Cocker is a big fan of festivals and the band famously stole the show at Glastonbury in 1995 when they were drafted in at the last minute to replace The Stone Roses.

Impressive

The Stereophonics have also been relatively quiet following their phenomenal 1999, while Primal Scream returned in style earlier this year with the well-received long player Exterminator.

Other acts on the impressive bill include Beck, Super Furry Animals, Blink 182, the Foo Fighters, Ian Brown, Elastica and Graham Coxon of Blur.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was Nirvana's drummer when the band made what was to be their final UK appearance in 1992.

Singer Kurt Cobain appeared on stage in a wheelchair, sporting a blonde wig and hospital gown, but showed no signs of his reported sickness as he bounded through an energetic set.

Prior to 1989, Reading was the sole property of rock acts, with Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and Aerosmith among the protagonists.

Hawkwind
Hawkwind played in the days when Reading was pure rock

But attendances dwindled and 1988's festival saw the likes of Bonnie Tyler and Meatloaf running for cover as drunken crowds started throwing bottles of urine at them.

The festival was relaunched the following year as organisers embraced the new wave of indie music.

Although still very much the little sister of Glastonbury, the decision to split the festival between the two sites has been vindicated and it looks like being a highly successful weekend in both the north and south.

Like Glastonbury, the only thing the organisers can't guarantee is the great British weather.

Showers are forecast on and off for both venues, but it shouldn't be enough to put a serious dampener on proceedings.

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Jarvis CockerSecret show
Pulp make a low-key comeback in London
See also:

27 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Reading goes north
31 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Blur star slammed for Ecstasy comments
23 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Pulp make low-key comeback
08 Aug 00 | Entertainment
'Idiots' force Oasis off again
29 Jul 00 | Scotland
Oasis roll with the punches
22 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Oasis kick off at Wembley
23 May 00 | Entertainment
Oasis Noel quits tour
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