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Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Reading Diary 1: Oasis in lightning form
oasis
Liam weathers the storm at Reading
By BBC Monitoring's Martin Vennard

Lightning lit up the skies after Oasis started to play at the climax of the first day of Reading Festival on Friday, but thankfully neither of the tempestuous Gallagher boys stormed off stage.

They gave a thundering performance by their standards, and standards is what they gave their fans, who were starting to feel the first drops of bank holiday weekend rain.

From Stand by Me to Wonderwall and Cigarettes and Alcohol, they rolled out the old favourites. Fraternal harmony even seemed to have broken out between the sometime bother brothers.

Reading Festival
Thousands fighting for a glimpse of their idols
The stage was decorated with a New York skyline backdrop from their Standing on the Shoulders of Giants album, and standing on a giant's shoulder was about the only way of getting a clear view of the Gallaghers' band.

Sell out

Their appearance has helped make weekend Reading tickets a sell out and there was a reported turnout of 70,000 fans.

Those who had fought their way to the front chanted Liam's name as he swaggered about the stage and took up his characteristic singing posture of hands behind a bent back and face looking up at the microphone.

Liam's between-song anecdotes rarely exclude the f-word, but Noel didn't really open his mouth until he sang Don't Look Back in Anger.


Noel: in almost perfect harmony with Liam
The sentiment even seemed to be shared by his brother as when his was hit by a plastic bottle from the crowd the band played on. After two recently reported walk-offs, lightening didn't strike for a third time.

After a 75-minute set they came back for an encore of Neil Young's Rock n' Roll will Never Die, and the backdrop changed to a wild west scene, which went well with the camp fires the crowd had lit from the rubbish strewn around the site.

As they prepared to play their final number, Rock n' Roll Star, Liam quipped that if they went over time he would pay for it on his American Express Gold Card. And on Friday night they were just that: rock n' roll stars, with not a prima donna performance in sight.

Friendly skies

Primal Scream
Bobby Gillespie charmed the fans with his charisma
Earlier in the evening, under friendlier skies Foo Fighters had warmed up the crowds.

Primal Scream gave a blistering performance, switching from thrash to much more melodious sounds, backed up with keyboards and a brass section.

Singer Bobby Gillespie's charisma dominated centre stage and they rocked on with Get Your Rocks Off.

The fact that a group as well known as Shed Seven managed to draw thousands to a neighbouring stage at the same time, just shows the size and diversity on show at Reading this year, as well as its northern counterpart in Leeds.

The main question on the minds of thousands of rain-drenched festival goers on Saturday was whether the weather would succeed in dampening the spirits over the rest of the weekend.

With groups like Pulp, Beck, Stereophonics and Placebo to come, it is worth looking on the bright side.

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See also:

26 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Oasis take Reading by storm
27 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Reading Festival in pictures
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