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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2007, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Furlongs of fun at Oxegen festival
Oxegen review
By Bryce McGarel and Greg McKevitt
BBC News website

Muse
Muse were a revelation on the main stage

Ankle deep mud and the odd torrential shower have so far failed to dampen the spirits of the 80,000 festival-goers at this year's Oxegen festival in County Kildare.

Northern Ireland rockers Snow Patrol were given a heroes welcome when they took to the main stage on Saturday night to a fanfare of the Undertones classic Teenage Kicks.

Frontman Gary Lightbody certainly seemed to be glad to be back in Ireland as he announced to a sea of fans that it was "great to be back home".

There was also a personal message for his sister Sarah and her husband Mark who, fans were told, are expecting their first child in the coming weeks.

The crowd was not disappointed with the 90-minute set which contained all the band's best-known anthems, including Run and their latest chart success Signal Fire.

Mud wrestling is a festival favourite

Even better were Muse, who were a revelation on the main stage after midnight with a spectacular video show which would have been impossible to follow.

Fans sang along with hits from their formidable back catalogue, enjoying the sci-fi escapism and virtuoso frontman Matt Bellamy's classical flourishes before trudging back through sodden campsites to their tents.

Aptly for a racecourse, the going was heavy throughout the site but those who hadn't burned themselves out too early in the day - and there were many rather the worse for wear - had a huge choice of the best in current music.

Indeed the quality of the line-up led to some inevitable schedule clashes - for example, how do you choose whether to see New York's Interpol or Editors, their UK equivalent?

In the end, the US band were a good call and songs from the forthcoming album went down well alongside old favourites like PDA, Slow Hands and Evil.

Maximo Park also impressed on the second stage, with bowler-hatted singer Paul Smith stalking the stage like a hyperactive Orangeman just told the Twelfth has been cancelled.

Michael Stipe from REM kept an eye on things backstage

Recent single Our Velocity was just one sign of a band stepping up to the bigger stage with aplomb.

Singer songwriter Tori Amos added a touch of glitz to the occasion on the Pet Sounds stage sporting a gold-sequinned catsuit.

She treated the crowd to a charismatic set which included Professional Widow and Cornflake Girl.

The Fratellis' beery anthems were perfect festival fodder, sparking a good-natured singalong in the crowd.

And it also delivered on the usual degenerate rock festival sights - the lone shoe abandoned in the mud, naked beer guts ill-advisedly put on display, the classic short skirt/wellie boots combo, and mud diving wrestlers.

Roll on day two.




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