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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Lots more music and mud at Oxegen
Oxegen review (final day)
By Bryce McGarel and Greg McKevitt
BBC News website

Muddy fan
A muddy fan does not let the conditions spoil his day
It was a bleary-eyed and battle hardened crowd who dug in for the second and final day of music at the Oxegen festival in County Kildare.

A combination of over-indulgence, mud fever and exhaustion meant some bowed out early, but those able to stay the distance were in for a treat.

As you made your way through the battlefield like conditions of the festival, the scene which greeted your eyes was a combination of Lord of the Flies meets Apocalypse Now with tribes of bare-chested men covered from head to toe in filth wrestling in puddles.

Stiltwalkers, hula hoop girls and jugglers tried their best to give the festival a carnival-like feel, but unfortunately the conditions were against them.

Killer performance

The Killers closed Sunday night, dispatching their songs with ruthless efficiency.

Maybe it was because we were about half a mile away from the stage, but their trademark Las Vegas sparkle struggled to shine through the acres of mud.

Nonetheless, crowd pleasers such as Jenny was a Friend of Mine and Mr Brightside had the sea of fans singing along at the top of their lungs.

Brandon Flowers
The Killers' flamboyant frontman Brandon Flowers

Lead singer Brandon Flowers brought the show to a close with a storming All These Things That I've Done, which was sure to have warmed those hardy souls as they prepared for their last night under soggy canvas.

Daft Punk ended the weekend on the second stage with a typically futuristic French robopop performance.

Wearing their trademark helmets, Guy Manuel de Homem Christo and Thomas Bangalter appeared at the top of a spectacular glass pyramid shrouded in mist and bathed in green light to treat the crowd to an energy-filled set.

Fans armed with glowsticks partied the night away to a megamix of hits which included crowd favourites Around the World and One More Time.

Beach boy

For those who fancied a more laid back finale, Brian Wilson performed a selection of Beach Boys classics at the aptly named Pet Sounds stage.

Amy Winehouse
Busy Amy Winehouse did not appear due to exhaustion

The man who pioneered the sound of summer sleighbells brought a little sunshine to the rain-soaked crowd, with note-perfect renditions of songs like God Only Knows and Good Vibrations.

Those fans who had turned up at the NME stage earlier on Sunday expecting to see Amy Winehouse were left disappointed when it was announced that the singer had cancelled her performance because of exhaustion.

There was a message of sympathy from Brazilian band CSS who took time out from their flamboyant set to wish their fellow performer a speedy recovery.

New talent

Oddly enough, the New Bands tent survived pretty much unscathed by the weather, and New York band The National brought a welcome intensity to enthrall a smaller but devoted band of followers.

Best of all were Arcade Fire, who have graduated with ease to be totally at home on the main stage in the space of just two years.

Girl covered in mud
A girl has a shower the Oxegen way

Their huge wall of sound may be created by quirky instruments like the hurdy gurdy and the french horn, but songs like Keep the Car Running and crowd favourite Wake Up are the stuff of Oxegen legend.

Throw into the mix unconventional musical gymnastics, including multi-instrumentalist firebrand Richard Reed Parry climbing the lighting rig while banging his snare drum, and it's clear something special is going on.

The one mistake singer Win Butler made was to tempt fate by pointing out a distant rainbow - moments later the heavens opened again for a torrential downpour.

But when you are treated to stellar performances from some of the best bands in the world, the odd deluge of rain and the struggle through ever increasing volumes of mud is well worth putting up with.

Next time we'll bring our wellies.




SEE ALSO
Furlongs of fun at Oxegen festival
08 Jul 07 |  Northern Ireland



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