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Monday, 26 August, 2002, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Star power shines through
Pulp's Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis Cocker belted out some old Pulp favourites

A lack of stars was suggested as one of the main reasons why ticket sales for Gig on the Green failed to match initial expectations.

But the thousands who basked in the sunshine on Sunday encountered more stellar performers than you could shake a stick at.

There was the prancing and preening of arch showman Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction, closely followed by the national treasure that is Pulp's Jarvis Cocker.

Jack White gave new life to the blues, garage rock and much more besides with The White Stripes, while Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas showed that it's possible to be a star even when you're sitting on a stool with your feet up.

The Vines
The Vines failed to spark

The injured singer hobbled onto stage on crutches due to a knee injury - which he did little to help by kicking a monitor over as the band left the stage.

Some people had questioned whether The Strokes were a big enough band to headline a festival the size of Gig on the Green, however fine their debut album may be.

But they wasted no time in dispelling any doubts about their stature and popularity.

The huge crowd went wild for the band, and were rewarded with exhilarating blasts through most of their debut album - and even a clutch of new tracks which were enough to suggest that Is This It? was not a one-off.

Best of the bunch was the set closer The Way It Is, which saw Casablancas throw away his stool and microphone stand before hobbling off clumsily triumphant.

Tremendous set

The Strokes took the stage to a brief snatch from the latest album by Guided By Voices - a band who the headliners count as an influence.

GBV found themselves playing in a less-than-packed tent at a different time from the one advertised, but still put on a performance to rival any seen all weekend.

While the usual on-stage chain-drinking was absent, the prolific Robert Pollard was still leaping and swinging his microphone with his usual fervour.

And it's hard to think how their three-song burst of Game of Pricks, new single Everywhere with Helicopter and My Valuable Hunting Knife - classics every one - could be bettered by anyone.

A few other bands gave it a go, however, chief among them the ever-wonderful White Stripes.

Adoring crowd

There may only have been two of them on stage, but Jack White and "big sister" Meg have a sound and a stage presence big enough to fill a festival field.

Kicking off with Hotel Yorba, they managed to leave out a handful of their best songs and still produce a tremendous set.

That still left room for The Union Forever, Death Letter and the Stripes' customary reinvention of country classic Jolene.

The return of Jane's Addiction after about a decade away from these shores provided one of the greatest spectacles of the afternoon - aside from Jack White's ill-advised red shades, that is.

Ringleader Perry Farrell arrived on stage in a white feathery hat, purple trousers, waistcoat, jacket and silvery scarf while waving a wine bottle.

The Strokes' Julian Casablancas
The Strokes' frontman sat through the show

But it was his performance rather than his attire which captivated as he span around the stage, posing, jumping and preening while letting rip with his distinctive wail.

Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder and the intervening decade certainly hasn't done Jane's - or their material - any harm at all.

Pulp may not have had the same lengthy lay-off, but they seem to have drifted out of the mainstream's consciousness over the last few years.

However, they still command a devoted following as the reception from an adoring crowd demonstrated.

Old favourites like Common People, Babies and Sorted for E's and Whizz didn't show their age as they mixed with tracks from the band's latest album.

Critical acclaim

And Jarvis Cocker - himself cutting a dash in a dark suit - remains a highly entertaining frontman.

However, the star power on display was not limited to the major bands.

Languishing second from bottom of the main stage bill, The Moldy Peaches were unlike anything else on offer.

A ruder 21st Century version of eighties cutie heroes The Vaselines, the boy-girl sound also includes a bit of Beat Happening and some animal costumes. And what looked like some kind of pointy-hatted elf outfit.

Perry Farrell
Perry Farrell added some colour to proceedings

They cannot be recommended highly enough for those who don't mind the odd sweary-word.

The Vines, however, are one band who probably come too highly recommended.

Promoted to the main stage due to the critical acclaim which greeted their Highly Evolved album, they certainly have a few decent tunes.

Craig Nicholls' also has a powerful scream, which has obviously led to the suggestion that the Australian band could be the new Nirvana.

A fairly hefty Radiohead influence also came into play, but they lacked the spark which would put them up alongside those two bands.






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25 Aug 02 | Scotland
25 Aug 02 | Scotland
24 Aug 02 | Scotland
23 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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