Oxegen – Day One

17 07 2009

The first gig I ever went to without my parents was Blur’s 1995 RDS appearance. My mother made me bring a padlock to secure my jacket around my waist lest I get torn limb from limb in the crowd at “one of those wild concerts”. Naive, wide-eyed and stone-cold sober, I didn’t know what to expect. Thanks to a well-tested combination of clambering over shoulders, diving through legs and downright pigheaded ignorance, my tween sidekick and I managed to get right up to the barriers; it’s a method I still swear by today and last night it served me well once again as I found myself, 14 year’s later, within touching distance of Damon. Well, almost. Kicking things off with ‘She’s So High’ and leading straight into ‘Boys and Girls’, the crowd were whipped into such a frenzy it didn’t matter ithat most of them were still in nappies when the band had their heyday. After Glasto, Hyde Park and now Oxegen, Blur have cemented their status as timeless band. With all the energy and boyish good looks of teenagers, 40-somethings Albarn and Coxon leapt about the stage like springboks on speed to ‘Parklife’, ‘Song 2’, ‘There’s No Other Way’ and stared in awe and gratitude at their adoring crowd before emotionally, almost tearfully, performing their unforgettable encore ‘The Universal’, during which Damon leapt into a crowd that surged forward to grapple at any piece of his body available. I think I copped a feel of his shin. Alex James remained cool, aloof and extremely competent as usual. Some things never change. This was it people, this was the big one. You can have your Killers and your King of Leon; Blur are this weekend’s true headliners. If you were there, you’re going to be recounting it in your ‘best ever gigs’ list in 30 years time as you sit around some oul fellas boozer with your mates who are still gonna be raging that they missed it.

In other news…


Lily Allen charmed her way through a great set with her undeniable adorableness and unassuming demeanour making up for what she lacked in volume. Quiet as a mouse or blame it on the sound system? Maybe a combination of the two.


Fight Like Apes played to a half-packed Green Spheres tent as they blazed their way through songs from their love-it-or-hate-it album with demonic energy. MayKay gave it her all as usual proving once again what a fantastic frontwoman she is. The crowd went beserk along with her to ‘Lend me your Face’ and ‘Do You Karate?’ in particular. Mad shower of fans altogether.

The gaps in my evening consisted of getting the stage times wrong and missing the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, wandering over to see Pendulum ripping up the stage and taking a quick peek in the Dance Arena. I didn’t stay long… it’s a whole other world in there, maybe by Sunday I’ll be worn down enough to brave it. Until then, I’ll be scouting about for goss, trying to avoid Abrakebabra, falling over drunk teenagers and generally drinking in the festival atmosphere which, in true Oxegen style, is suddenly starting to look very muddy indeed!

On the line-up for today is Pete(r) Doherty, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Elbow, Eagles of Death Metal, TV on the Radio, Regina Spektor, Pet Shop Boys, Messiah J and the Expert, Doves, Kings of Leon and, one I definitely won’t be missing, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Totally Dublin’s team of Oxegenarians will be Tweeting from the site all day with news and updates and you can check back tomorrow on this here blog for a breakdown of the day’s events as they unfolded, the morning after the day before style. Right, I’m off to grab a breakfast roll and watch the Saw Doctors.


Jape scoops Choice Award

5 03 2009

The lovely and talented Richie Egan AKA Jape was announced the winner of the 4th Annual Choice Music Prize last night at a ceremony in Vicar Street. Jape beat out an extremely high calibre of nominees including RSAG, Halfset, Messiah J and the Expert and Fight Like Apes.

Below is a clip of the Hot Chip-esque ‘Strike Me Down’.


Choice Music Nominees Announced

14 01 2009

The 10 nominees for the Choice Music Prize were announced earlier today. Chosen on merit, rather than radio play or album sales, the ten albums are intended to represent the cream of Irish music released in 2008. By and large, it’s one of the stronger lists to have emerged since the innaugeral Choice Music Prize in 2005. The Script are obviously the token ‘mainstream’ nominee and there are a few predictable contenders in the shape of Fight Like Apes and Jape, both of whom put out extremely popular albums last year. I hope in my little heart of hearts that RSAG wins but my money’s on Jape all the way. Speaking of which, Paddy Power are now taking bets

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 4th March at a ceremony in Vicar street that will feature performances from as many of the nominees as possible, subject to their availability on the night. Tickets for the event go on sale Monday 19th January at the bargain price of €27.00. 

So, without further ado…


The Choice Music Prize shortlist for Irish Album of the Year 2008  


Fight Like Apes “Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion” (Model Citizen) 

Mick Flannery “White Lies” (EMI)

Halfset “Another Way of Being There” (Casino Gravity Records)

Lisa Hannigan “Sea Sew” (Own label)

David Holmes “The Holy Pictures” (Canderblinks)

Jape “Ritual” (Co-Op)

Messiah J & The Expert “From The Word Go” (Inaudible)

Oppenheimer “Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It” (Fantastic Plastic)

R.S.A.G. “Organic Sampler” (Psychonavigation)

The Script “The Script” (Sony Music)