Sunday, August 27, 2006


Colin is in Leeds, Edith is in Reading: was that something in the divorce settlement when they split from the afternoon show? Edith, it has to be said, is blossoming without having to cope with fighting for space against Murray's perpetual back-of-the-class twitter.

Colin is in Leeds, Edith is in Reading. There's a question here, of course, if the audience might not have been better served by getting one of the events, instead of both - sure, if the BBC had poured all its resources into Reading and left Leeds unwatched, we might have missed something extraordinary that happens up north, but it might have been better to have one site covered in detail instead of what feels like a slightly stretched attempt to do both.

The press red service shows signs of this strain - whereas with T in the Park a couple of years back, we'd get a constant feed from one of the stages, here we get two extra screens which seem to rotate the same three or four sets over and over. You might get Dirty Pretty Things on screen one, with a "Next: Dirty Pretty Things" slapped on screen two. It's better than nothing, but it's nowhere near as good as the service you get for Wimbledon - and that's only bloody tennis.

Still, somehow, this corporate policy of looking the other way does at least mean we're spared the "hilarious" antics of Colin Murray and Peter Kay introducing the Kaiser Chiefs in Leeds. Sadly, we're not spared Murray's detailing of the whole story. Apparently, my straining sides remind me, Kay came on and said "Kaiser Chiefs". The man who brought us "garlic bread" hasn't, clearly, lost it yet.

Colin also told Edith the full details of the Mani disappearance - he'd been arrested for smashing up a bar when he'd been refused service, and only just made it to the show in time. "That's brilliant" trilled Edith, although we're not sure if she was impressed by the thuggish behaviour, the arrest, or the cutting-it-fine appearance.

We're not sure the Primals would have missed him much - although his antics did give Gillespie the chance to dedicate Jailbird to him. They played their new stuff, which meant they were more or less obliged to choose stuff that fitted with it from their back catalogue, so we got the Rolling Stones tribute Primal Scream rather than the sonic terrorists most of the world prefers. Country Girl, Bobby? What are you thinking of?

Matt Bellamy is wearing a tight, white tshirt, which leaves him only a box of fags tucked under the arm shy of being a 1970s rent boy. Muse's slow creep towards creating a genre of digital progrock is almost complete; it's astonishing that they've managed to take the Kerrang readers along with them. They'll be pushing it if they try to back-project any wizard's hats, though.

A quick note to the BBC: if you show any more Fratellis, we're revoking our licence fee and sending the money to Charles Allen, do you hear? Conor McNicholas (his correct name restored to the on-screen captions last night) seems impressed with them; apart from their not being Gogol Bordello we can't see much to recommend them.

Conor was more interesting on the Arctic Monkeys: he clearly didn't want to come out and say "the bubble's burst with that one, then", in case it hasn't, but in between a lot of "they're very specials" he did pretty much trash their Reading set. Citing a lack of communication between Alex Turner and the crowd, the NME editor defined their appearance as having "no euphoria thing."

The Streets sounded dreadful - judging by the crowd, that must have been something to do with the televisation rather than an actual representation. Not sounding dreadful, though - indeed, quite the opposite - were Dirty Pretty Things. Not only have they delivered the best set from the televised offering so far, but there was something almost Terry Butcher like in the way Carl Barat kept performing through the pain. A pretty boy wincing and making a glorious sound. That's what you come for.

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