Sunday's sounds send the damp campers home happy
AFTER what must have been a most demoralising day for the Oxegen campers, with Saturday's rain still clinging to the legs of those who had forgotten to pack an extra pair of jeans, Sunday had a lot to do to ensure Oxegen 2006 would be remembered by punters as a positive experience.
Maximo Park were the first band of the day to shine as they breathed life into a rather fed-up crowd. The Guillemots put on a technically brilliant show in the Green Room, but it seemed that some people just didn't want to be cheered up. Gemma Hayes managed to fill the Pet Sounds tent; unfortunately due to a fairly fatal design flaw in the venue, she ended up being drowned out by the noise coming from Main Stage act Manu Chao.
And if there was ever an act you didn't want to compete with in that regard, Manu Chao are it; their frantic Latin sounds proved far too much for Miss Hayes's quieter numbers, and the audience began to file out as the sun finally began to show.
Bell X1 may not have been the highest-profile act on the listings, but they certainly received a more passionate welcome than anyone else in the festival.
The crowd's hearts were very much in it, and lead singer Paul Noonan repaid them with as enthusiastic a performance as anyone on the Main Stage that day.
In spite of possessing a truly breathtaking voice, Corinne Bailey Rae seemed unable to connect with her audience in the same way; they quickly lost interest and she ended up losing a good load to the energetic Zutons on the NME Stage.
Though Sigur Ros were the pick of the headliners, creating an almighty buzz in the jam-packed Pet Sounds tent, credit had to be given to Red Hot Chili Peppers for giving the crowd what they wanted and - in spite of a very average performance by the day's standards - ending a very mixed weekend on a much-needed high.