Coldplay/No Doubt/Mis-Teeq, Glastonbury Festival, Somerset

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With a line-up as limp as this year's festival promised, many were wondering if breaches of Glastonbury's fortress fence would be made by dispirited ticket-holders hurdling their way out, rather than the penniless hippies breaking in. But as anyone who has spent a lost weekend on Worthy Farm will attest, the line-up is incidental to enjoyment; your average Glastonbury-goer is pretty adept at providing their own extra-gigular forms of entertainment.

With a line-up as limp as this year's festival promised, many were wondering if breaches of Glastonbury's fortress fence would be made by dispirited ticket-holders hurdling their way out, rather than the penniless hippies breaking in. But as anyone who has spent a lost weekend on Worthy Farm will attest, the line-up is incidental to enjoyment; your average Glastonbury-goer is pretty adept at providing their own extra-gigular forms of entertainment.

That said, there was more than your average THC-induced listlessness when it came to picking out the weekend's must-sees. Recent years have featured appearances from such stellar artists as Bowie and REM; by comparison, headliners such as Coldplay and the Stereophonics seemed poor value for the 100,000 people who had parted with £100 for a ticket. Coldplay, however, rose to the occasion with gusto if not grace. After a feeble set from Faithless (if God is a DJ, then surely he should realise that it's time this dated Euro-synth dance act met its maker), the band played a handful of tracks from their new album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, along with a comprehensive stomp through the multi-platinum album Parachutes.

Managing the main stage well, Coldplay sounded big and surprisingly rocky, with Chris Martin's wistful lyrics sung with the gravitas of Jeff Buckley, far from the insipid indie-pop wittering of which the front man often stands accused. But some of the new material sounded soporific against the sing-along hits such as "Yellow", and Martin's between-song banter had all the dignity of an over-excited Boy Scout on flagpole duty. There was a nagging sense that Coldplay functioned as the prescribed festival Mogadon, sending the polite new breed of ticket-holding punter off to bed shortly after midnight.

Definitely no coy play from No Doubt, the Californian group fronted by the barely clad Gwen Stefani. Drawing a notably bigger crowd than her fiancé, Gavin Rossdale, and his band Bush, performing in a neighbouring field, Stefani bowled through her compelling kickboxing-Barbie act, drawing attention away from the fact that their messy brand of American ska was really not up to much.

Punctuated by the odd hit (the rock ballad "Don't Speak" and the current "Hey Baby"), the wildly disparate set suggested that the band pick their singles blindfold, from a musical-genre lucky dip. Even Stefani's sneering pogo, go-go gyrating couldn't glue it all together. She finished with an aggressive leap on to a teetering speaker stack, landed with a comedy splat on top and had to be helped down by a security guard.

No slip-ups but plenty of attitude were found in Mis-teeq's set. Bringing a touch of Ayia Napa chic to the West Country, the first ladies of UK garage pop filled the dance tent, dismissing any accusations that their stiletto-sharp act would be utterly wrong-footed in a farmer's field.

They plainly had no idea what attending a festival involved (asking the audience, "So who here is sleeping in a tent?") but had no problem working out what performing at one entailed. "One Night Stand" and "Why?" elicited excited Ali G-style shouts of approval from a crowd that doubtless would never have paid to see the three south-London girls do their stuff elsewhere.

Successful sunny-afternoon slot of the festival had to go to the Bees, playing songs from their recent album, Sunshine Hit Me. Given that the boys famously recorded the reggae-samba-funk fusion album in a shed on the Isle of Wight, they seemed quite at home in the diminutive New Bands tent. But the venue was in no way big enough to accommodate the enormous crowd, who actually managed to make the band blush with the endless deafening cheers that followed not just the current hit, "A Minha Menina", but everything that they had to offer.

Blushes aplenty at Isaac Hayes. Playing a stonking rendition of "Shaft", the Seventies soulster celebrated the theme-tune platform on which his career is based. But unlike Shaft, singing crass innuendo from the anarchic American animated show South Park was no way for a venerable old funkster to be spending a Sunday afternoon. Hayes followed up stylishly sexy tracks such as "Joy", backed by an immaculate 10-piece band, with a full-frontal rendition of "Chocolate Salty Balls", sung by Chef in South Park (for whom Hayes provides the honeycomb voice). On a scale of novelty-act embarrassment, only the prospect of Rod Stewart came close.

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