V Festival, Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Tuesday 23 August 2005
In contrast, Mike Skinner's was a bloodless performance. The Streets had played Brixton the night before, so he may have been recovering from that warm-up. As the backing band brought to life his homemade takes on house music and drum'n'bass, Skinner's sidekick stole the show with a rich falsetto and call-and-response skits.
It was as far removed as you can get from Liam Gallagher. With all the talk about Britpop's 10th anniversary, it was fitting Oasis topped the bill, even though they have continually dampened expectations at festivals with surly sets. Tonight, though, the group looked like they wanted to be here. The singer's husky voice could not carry the hunger of "Bring it on Down", but injected life into the likes of "Morning Glory" and "Wonderwall".
While Goldfrapp's first two albums were full of spectral songs, Supernature is all disco glitterballs. Live, Alison Goldfrapp's voice just about matched the stern rhythms in a startling Kate Bush-meets-Donna Summer manner.
Back on the main stage, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos was fresh-faced and grinning as he introduced numbers from their forthcoming second album, You Could Have it So Much Better. Some of the Pilot-style arch pop seemed to have been written on the back of a fag packet, though there was enough Roxy Music glam-rock to suggest the band's brains were still working.
Arty noise and high camp came together perfectly for the headline act, Scissor Sisters. By rights, classic hi-NRG should not work in an Essex field, but a pincer movement from the hyperactive Jake Shears with Ana Matronic's testifying pronouncements ensured this was delivered with love rather than irony. As Chelmsford sang along to the finest coming-out ditty, "Take Your Mama Out", the mainstream was no bad place to be.
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