Pop: V99

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The Independent Culture
Staged just a few days before the grand old Reading festival (see Festival of the Week, p35), V99 still seems just that bit safer and a tad less inventive. Today sees the Manic Street Preachers (and their personal toilet, no doubt), The Beautiful South and Placebo heading the order, while the main stage also sees the debut performance of Spice Girl Mel C's rock persona. More importantly Mr James Brown tops the second stage, while Finley Quaye closes the night on stage three. Sunday's bill-toppers are Suede (left), Gomez, Stereophonics and Happy Mondays but Massive Attack and Orbital head the other two stages where there are other delights including Mercury Rev, Red Snapper and the Freestylers.

Hylands Park, Chelmsford (0171-287 0932) pounds 35 per day or pounds 60 for both days, today & Sun