Despite its overwhelming presence, indie and rock guitar music is not the be all and end all of the Oxegen weekend. Here are a few of the more soothing sounds:
1. Mumford & Sons (Heineken Green Spheres, Sunday)
When State first came across Mumford & Sons at Field Day last summer we fell instantly in love but did wonder how on earth a band such as this could ever hope for mainstream commercial success. Well, we were obviously wrong. Expect this to be one of the highlights of the whole festival.
2. Laura Marling (Heineken Green Spheres, Sunday)
Yes she is part of the Mumford / Noah & The Whale gang but, as with both bands, Laura Marling is outgrowing any notion of a cliquey scene. As the title suggests, second album I Speak Because I Can found her developing her own voice – albeit one that has strong links to the past.
3. The Middle East (Heineken Green Spheres, Sunday)
A swift return for one of the most talked about bands at this year’s SxSW. They impressed us at their recent Sugar Club gig, can the Australians do the same on the larger stage?
4. Lissie (Academy Stage, Friday)
Anyone born in a place called Rock Island is fine by us anyway, but Lissie has also won us over with her suitably gritty debut album Catching A Tiger. She does a mean cover version too…
5. James Vincent McMorrow (Heineken Green Spheres, Friday)
In truth, we’ve had our fill of the traditional Irish male singer songwriter but there’s always one exception that proves the rule. Maybe it’s the fact that he is rooted in styles beyond the expected or his multi-instrumental talents, but he’s got our vote.