In heavy rain periods at Oxegen, bands can be forgiven for thinking, nay hoping they’ve drawn an appreciative audience that have been summoned by their dulcet tones when in reality Johnser and friends are just getting out of the rain (and their minds simultaneously). The same fate befalls Cork & Waterford band O Emperor who it appears have drawn a sizable number at first glance. Once your eyes re-adjust to darkness, it’s clear most of the people are with Johnser but that doesn’t stop a decent gathering towards the front of the stage. And rightfully so, O Emperor are Ireland’s best ’70s soft rock band we never had. Exquisite group harmonies, a tightly-driven band, an excellent drummer, a mustachioed guitarist who tips overboard a little into ’70s pastiche, a singer at a keyboard, lilting folky rock songs. The swirling ‘Po’ and ‘Don’t Mind Me’ are easy highlights. Ones to watch.
Up until a short time ago, Belgium’s Aeroplane were a duo, who look set to release some of 2010’s best dance music, after spending 2009 releasing some of the year’s best remixes. But one half has gone his separate ways, leaving Vito De Luca to fly solo. In the dance arena, this information matters little as De Luca is pretty masterful at knocking out cosmic disco with flourishes of electro. We spot their oft-played edit of Blur’s ‘Girls and Boys’ amongst other great nuanced tracks.
The first absolutely rammed tent of the festival belongs to Tinie Tempah. The chart-topping UK rapper could easily fill a tent twice the size of the Red Bull Academy Stage but it all adds to the atmosphere. Tinie and his full band of afro-rocking guitarist, back-pack wearing standup drummer and DJ, get the tent hyped with new single ‘Frisky’ and tracks like ‘Invincible’ sung back to him. We couldn’t stick around for the end but no doubt ‘Pass Out’ live caused the amped crowd to lose it completely.