by / July 13th, 2011 /

Oxegen 2011 – Saturday: Brandon Flowers, Kitty Daisy & Lewis

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – 2FM / Hot Press Academy

Saturday afternoon and Oxegen is hitting a bit of a lull. To the right we have Plan B, to the left Bruno Mars – where to go for something a little more, shall we say, interesting. The answer is the Academy stage where Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are thankfully bringing a dash of history, glamour and spark to the day. They arrive, not exactly to the pleasure of a few and the interest of others. They leave to a mass of cheers. What happens inbetween is simply wonderful. Of course the music they play is infectious by its very nature, triggering an instinctive reaction in even the most narrow minded of music fans, yet the trio (plus mum and dad as backing band) manage to stamp their young personalities all over it.

Lewis, the musical director per se, stays largely in the shadows, occasionally taking the vocal lead and knocking out the odd guitar solo. His sisters, though, are the real focal point. Swapping between guitar, keyboards and drums, they bring a sense of timeless cool to the stage – certainly on a day….no at a whole festival – that has seen the precious few female musicians actually performing mining the tired cliches of garnering more attention by wearing less clothes. Instead Kitty and Daisy, a vision in 50s style, play like demons (especially the latter, dwarfed by the huge bass drum) and sing like angels. The likes of the Saturdays and Ke$ha should take note, although they’re probably too busy counting their money. We don’t need them though, not if there are still bands as unique and inspiring as this.

Brandon Flowers – Heineken Green Spheres

You have to admire Brandon Flowers. Having guided The Killers to a not inconsiderable status, he took the often flawed move of embarking on a temporary solo career. The script would seem to write itself but in truth Flamingo was a pretty decent record and now, here he is, taking a step down the bill to present it live. Not that it seems to bother him. From the superb vocal of opener ‘Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas’ and sweet Irish greeting onwards the whole experience leaves you with a warm glow. Flowers’ band are superb but the real joy is in the man himself, no longer the slightly too serious figure of recent years but instead a lively, energised figure.

So we get ‘Crossfire’ second up, a seemingly risky move but instead one that launches the show to a level that it never leaves. There’s a good deal of solo material of course, more full bodied than on the record, plus a cover of Kim Carnes’ ‘Betty Davies’ Eyes’ and The Killers’ ‘Read My Mind’. It’s all in stark contrast to the joyless, dour Arctic Monkeys over on the Main Stage this is the kind of moment that makes the whole festival experience worthwhile. Back to the day job he goes, taking with him some of this spirit we hope.

Photo: Ian Keegan