With no IMRO Stage this year, Oxegen has a reasonable share of home grown acts – mainly on the Academy stage but also on some of the larger ones. Here’s our pick of the bunch:
1. Villagers (Academy Stage, Friday)
The Irish band of the year so far without a doubt (so far anyway) continue their inexorable rise. A prime spot on the first day can only add to their status.
2. O Emperor (Academy Stage, Friday)
We tipped them at the beginning of the year and while there progress has been of a sedate nature (one EP), O Emperor are still developing into one of the country’s most intriguing bands. See their stunning State Intervention show here soon.
3. Republic Of Loose (Vodafone Stage, Friday)
Quite where the Loose are at in light of the launch of Vengeance and the Panther Queen is still to be seen but we hope that they finally start to reap the rewards of their increasingly impressive albums. Oxegen has always been good to them and in Mick Pyro you will see one of the stars of the weekend.
4. Ash, (Academy Stage, Saturday)
As with much in their career these days, Ash’s billing at Oxegen is something of a down grade on previous years but there is a sense that is how they want it. The A-Z singles series has been an interesting diversion and reports of their Glastonbury show have been glowing. One more time with feeling?
5. Sweet Jane (Academy Stage, Friday)
Tucked away early on the first day, it could be easy to miss Sweet Jane but you do so at your peril. With a fine debut album behind them, they have the songs to fill the largest of venues and the right attitude to win over the floating voter. Start your weekend in style.