And so Oxegen is nearly upon us. State is busy readying itself for action and will start its coverage as soon as we get there, both through Twitter and on this very site. Also Phil Udell will be co-presenting Front Row on Phantom 105.2 today at 1pm. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with our own personal pick of the bands coming up over the next three days. Have fun…
1. AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR (IMRO New Sound Stage, Saturday)
Yes we know we’ve spent a good proportion of the last six months banging on about this band but they really are the most exciting prospect to emerge from this island in a long time. They wowed us again in the tiny confines of Tower Records the other week, the thought of them on this scale is almost too much to bear. If you only see one band over the weekend, make it this one.
2. FRIENDLY FIRES (Heineken Green Spheres, Sunday)
Hailing from the distinctly un-rock n’ roll environment of St Albans (State should know, one of us went to school there), FRIENDLY FIRES have proved themselves to be one of the live attractions of the summer, a band who thrive on the big stage rather than be intimidated by it.
3. JAPE (Red Bull Music Academy, Friday)
A surprisingly low-key slot for the Irish man of the year but you wouldn’t be against this turning into a massive celebration. With The Redneck Manifesto back in action soon, make the most of it.
4. ELBOW (Main Stage, Saturday)
ELBOW’s year and a bit of living happily is surely coming to end soon, with thoughts turning to a new album, but who could deny them their last moments in the sun. Proof that good things do happen to good people.
5. R.S.A.G. (Red Bull Music Academy, Sunday)
Biggest gig to date for the enigmatic R.S.A.G. and time for him to prove that this unique concept really can work on the bigger stage. With work already underway on the second album he should be brimming with ideas. His time is now.