Despite its reputation as a rock / indie festival, Oxegen always has the odd delight on offer for those looking for slightly less weighty thrills. From the Sugababes and Amy Winehouse to Pink and the Scissor Sisters (although sadly not Girls Aloud) there have been plenty of excuses to check out the chart toppers. This year is no exception, so here is State’s guide to your 2009 golden pop moments….
1. LILY ALLEN – Main Stage, Friday
TV presenter, media personality, chat show host, tabloid fodder? Forget it, LILY ALLEN is all about the music, as her second album, It’s Not Me, It’s You proved on its February release. Preceded by cracking single, -The Fear’, the album was a statement of intent: Lily’s intent to create some of the most interesting, listenable and downright addictive pop music of the year. She’s been doing the rounds at the festivals, with appearances at Glasto, Roskilde and Werchter, so expect the girl Allen & band to be in fine fettle.
2. LADY GAGA – Main Stage, Sunday
Bat-shit crazy or just plain genius, one thing she’s not is boring. LADY GAGA is being heralded as the new queen of pop, and the worldwide success of -Poker Face’ certainly suggests there’s more to this Lady than mere hype. Love her or hate her, she is probably the pop phenomenon of 2009.
3. PET SHOP BOYS – Heineken Green Spheres Stage, Saturday
They may look like out-of-work accountants but Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been quietly creating some of the biggest synth pop hits ever for a quarter of a century, including -It’s A Sin’, -Rent’ and their camper-than-a-field-of-tents version of -Always On My Mind’. Take it from us, one of the enduring memories of Oxegen ’09 will be a tent full of people singing along to -West End Girls’.
4. THE TING TINGS – 02 Stage, Sunday
That THE TING TINGS drew such a large crowd at last year’s festival, barely months after playing The Village, was no surprise. That they were so damn effective as a live unit was more unexpected. Two people, one behind a drum kit at that, shouldn’t have been able to hold a large crowd so rapt but they pulled it off. Their (not so) secret weapon was a set of songs that went straight for the pop jugular and never let go.
5. KEANE – O2 Stage, Friday
It’s lighters in the air time as KEANE’s soaring melodies finish off the first night of Oxegen at the O2 Stage, with Tom Chaplin’s dulcet tones leading the masses through their wealth of pop anthems.