Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Oxegen – Regina Spektor, Peter Doherty, Elbow

Reviews by Tony for The Daily Ticket Regina Spektor: posh ‘n’ packed This New York resident, Russian-born singer was surely agog and agape at the reception she received yesterday – but was the tent stuffed to the rafters because they …

Sat, Jul 11, 2009, 21:40

   

Reviews by Tony for The Daily Ticket

Regina Spektor: posh ‘n’ packed

This New York resident, Russian-born singer was surely agog and agape at the reception she received yesterday – but was the tent stuffed to the rafters because they all loved her, knew her music, or because they wanted to keep the rain off? We like her, but not even in our most generous appraisal could we say that she could pull such a large audience at, say, Dublin’s Olympia or Vicar Street. That said, there’s something nice‘n’smart‘n’kooky about this classically trained lady – a cool mixture of anti-folk and pro-pop, the compound of which is laced with casual references to literary figures like Ezra Pound, Margaret Atwood and Edith Wharton. All this, and a band that includes a cellist and violinist. A posh gig at Oxegen? Get outta here, Batman!

Peter Doherty: empty vessel?

It’s getting mucky now, very mucky. But before we all sink into the quagmires that are the various entrances to the Heineken Green Spheres tent, here’s Peter Doherty, complete with guitar, ciggie and black trilby. Despite covering the Stone Roses’ “I Wanna Be Adored” (and getting the requisite reaction), Doherty seemed to be firing on one cylinder. The crowd, too (at least from the few places I positioned myself during the gig) seemed to be flagging. Most in view, in fact, just chatted as ragged singer-songwriter tunes floated overhead. Doherty has his diligent worshippers, to be sure, but the impression that he’s running on empty refuses to budge.

Elbow: against all odds

Arriving on the main stage in a fanfare of trumpets, green rain macs and a string quartet, Elbow swiftly triumphed over the adversities of the weather, a very tightly packed front-of-stage area (which singer Guy Harvey patiently tried to resolve) and an appreciative audience that, nevertheless, looked as if they were getting listless. Fair play to Elbow, then, for pulling out quiet yet sturdy reserves of energy and resolve. You would never have thought that the band’s music – intense, profound, without humour yet full of life – would have transferred to such a damp, open-air environment, but as the rain relentlessly pelted, Elbow reigned supreme. Definitely a moment here, folks

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