With additional comment from the BBC presenters Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dummer, Rick Blockhead and Rufus Waffle.
Maximo Park, BBC3
Despite having the second weirdest hair in music after Jamie Cullum, Paul Smith is a great frontman and Maximo Park are one of the better ‘alternative’ bands in Britain.
Tweedle Dummer: “Excellent!”
Rick Blockhead: “Amazing!”
The Enemy, BBC3
Indignant faces so screwed up so you can lost in their maze of juvenile snottiness.
Tweedle Dum: “Absolutely rocking!”
Interpol resemble a bunch of redundant ghosts exorcised from homes they haunted by their own union for not being scary enough. Obstacle 1 and PDA from their first album and new single The Heinrich Manoeuvre were good, but they do gingerly dip a hand into their rancid dustbin of a second album for Evil.
Tweedle Dum: “Amazing!”
Tweedle Dummer: “You know when a band gets under your skin – that’s what Interpol do for me!”
Rufus Waffle: “Come away! Come away from all that music and instead watch me chortle contentiously as I magnificently act out Hamlet with my fingers on the spine of some drunken teenager whose body has been thrown out of sync by dancing to music he doesn’t really like but that which Radio 1 and Xfm have decreed that he likes!”
The Horrors, BBC3
On stage they look like the constituent remnants of an exploded black hole sliding down a car windscreen, and play with pretty much the same disassembled chaos sounding as if someone has caught a storm with one hand and tossed it ostentatiously into a metal bin.
Rick Blockhead: “They rocked, man!”
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, BBC3
One man, a guitar, a bunch of stooges as a backing band and some decent songs that birds may one day pilfer to give some variation to their morning symphonies.
Tweedle Dummer: “Brilliant!”
Rick Blockhead: “Amazing! In fact, I may go so far as to say they were amazing!”
The Gossip, BBC3
Sadly the fact that their talented singer is both overweight and wearing very little at the end of their performance overshadowed a promising young band who possess guitar riffs that really should be behind bars with a warning to children not to poke their hands through the bars.
Tweedle Dum: “Incredible!”
Rufus Waffle: “Away, away, away with all your vagaries of popular music and come and visit me Rufus down by the river where drunken teens away from home for the first time are holding an impromptu witch hunting contest by drowning one another. Ha-haaa the larks of youth!”
Kings of Leon, BBC3
If we were to say that Kings of Leon were the shadows of shadows cast by the gargantuan physical manifestation of teenage ennui set to a chorus of a thousand dogs choking on a new metal dog food, we’d be strung up by the NME secret police. So we won’t.
Tweedle Dummer: “Kings of Leon were just incredible! This is quite outstanding!”
Gogol Bordello, BBC3
The sound of two tramps cantankerously banging together a couple of dustbin lids under an open window of a scientists’ laboratory where they are trying to synthetically remove all the surging ethnicity from Eastern European folk.
Tweedle Dummer: “Smashing!”
Rick Blockhead: “It rawks!”
The Gossip, BBC3
Beth Ditto? Did you Beth Ditto, Beth Ditto? She really Beth Ditto’d Beth Ditto. They played Standing In The Way of Beth Ditto by Beth Ditto and they really Beth Ditto’d it. See you next Beth Ditto.
Tweedle Dummer: “Oh, ho, ho Magnificent. And Beth Ditto… amazing!”
Rick Blockhead: “The Gossip… the music… the magnificence… the malarkey!”
Flying in from London, California Razorlight comfortably assume the title of worst headliner at a summer festival for 2007, ahead of The Killers. Listening to their performance, it’s as if they’ve simply pulled out a straw and jabbed it into the rotting corpse of Phil Collins and sucked for all they’re worth.
Tweedle Dum: “We’ve got some amazing songs from the amazing Razorlight!”
Rick Blockhead: “Rawk, rawk, rawk with Razorlight and make that fleshy effigy with your hands which is meant to represent the devil yet has come to be emblematic of insufferably uninspired music. Music doesn’t get much better than this!”
Kings of Leon, BBCi
Words can’t express how good the Kings were tonight. It was Elvis ‘The King’ Presley’s 30th anniversary of his death, and while that was worth celebrating we feel it’s time that the crown was passed on to a new generation of Kings. And there’s nobody more worthy than the Followill bros.
Tweedle Dum: “Amazingly incredible!”
Tweedle Dummer: “Incredibly amazing!”
The Subways, BBC3
Another promising band, much like The Gossip, who sound akin to the Sex Pistols in the sterile atmosphere of corporate, bland music perpetuated by Razorlight.
Rick Blockhead: “My favourite showing of the festival so far, by a mile!”
The Young Knives, BBCi
With a singer whose face looks like it was the last part of his body to wake up and his bassist brother who resembles a young, perma- frowning Ronnie Barker, the Young Knives at least show that blood runs through their veins rather than gushing careerism. The Decision isn’t as scary without the cannibalism video but still stirs the soul, and Here Comes The Rumour Mill still sounds like someone outside a nightclub looking for a fight with anyone.
Rick Blockhead: “My absolute number one highlight of the festival so far!”
Rufus Waffle: “What? You’re listening to music when you could be watching moi, Rufus Waffle acting out some madcap stunt with a bunch of inebriated teenagers such as now when I’ve got four and half of them to balance their IQs on their noses like performing seventh seals?”
What’s Johnny wearing? What’s Johnny wearing? Black or white or grey? Black or white or grey? What’s Johnny wearing? What’s Johnny wearing? Oh, I would gladly sacrifice my sense of hearing just to know the answer to that question!”
Tweedle Dum: “Absolutely amazing! A fantastic performance!”
Rick Blockhead: “I think they were even more fantastic than the last time I said they rawked three minutes ago. What an amazing show!”
Biffy Clyro, BBC3
They enjoy a worship as confounding as the widespread support for the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany. They plough through songs with all the joyless functionality of a bristled-chinned farmer surveying his infertile lands with a scowl – but what the hell does it matter? He’ll be dead soon, buried in a shabby grave with his name eroded by the acidic rain within a single generation – only to be succeeded by his forbears spanning out depthless, feudal mediocrity for all eternity.
Tweedle Dum: Biffy Clyro were absolutely incredible!”
Tweedle Dummer: “They were awesome!”
Arcade Fire, BBC3
Against the tide of iniquitous avarice they resembled Davy Crockett and his last stand in the Alamo fighting against the onslaught of the Mexican army. They play guitars with a passion that leaves them with bloodied fingers; two of them break off as renegades and chase each other about the periphery of the stage. The drummer becomes a guitarist, the keyboardist the drummer. The mighty Power Out lets out a discordant death rattle before being reborn as the euphoric Rebellion (Lies).
Tweedle Dummer: “I can’t explain what Arcade Fire do to me!”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, BBC3
An arse wrinkle shuddering as it is shoved while waiting to draw its pension.
Rufus Waffle: The Peppers, eh? Why listen to their funk when you could be watching me, Rufus Waffle, cut thin strips from my lips and throw them back in time to land on the cheeks of passing celebrities at the Glastonbury Festival so I can claim to have kissed them!”
Like watching the first twist of the spade in the yielding soil preparing to dig a grave for an unloved horse.
Tweedle Dum: “Absolutely magnificent!”
Cold War Kids, BBC3
Played Hang Me Up To Dry before disappearing into a fog of apathy.
Rufus Waffle: “Cold War Kids? Why waste time with them when you could spend it watching me Rufus Waffle lie on unnavigable Alpine passes to see how many lost tourists I can coax to seek sanctuary in my aristocratic nostrils!”
Kate Nash, BBC3
Like, she, like gave, like, a very special, like, performance of, like, Foundations, like, and it was like, liked, by like, everyone, like.
Tweedle Dummer: “Very, very, very, very special.”
Tweedle Dum: “In-cred-i-ble-!”
Biffy Clyro, BBCi
C’mon the Biffy. Oh they were great! The songs soar and swoop and dive and roll and pirouette and leap and soar and jump and whiz and everything you could ever want from a band. They are my life, my life is Biffy Clyro!”
Rick Blockhead: “Amazing! I’m going to get a tattoo on my arms!”
Nine Inch Nails, BBCi
Even though the BBC refused to lift their blanket ban on playing any NIN song that isn’t rubbish (The Hand That Feeds) or bland (Hurt), they at least showed most of their set on BBCi. The sad thing was that it just reminded you that, Only apart, they hit their peak about a decade-and-a-half ago with frothing, incendiary rasps such as Head Like A Hole and Wish.
Reading Festival 2006, ITV2
Who deserved an ovation and who deserved to be bottled off in ITV2’s Reading Festival coverage?
• The Darkness: Growing On Me. Unbearably lame without the comedy video. Bottled Off
• The Darkness: I Believe In A Thing Called Love. The falsetto is made worse by the crowd’s mimicry. Bottled Off.
• The Hives: Hate To Say I Told You So. Spiky Swedish pop. Ovation.
• The Hives: The new single that we missed the title of, but it involved Broken Bones. Ovation.
• Franz Ferdinand: Matinee. A very good song, made slightly worse by the singer accentuating the first line of each verse. Ovation.
• Jurassic 5: What’s Golden. An unexpected surprise that ITV elected to show one of the best rap groups at the festival. Ovation.
• Placebo: The Bitter End. With an opening lyric of “since we’re feeling so anaesthetised”, the bitterness is communicated perfectly. Ovation.
• Razorlight: Golden Touch. A great song largely because it sounds very similar to The Cure’s 10.15 On A Saturday Night. Ovation.
• Razorlight: Keep The Right Profile. A new song that is a great improvement on their pretty decent album. Ovation.
• The Darkness: Love Is Only A Feeling. A third undeserved song by the dull rockers in a trend that was to burgeon in part two of the highlights show. Bottled Off.
• Green Day: Basket Case. Rebellion for those who have to hunt down something to rebel against. Bottled Off.
• Green Day: And their next song was also as conformist as a Chinese school. Bottled Off.
• Lostprophets: Fake Sound Of Progress. Never has a song title so appositely summed up a band’s contribution to the evolution of music. Bottled Off.
• Lostprophets: Last Train Home. Dreary rock so lifeless it’s become a template for suicide bombers of the realities of physical death. Bottled Off.
• Ash: Renegade Cavalcade: A more thoughtful effort than their recent directionless thrash pop. Like a quieter Lithium. Ovation.
• The Streets: Let’s Push Things Forward. One of the most innovative singles of the past two years was cut after about a minute. The Darkness get 10 minutes, The Streets one minute. It doesn’t add up. Ovation.
• A rap/rock band whose name we missed. Ovation.
• Morrissey: November Spawned A Monster. Of all the performers, Morrissey had perhaps the best back catalogue yet ITV chose to show this good, but not great, single from his wilderness years. Ovation.
• The Distillers. Sounded remarkably good. Ovation.
• Hundred Reasons. More mediocre rock that sounds as if it’s been churned out of a factory suffering labour shortage problems. Bottled Off.
• The White Stripes: The first song was mindless thrash that exposed the limitations of the drums/voice/guitar combination. Bottled Off.
• The White Stripes: Dead Leaves On The Dirty Ground. Excellent, as usual. Ovation.
• The White Stripes. The final track was a passable impression of Black Francis’s screaming. Ovation.
• The presentation: Matt Brown and Sarah Cawood were fine, but the selection of bands to show was appalling, as was the decision for multiple songs from The Darkness, Lostprophets and Green Day. With The Streets number one only a couple of weeks ago, even the usual excuse of commercial necessity being paramount is flawed. Bottled Off.
Totals Ovations: 14 Bottled Off: 10