IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS 24 Monday, 24 August 2009 London Lite DEPTFORDS Athlete have been hated by critics for so long now that I doubt they even read reviews. After all, whats the point if all youre going to get is a kicking? After their brilliant first album, Vehicles And Animals, this, their fourth, is the first to hint that the critics might have a point. Black Swan seems overly concerned with the big chord and the obvious sentiment, but just manages to avoid crassness by dint of Joel Pottss smoky sincerity and great tunes on Dont Hold Your Breath and Light The Way. That said, however, its time for a change of direction, boys. PC REVIEWSMUSIC W HEN news of the Gallagher brothers no- show broke on Sunday afternoon, apparently due to laryngitis (al- though the fact that they were ostentatiously not speaking the previous night at Stafford does raise a few unanswered questions), it was greeted with a Mexican wave of unprint- able expletives from fans. Their non- appearance inevitably overshadowed an otherwise stupendous line-up. Razorlight and The Killers saw out Saturday night in style on the Virgin Music Stage with Wire To Wire and America from Johnny Borrell, and Mr Brightside and When We Were Young from Brandon Flowers. Fatboy blasted the 4 Music Stage with Praise You and a deaf-in-one-ear Calvin Harris enter- tained the Arena with Im Not Alone. Lily Allens crowd banter -- constantly harping on about the cricket -- was a bit annoying, she was wearing that dodgy eyeliner again and had to remove her sky-scraping heels for a couple of numbers due to her poor aching back (bless). But with Smile and The Fear she couldnt and didnt go far wrong and Im sure the guy who came round selling pants during her act wasnt trying to make a point. The weekends totally unplanned surprise appearance came from Amy Winehouse who joined The Specials on stage for Ghost Town and Youre Wondering Now. She was back later and possibly a bit drunker to lend Pete Doherty a helping hand -- and a tongue which she practically stuck down his throat in a cheeky snog. Pete played a blinder before organisers pulled the plug 17 songs in, to a volley of bottles. Sunday highlights included The Proclaimers belting out 500 Miles to a frenzy of hand-clapping. James turned up to play Sit Down but Tim Booth was probably right when he pointed out a couple of songs in, that they should probably f**k off now. And the organisers were forced to shut the gates to stop any more people from getting into the Arena tent to see Lady GaGa. But back to Oasis -- or the lack thereof. Snow Patrol stepped into the breach admirably, but you couldnt help feeling that the car chasers didnt quite have the energy of true headliners -- though their encore of Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova was inspired -- as was MGMTs appearance with a cardboard cut-out of Liam. With so many musical big guns on the bill it was nigh on impossible to catch everyone you like. V has become a victim of its own success. But success it was. Strange as folk: Jarvis Cocker avoided Pulp songs at Green Man FolksycharmintheWelshpeaks THE BIG NOISE V Festival HylandsPark,Chelmsford HHHII STEPHANIE HIRSCHMILLER INDIE The Fiery Furnaces ImGoing Away (ThrillJockey,10.76) HHHII THE usual complaint about this brother and sister duo is that theyre far too enthusiastic to muss the hair of their more succulent melodies -- theyve rarely written a great song without inserting four different time signatures and lyrics about murderous mothers- in-law. Im Going Away goes a little easier on the cussedness but the jazzy Drive To Dallas not only has a bonkers structure but also cuts out without warning. And its the jazz influence which almost sinks this album. Im Going Away verges on the truly maddening by flirting too heavily with the devils own music. The Fiery Furnaces are sounding arch, so their visceral thrill has been diluted. PAUL CONNOLLY BIg in Denmark doesnt sound like much of a recommendation, but support slots for REM, Nine Inch Nails and Janes Addiction prove Mew are worthy of attention here, too. Swirly post-rock with thunderous choruses is their MO, and if the whiff of progressive rock suggests they want to take you on a journey, its one youll be happy to embark on. Mew arent afraid to experiment, and while they might not play stadiums here, its easy to see why they do back in their home country: at times, their hurricane-force rock feels like it could raise roofs. AMBER COWAN To order any CD reviewed, call The London Lite CD service on 01634 832789. All prices include P&P ROCK Mew NoMoreStories... (Sony,10.76) HHHII HIP HOP Mos Def TheEcstatic (Downtown,11.74) HHHII DESPITE the fact hes spent most of the past decade in Hollywood, Mos Def is still best known for the sort of socially conscious hip hop known as backpack rap. On his fourth album, he takes the term to its logical conclusion, with a record that hops between continents with the enthusiasm of a gap year student. After opening with a Malcolm X sample -- admittedly about as radical as an undergraduate joining the Socialist Workers Party -- he takes in Turkish, Latin and reggae influences. Theres even a Spanish language jam called No Hay Nada Mas. I found Mos Defs wilfully weird mish-mash very involving. Depending on your tolerance for hair weaves and hemp, you may too. AC POP Athlete BlackSwan (Polydor,12.72) HHHII THE sensibility of a festival can often be best understood by examining the behaviour of any sticky- fingered tent invaders. At Glastonbury one year, a pal of mine returned to her tent to find it empty but for five pairs of knickers. Three years ago at Bestival, six of us discovered wed had house guests when everything in our camp was rearranged very neatly -- but nothing was stolen. And at a gloriously warm- hearted party in the Welsh mountains this weekend, the only tent burglary I got wind of involved the disappearance of several bottles of water, which were replaced with apologetic fresh ones by dawn. In every respect, Green Man is an adorable affair. Blessed by druids, the site is small enough to find lost friends, but big enough for you to lose yourself nicely and stumble across surprise new favourites like Stornoway and proggy jazz fiends Diagonal. It was easy to catch a slice of the terrific Gang Gang Dance on Fridays main stage before slipping off to check out Erland & The Carnival at the Green Man Pub. Although conceptually a folk festival, the four-day hootenanny has evolved into something bigger, more varied and louder. A four- hour set from Erol Alkans Beyond The Wizards Sleeve project provided the perfect Saturday night antidote to those who bemoaned the fact that Jarvis Cockers sultry solo set didnt include any Pulp. It also proved that a 5am licence will work wonders. But folk still holds the limelight. Bon Ivers musical melancholia sent the masses into drowsy, heart-clenched warmth while The Fence Collectives set allowed sun-soakers to wallow in lyrical sumptuousness. Although one friend said England winning the Ashes was his highlight, this was a festival with enough charm to win over anyone, Aussies or no Aussies. FESTIVAL The Green Man GlanuskPark,Wales HHHII MARTHA DE LACEy AVgoodSnow fromstand-ins Cover artists: Snow Patrols Gary Lightbody and Nathan Connolly performed an Oasis encore index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html