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V Festival. Weston Park, Staffordshire 21.08.04
Gig rating: ****/5. I've Got A Flair was a jangly rather than rocking start to Fountains of Wayne's sun-tinted late-afternoon set at V Festival 2004, though the trotting pace of Red Dragon Tattoo and the champing guitars and hooks of Denise soon brought the band up to speed. It was the material from Welcome Interstate Managers; namely Mexican Wine, Hey Julie and Stacy's Mom that received the loudest response from the onlooking crowd, of course due to the success of the former single. What sounded best though (excluding I've Got A Flair) was everything Fountains of Wayne played from their debut; Radiation Vibe, Sink To The Bottom and as I was listening to the debut a lot when driving to Scotland recently, and flying a few hundred miles around Europe the same day I left the festival, I can't remember what else was played; maybe Joe Rey and Leave The Biker. Once again, no Troubled Times but I will hear them play it. One day...
Manchester University Academy 2, Manchester 29.02.04
Gig rating: ****/5. It was cold in The Academy, and Denise didn't quite sound the sharp, crunching guitar anthem it is. The chill wouldn't have helped the atmosphere, or warmed the cockles of those cold-infested band members. But then something happened and a flurry of songs from the self-titled debut interspersed with the newest tracks took Fountains of Wayne up a few notches. People were singing along to songs I thought no one else had heard, surprisingly (I thought) most people seemed to know everything from FOW's debut onwards and weren't just there on the back of Stacy's Mom.
Not much talking, just no nonsense, let their songs do the talking. I was left wanting more, does that mean something wasn't quite there or they were so good I couldn't get enough? Probably a bit of both, not many songs from Utopia Parkway were played and throughout the gig I realised something was missing. At the end of the gig I realised it was Troubled Times.
Bad (meaning good): Their first time in the UK for a few years, and they didn't disappoint (though said they only came back "because we ran out of brown sauce").
Bad (meaning bad): They didn't play Troubled Times!!!! Only two songs from Utopia Parkway. Oh well, next time...? Do they need brown sauce yet?
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