This years V marked the tenth anniversary of the festival and rounds off a decade that has seen it grow to become one of the key weekends in the summer calendar. Now with it's two sites in Staffordshire and Chelmsford, the latter unsurprisingly being the most corporate and media focused of the two with Channel 4 and Virgin Radio both in attendance.

Oasis were the big headliner, ten years on from the wildly over hyped chart battle with blur, but most interesting of the headline acts was Super Furry Animals as they were on the second stage ten years ago alongside such Brit pop favorites as Menswear, Kula Shaker and Sleeper. Others from this years line up to appear in the early years were Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and Embrace, and for the first in 1996 fact fans, the bill toppers were Pulp and Paul Weller.

The Chelmsford weekend in 2005 opened with the Stans on the V stage and The Road to V competition winners on the second stage, which this year was sponsored by Channel 4. Goldie Lookin' Chain were next on the main stage followed by one of the regular occurrences of this festival at this point, an old Indy band who may or may not be on the come back trail. In past years Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets and Echo and the Bunnymen have played this slot, this year the privilege was given to The La's.

At this early stage in the weekend it would take a lot to push for the title of band of the festival, but Mercury nominated Magic Numbers without question added their name to the shortlist on the C4 stage. Their catchy style of country Indy pop led nicely into KT Tunstall's set. Her's was another strong performance with her having to overcome a speaker blow out during 'Other side of the World', although on that nights TV coverage it didn't seem as bad. Both artists make music for a sunny afternoon, just a shame the skies were somewhat grey but at least any rain held off until Monday.

Of the current bunch of media darlings, The Bravery were the most disappointing. There was nothing especially wrong with what they did; their set simply didn't have the edge of many others over the weekend. This didn't matter though as the Kaiser Chiefs soon lifted the atmosphere watched by one of Chelmsford's most fanatical crowds. Ricky Wilson overcoming a knackered ankle. Unsurprisingly it was a slightly toned down performance on his part, something the fans made up for with the bands predicted riot looking on the cards.

Doves won the award for the best place act, sandwiched in between the Kaisers and Chemical Brothers, their's was a set that could rock with the best of them but was ultimately a little more chilled and gave a much needed breather before watching Oasis on the V Stage. This was watched by one of the biggest crowds I think I've seen at V, although the design of the site means that unlike somewhere like Reading, the punters are packed in quite tightly making the size seem bigger than it might be. They rattled through their hits although ignored the middle of their career and it was a fantastic way to round off day one.

Day two saw a much more strange mixture of alternative acts, dance and stuff you might find on the pages of Smash Hits, Joss Stone, Natasha Beddingfield and Jem were all appearing, the latter two safely tucked away in the JJB tent. The odd thing about this festival is you can find a fantastic band such as Idlewild, sandwiched in between the pop rock of Rooster and Tony Christie. The Sun newspaper have been taking all the credit for getting the man they enthusiastically and laughably refer to as the UK's answer to James Brown onto the line up. 'Amarillo' has without question been a real laugh this year but is better placed being played over the PA at half time at football or in your local nightclub and is a classic example of the mass audience attracting style of the V artist selection process.

The sheep who waited to do the 'Amarillo' dance missed out on the Frames and I Am Kloot on the Channel 4 stage. Both of which are excellent live acts, the latter blues based and the former make a kind of Indy music that is all the rage these days and should see them progress to higher ranking set times in future years. This is something that Athlete have done, as they are regulars at V and have grown in stature from year to year, working their way up the pecking order to one of the main acts on the V stage. The reaction from the crowd justifying this as they were in full voice for most of the set.

If Tony Christie was surprised by the way his career has picked up over the past few months, embrace seemed equally blown away by the fact that they were back on the main stage at V, having been one of the brightest new things in the late nineties and appearing on the main stage in 2001, to being dropped by their record label and on the Dole only two years later. Back where they belong, their's was up there as one of the legendary moments of this years V. If you think they primarily do ballads, as that is what you've heard them release, as singles recently, make sure you see them live as they rock.

Franz Ferdinand and Scissor Sisters were the star attractions of day two. Both showcasing new material and joining for a Bowey cover. But for those who like it a bit harder, The Prodigy entertained anyone with a bit of adrenaline pumping through their body on the Channel 4 stage and would have taken the roof off if there was one.

Every festival has it's own identity, which is just as well seeing as there's now so many of them. Whether it's the tradition and history of Glastonbury or Reading, or the specific musical attraction of somewhere like Creamfields or Download, the brand definition of the diverse range of festivals on offer is, as it has to be, as strong as ever. Of all the major events of the summer that has benefited from the partnership between the music and commercialism it is V, and without one, the other would be left stranded. There are some who don't like this but if you can put up with a line up that includes the most mainstream of acts such as Maroon 5 and Texas, alongside the cream of the alternative music scene then this is as good as any weekend. Tickets for 2006 are now on sale at 2005 prices but only for a limited time, as there's no Glastonbury next year expect V to be even more popular and there's no reason why it shouldn't be a cornerstone of the summer for another decade.