Room Thirteen covered the V Festival for the first time last year, and is returning to Chelmsford one year on to bring even more reviews than in 2005. To read our coverage of the tenth anniversary event click the links below:


V has become one of the most anticipated festivals of the summer, standing alongside T in the Park and the Carling Weekend as the fastest sellers in 2006. The line-up has a number of very interesting names, with many of the performances set to grab the headlines. This preview will highlight the acts to watch, and give links to previous R13 coverage of live gigs or recent album reviews for the majority of those appearing.

Alongside Guns N' Roses at Download, Radiohead's headline set at V is already one of the most talked about festival appearances of the year. One of the worst kept secrets of the winter, eyebrows were certainly raised at Radiohead signing up to headline what is regarded to be the most corporate festival in the UK. At least, unlike Axl, we can guarantee Thom Yorke and co will turn up on time, the question is, what will they play when they get there? Given how one of V's major media partners is Virgin Radio, and that 'Creep' is one of a maximum of three Radiohead tracks ever to get a look in on that station, will the band bite the bullet and play the discarded classic as many will be hoping for it? How much new stuff will be showcased, and will any of Thom Yorke's solo album get a look in? All will become clear on Saturday night at Chelmsford, and the following night in Staffordshire, rest assured neither set will be the same. For a review of Thom Yorke 'The Eraser' click here.

The reverse headliner is Morrissey. It's usual for the former Smiths front man to use these high profile shows to have a dig at those who ignore him and his music, I've seen him twice and both times he's moaned about how Radio 1 won't playlist his music. Will this tired line be used again, and which Smiths classics will the V crowd be treated to?

Of the other headliners, Kasabian looks to be an interesting alternative if you can't stomach Radiohead. 'Empire' has gone top ten in the singles chart, and their new material went down a storm at both T in the Park and Oxegen, expect the same next weekend.

The Leicester boys aren't the only act to be giving a taster of new material. Bloc Party are nearing the completion of their second album, and as previously reported by Room Thirteen, the provisional tracklist has appeared online
Click here for more.

For the likes of Hard-Fi and Editors, it's really time we heard some new stuff from them as their debut albums are over a year old and really rather tired now, will we get anything fresh at V? Meanwhile with a reissued Jam Best of out earlier this year, surely we'll be treated to a career spanning set from one of the UK's finest artists, Paul Weller is one of this year's must see acts.

So too are the Charlatans. Having seen them headline Electric Gardens earlier this month, I can confirm they're a band on top form right now. When I talked to Tim Burgess and Martin Blunt in April, already V was an event they were very much up for.

"We're looking forward to V. Everybody's got this thing about "Oh it's this big corporate event, you get attacked and bombarded with sponsorship left right and centre", which I could see at the time, but I think it's receded a bit now." Martin Blunt
Read the full interview including thoughts on festivals, the band's live performances and their latest album here.

Looking around the site there are some whose recent success makes their lowly position on smaller stages look slightly strange. Lily Allen, Paolo Nutini and Captain surely deserve better, although at least they're likely to play to rammed tents which always makes for a great occasion. They share stages with R13 favourites Mew, Pure Reason Revolution and Crimea. The latter can be a touch injury prone on stage as Davey Macmanus tells us:
"There have been several fallings off things, I once hurt my knee and Jason Donavon was in A&E because he'd broken his wrist doing the Rocky Horror Show. I've knocked my tooth out on the microphone. Generally just bumping into each other, hitting heads on roof. My fingers always cut on the guitar, also I end up super gluing them and now I am convinced I have cyanide poisoning because I have a weird rash like Yushenko the Ukranian president that the Russians tried to disappear." Read more Here.

Finally, in previous years V has often had an indie legend on the Main Stage, La's, Inspiral Carpets and Echo and the Bunnymen have all played that role in the past. No sign of that this year although Echo is bringing his Bunnymen to the JJB Arena, and it will be interesting to see if the Cardigans can still crack it as they play the Channel 4 Stage, and of course there is the return of Kula Shaker!

So V has it's usual mixture of indie, rock, dance and out of place plastic pop, Girls Aloud, do me a favour! If it's pop music you're after The Pipettes are the band you need to be checking out.

To help you make you're mind up I've been through the R13 archives to find gig and album reviews for most of the line-up. Fans of Daniel Powter we apologize we have nothing for you, but frankly aside from that 'Bad Day' track what more do you need to know?

Happy reading and check back here in the week after the festival for reviews.

Saturday 19 (Chelmsford), Sunday 20th (Staffordshire).

V Stage
Radiohead, May Tour
Beck 'Guero''
Keane 'Under The Iron Sea'
Bloc Party, Autumn 2005
Magic Numbers, V 2005
Divine Comedy, Summer Case Forum 2006
Dead 60's, Leeds Festival 2005
Daniel Powter

Channel 4 stage
Kasabian, Manchester 2005
Editors, March 2006
Ordinary Boys 'Brassbound'
We are Scientists 'With Love and Squalor'
Cardigans, Summercase Forum
Orson 'Bright Idea'
Kula Shaker
Biffy Clyro, Leeds Festival 2005
Saw Doctors

The JJB/Puma stage is headlined by Fat Boy Slim, and with a greatest hits album out expect this to be a set full of the classics. This is a strange stage as it also features Girls Aloud, rapper Kano, former Busted star Matt Willis and indie band Shack. Our recommended acts are:
The Go! Team
Echo & the Bunnymen
Pure Reason Revolution

Virgin Mobile Social Stage is headlined by Sandi Thom, who has gone from online gigs from her basement to major festival headliner in a matter of months. Her album is reviewed here.

Further down the list is Jamie T, who follows V with his T-Mobile Street Gig in a West London toilet. Click the links below for more from this stage:
Regina Spektor
Art Brut
Young Knives
Upper Room
Paolo Nutini

Other acts on this stage include My Morning Jacket and Seth Lakeman.

Sunday 20th (Chelmsford), Saturday 19th (Staffordshire).

V stage
Morrissey, Glasgow Spring 2006
Paul Weller reviews
Hard-Fi, May 2006
Dandy Warhols, Summercase Forum 2006
Kubb 'Mother'
Gavin DeGraw

Channel 4 stage
Razorlight, Noise and Confusion 2005
Charlatans, Electric Gardens 2006
Starsailor, recent single reviews
James Dean Bradfield 'The Great Western'
Delays 'You See Colours'
The Feeling, Summercase Forum 2006
Morning Runner, Electric Gardens 2006
Rifles, March 2006
Dogs 'Turn Against This Land'

The JJB/Puma stage has its second massive dance act headlining for the weekend, with Groove Armada topping the bill.
Others on this stage include:
Rufus Wainwright
Lily Allen
The Boy Least Likely To with Beautiful South, Gomez, Nerina Pallot, Imogen Heap, Richard Hawley and Bic Runga also playing.

Virgin Mobile Social Stage hosts the welcome return of Cooper Temple Clause as headliner. Also playing here are:

Bell X1
Liam Frost & The Slowdown Family
Jim Noir
This stage also hosts The Dears, James Morrison, Butch Walker, The Grates and The Dodgems.