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My first festival was Reading in 2001, an event which saw the Manics headline and turn in what remains one of the finest bill topping sets I've seen. Every Manics gig I've been to since has simply confirmed in my mind that, regardless of the quality of any current album, they are and always will be one of Britain's best on stage.

2001 saw the band going through the point in their career where many fans of their older work think they weren't hitting top gear. With recent album 'Send Away the Tigers' almost universally considered to be the Welsh rockers back on form, plus a list of greatest hits most playing this year's V could only dream of, all things were set for an excellent show: they didn't disappoint.

Only one song from the whole fifty-five minute set wasn't a single, 'Indian Summer' from their current album appeared near the end. They opened with 'Australia', followed by 'Gold Against the Soul' track 'From Despair To Where' and recent single 'You're Love Alone Is Not Enough'.

Unsurprisingly 'Motorcycle Emptiness' took things up another level, with 'Everything Must Go' continuing to have much of the crowd jumping.

As with most of the outdoor sets this weekend, rain could have dampened spirits. The Manics had a cover up their sleeves especially for the occasion, 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' having originally been recorded for the 'Help' project during the late nineties.

Everyone will have had their own highlight, and for me it was great to be reminded of what a great song 'Ocean Spray' is.

Current single 'Autumnsong' lead into a further, relentless charge through the Manic's crowd pleasers, that included 'If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next', 'Motown Junk', 'La Tristesse Durera', 'You Stole The Sun From My Heart' and 'You Love Us'.

As is often the case, the final word was left for 'A Design For Life', with those watching in front of the 4 Music Stage left to reflect on one of the best sets of the weekend. James Dean Bradfield has always been a fantastic front man, with the trio rocking as hard as ever.

V Festival can throw up some of the most odd stage combinations you'll find anywhere, with the Manics following Mika and Lily Allen, and initially set to support the Kooks. The second stage headliner swap round meant that in Basement Jaxx there was at least an act who could follow Bradfield and co in some style, but for me this would have done any stage proud as a headlining set.