with headliners Rage Against The Machine

It's all about Rage Against The Machine today and the whole site is buzzing with anticipation for the LA rebel rockers' first English show in eight years. Last time they were here the likes of Oasis, Pulp and Stereophonics ruled the roost. This time they're back to claim their (anti)-American crown at a festival dominated by US headliners.

And Blood Red Shoes drummer Steven Ansell is all for it as he lets the crowd into a little secret - 'Forgive Nothing' is a "bit of a rip off of Metallica". Their muddy scuzz rock goes down a treat in the NME/Radio 1 tent as early revellers cheer the Brighton pair on.

Next up is Biffy Clyro who play the show of their lives on the main stage. Their summer has been leading up to this sweat drenched perfromance as the trio blast out 'Saturday Superhouse' and 'Who's Got A Match' with bulldozing aplomb. Frontman Simon Neil thrashes the guts out of his guitar and screeches his heart out at times as the band blaze through 'Get Fucked Stud'. Sadly he doesn't set his guitar on fire this time.

But for a brief scuffle with security, this time last year The Enemy pretty much owned the NME/Radio 1 tent after their stunning terrace chanting performance. Sadly this time their afternoon slot on the main stage feels tired and patchy at best as the sound frustratingly blows in and out. The likes of 'Pressure' and 'Away From Here' don't cut it like they used to and by the looks of it even they seem happy to be finally putting their festival hits to bed after a year on the road.

Which is more than can be said for technotropic newcomers Friendly Fires who sound fresher than anyone we've heard today. Dousing their audience in confetti, the St Albans future stars in waiting kick up a carnival atmosphere with their blend of glossy electro party rock. Frontman Ed MacFarlane busts funky moves like !!! singer Nic Offer while holding his mic like Brandon Flowers during the likes of 'Skeleton Boy' and 'White Diamond'.

It's a perfect set up for Brooklyn festival slayers MGMT whose noodly 70s space rock has swept through festivals like wildfire this summer. As with every other festival appearance, yet again this is a bona fide event as first 'Electric Feel' and then 'Kids' causes utter pandemonium.

Over on the main stage, Rage fans are out in force to see Queens Of The Stone Age play the last show of their "fucking tour". Greeting fans with a flame haired shaven head, Josh Homme launches straight into 'No-One Knows' and pretty much never looks back.

Admittedly Queens could be criticised for being a little over self indulgent at times particularly when they test the patience of the crowd during 'Blood Is Love' and 'Someone's In The Wolf'. But for Queens fans it's a moment of pure bliss that's only bettered by the luscious 'Little Sister' and 'Go With The Flow'.

And so to Rage and the moment everyone has been waiting for. Stripped of the Guantanamo boiler suits they donned at Reading the night before, the band arrive in the everyday clobber they donned at T and Oxegen last month. Still that takes nothing away from their statement of intent.

From the moment they rip into 'Testify' to the moment they unleash their two fingered salute ‘Killing In The Name’, Zack De La Rocha's slam-dancing delivery, Tom Morello's scratching riffs, Tim Commerford's thudding basslines and Brad Wilk's bombastic drum rolls all make for a devastating combination that can only be described as jaw dropping.

Knowing that this is could be the last gig they ever play in the UK, every song is a joy to behold as they weave between the brilliant ‘Bullet In The Head’, the growling ‘Guerrilla Radio’ and their all time universal classic ‘Killing In The Name’. Sadly ‘Wake Up’ is left off the list but that's a small gripe in an otherwise mind blowing set.
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