No energy for Oxegen

A Breaffy Man in Castlebar
No energy for Oxegen

Edwin McGreal

I must be getting old.
Either that or I’m getting sense. But the thought of going to Oxegen this year filled me with dread.
Sure, the line-up was superb. I was tempted by acts like Muse, Florence and the Machine, The Temper Trap and Mumford and Sons.
But, when I thought about it for more than a moment, the dominant thought was a deterrent one. Getting soaked to the skin, covered in muck and taking almost a week to recover made my mind up very easily - I wasn’t gonna go.
Which really is a sign of my age. Because I have been there before, twice, suffered the consequences but still came away not regretting going. Not for a minute.
But that was then. Now the thoughts of a week long hangover, physically and mentally, is enough to send me reaching for the blanket, set up residence in front of the fire and watch back episodes of Glenroe for the weekend.
I was a late convert to Oxegen. It was 2007 when I first stepped foot in Punchestown. It was Friday night and our crew were tip-toeing around trying to avoid getting covered in muck. But our attempts at staying clean were vain.
Liam McHale and Darragh Larkin saw the writing on the wall and decided to get being dirty out of the way. So they dived on their front a la Jurgen Klinsman and they proceeded to try to literally drag the rest of us into their dirty, rotten world. Resistance was futile.
But come the following Monday morning as the insulating effects of beer wore away, I entered a world of pain. I got home Monday evening and didn’t step outdoors again until Thursday morning. Work the following Monday still felt like it was too soon.
But we Irish justify such torture if we think the event itself was worth it. And, well, it was. It was my first ever festival and from first minute to last, it was amazing.
I togged last year as well and didn’t regret it. But the recovery was harder. Come this year and the fact that I now take two days to recover from a mere few pints, my heart was never really in Oxegen ‘10.
So we kept it local last Friday. Thousands may have been looking forward to Eminem but we got to hear a unique rap - Ballyvary’s Mike ‘Spike’ O’Donnell taking the stage in Stack’s Bar in Castlebar to do his impression of a mart auctioneer. Surreal doesn’t do it justice.
The Parke lads were there celebrating a Reserve League final win. Anthony Dunne tried to bribe me for the nomination of man of the match for the report of that game in the sports pages. Alf McLoughlin reckoned he deserved a rating of two out of ten. Anthony’s offer of €50 was politely turned down. As I said at the start I’m getting sense.
And I’m not as cross as a bag of cats this week.