Opportunity Knocks

When I finally get to the Snickers stage (it's a bloody long way!) I find the tent about half full and Canadian band Billy Talent already tearing through their first number. Those at the front get well behind the band and give them a rapturous reception between songs. The sound is excellent and allows all the harmonies that really make Billy Talent songs to shine through.

It's damn hot outside but judging from the sweat dripping off front man Ben Kowalewicz it's sweltering up on stage. Having produced one of the albums of the last couple of years with their self titled debut (excluding the Pez album that is) it's no surprise that the set draws heavily on the best tracks from it. 'The Ex' (complete with bitter introduction) is simply outstanding, they just come across as an exceptionally tight unit with buckets full of energy and passion and the tunes to match. The crowd shout back every word on tracks like 'River Below' whilst Kowalewicz spits out his vocals with real venom. The energy of the performance doesn't affect the quality of the playing and as they get deeper into the set the more impressive they are to watch.

'Try Honesty' is as much of a highlight here as it is on the album and when they pause for the crowd to sing back the words it's almost quite moving! It does have to be said that Kowalewicz has something of a whiny voice but as with bands like The Dickies the quality of the songs more than makes up for it. With a second album on the way (imaginatively titled Billy Talent II) they can surely only go from strength to strength.