Belfast Telegraph

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Festival Fever

Amy comes up for Oxegen after lung disease shock

By John McGurk

Troubled pop star Amy Winehouse last night took to the stage of Ireland's biggest music festival despite fears about her health.

Whispers that wayward Winehouse would cancel her Oxegen appearance for the second consecutive year proved to be unfounded as she arrived at the Co Kildare site shortly before showtime.

Fears of a 'no show' by the 24-year-old star were fuelled after her latest bizarre public appearances.

Last Thursday, the Back To Black singer made a surreal appearance, as a DJ, at a London nightclub, wearing a heart, with her husband's name, nestled in her beehive hair.

Her partner, Blake Fielder-Civil is due to be sentenced on July 21 for perverting the course of justice and GBH.

Amy's dad Mitch warned that just one cigarette will seriously harm his daughter who now has a form of the lung disease emphysema.

In a Sky News interview broadcast last night Mr Winehouse said: "I want people to understand, even if they give her one cigarette, they are causing her harm.

"As far as Amy is concerned, it is a last chance saloon. She has got a serious health problem.

"My biggest fear is that she will die — and she wouldn't die from a drug overdose. It would be from emphysema, if she didn't check her behaviour — which she has done."

The Rehab and Valerie hitmaker has had much publicised drugs and drink problems. Last year she failed to appear at Oxegen — citing "exhaustion" for the cancellation.

Her performance last night will be followed by a handful of other festival appearances, including a spot at Scotland's T In The Park tonight, before she takes a break and then begins work on her new album this autumn.

Ulster music fans also had a great night to R.E.M.-ember at Oxegen last night.

For veteran alt-rockers R.E.M. proved themselves to be pedigree pop stars, with a blistering headline set at Punchestown Racecourse.

And the live sets from them and some of the world's other hottest properties made the crowds forget the downpours of Irish summertime rain.

A whopping 75 acts, including Stereophonics, Kate Nash, Counting Crows, The Zutons and Manic Street Preachers wowed the Oxegen audience yesterday, on eight different stage and performance areas.

Reformed Nineties psychedelic rockers The Verve played tracks from their comeback album Forth — with Oxegen exploding at they performed their anthem, Bittersweet Symphony.

Headliners R.E.M. played a crowd-pleasing marathon set, with nearly two dozen songs, including favourites Orange Crush, The One I Love, What's The Frequency Kenneth? and encore, Man On The Moon.

Meanwhile, T In The Park also attracted an 80,000-strong crowd to Balado in Perth and Kinross last night.

Performers included reformed political rockers, Rage Against The Machine; Scottish popsters, The Fratellis; Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri and anthemic pop kings, Kaiser Chiefs.

Today's weather forecasts for the Irish and Scottish festival sites are for some sun and no rain. Tonight sees Oxegen appearances from Rage Against The Machine; Kaiser Chiefs, Chemical Brothers, Ian Brown and The Pogues.

Irish Independent

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