V2001, Chelmsford

Aussie star Kylie Minogue showed fans at East Anglia's biggest annual rock event – the weekend V2001 Festival – how she aims to restore her position as the queen of Britain's commercial pop scene.

By JAMES RUDDY

Aussie star Kylie Minogue showed fans at East Anglia's biggest annual rock event – the weekend V2001 Festival – how she aims to restore her position as the queen of Britain's commercial pop scene.

In a plunging evening dress, split almost to the waist, the diminutive former soap star poured out her new disco-beat repertoire to an adoring crowd inside the giant JJB Marquee at Hylands Park, just outside Chelmsford.

Sexiness was high on Kylie's agenda once more, as semi-naked male and female dancers cavorted and gyrated throughout a sparkling show, which has played to sell-out crowds across her native Australia.

Sadly the choice of the marquee meant that countless angry fans were locked out as the down-under diva revealed her fabulous new performance.

On the park's main stage at the same time, that other queen of the pout and pose, Charleen Spiteri, was fronting up the latest appearance of Texas, as Saturday night headliners at the sell-out festival.

Most Read

Unlike Kylie's indoor crowd, Charleen's massed audience had to endure that traditional item on the British rock festival-goers menu, torrential rain.

The heavens had opened at about 7pm on Saturday as the aptly named Coldplay began those haunting opening piano chords of their mega-hit Yellow.

What followed was that usual rock festival balance between enjoying the delights of the delicate and mystical vocals and lyrics of the likes of David Gray and attempting to avoid hypothermia as the site began to turn to a quagmire.

Now in its sixth year, the Virgin sponsored V event is outlandishly commercial but at the same time attracts the cream of modern rock and pop.

Among the highlights for this ageing rock fan this year had to be Jimmy Barnes (remember his gravel vocals at the Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony?), Coldplay, Faithless, David Gray, The Foo Fighters, The Charlatans and the irrepressible Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The latter may not have brought their Californian sunshine to East Anglia this weekend but they certainly brightened up 65,000 rather soggy hearts.

t A man was arrested after he climbed on to the stage as Kylie was performing and ran towards the singer, police said.

The man was charged with breach of the peace although police said the pop star had not been in any danger and that security staff had immediately grabbed the intruder and led him away.

Police said the rock event had passed off peacefully on the whole. Seven Norfolk men were arrested in relation to drug offences and one man for being drunk and disorderly.