so…the weekend of much merryment…
Actually I’ll recap a few things from before that i missed out on. The End of the Month Club was probably the biggest thing that I’d done socially for a wee while thanks to lack of pennies. Went along with Vonnie, Dave and Steve for what would be somewhat of an eyeopener. After listening to a lot of people recommend it and Dave’s choice of music of the last 18 months or so I was a little worried I wouldnt enjoy myself. The first band had a couple of good tracks but there was just something about them that made me want to shout “Earsplitting Art Wank” at them. I dont know why. Bozilla we’re next up and despite the big english guys accent sounding a little out of place at times they were damn good. The girl has a fantastic voice and they have Wolverine with an afro wig playing bass guitar for them. The headliners were a bit different. I mean that in a sort of good way. They murdered one of my all time favourite GnR tracks but I could see how some folk might like it. I think they were called Schmoof or something along those lines…I cant be arsed checking and if I’m wrong im sure Dave or Steve can correct me. After all they did run up front to get a swatch when they came on but im not sure if it was the pvc clad female singer Steve was drooling over of the 6′ blond surfer type guy dressed the same on keyboards he was interested in
I seem to recall a night out in the cathouse on the Friday after that after an ok night at the bowling. There was drink involved if I was out so tthats no doubt why I remember very litle of the night…if it happened.
On to the Download weekend.
I’d somehow managed to get the Thursday through to Monday of on leave from work thanks to some nifty behind my back cheating from Vonnie and my mother so my plans were to get the last minute things on Thursday morning and then head off for Donington around 2pm-ish. It never worked out like that. Between having to go to Asda, struggling to find someone to catsit for the weekend and rush hour traffic we didnt make it to hamilton to pick Andy up until almost 5pm. We also had to pick up Shawsy’s ticket as he’d forgotten it and only remembered when he hit Carlisle. He made it to Andy’s before we did! We hate the Kingston Bridge. The journey down was a good laugh with Craig doing the hockey Cokey to Mary Manson in the back seat and Andy drinking the red bull substitute and talking at 90 miles an hour all the way down.
Arriving on site was a bit strange. Vonnie joking passed comment on the fact that the car was actually a disability car and it said so onthe tax disc. So chancing her arm she asked the parking attendant if we could use the disabled parking site despite not not booking a ticket for there. They were happy with it although it took a bit of blagging once we got there especially when we told them we were just parking the car there to join our mates in the proper campsite. I’d have felt bad about doing all this but the disabled parking/campsite was half empty and we werent nicking anyones space. And besides it had the cleanest toilets and was literaly 30 yards from the front gate. After walking through the entertainment area and the leaving Craig and Marie to go find their mates we headed down to the arse end of the site to set up camp in the space Semp had kept for us. After about 10 mins the tent was up and Vonnie was away to bed and most folk followed suit right after her. Except for the arseholes that had a loudhailer and insisted on using it until about 5am right next to our tent. It somehow mysteriously disappeared about 8am though and i dont have the slightest clue where it is now…
The first day was pretty quiet with there really only being two or three bands I wanted to see play. First up was the first band of the day in the Snickers tent, Flogging Molly. They were fucking fantastic and should have been put on just a little bit later when there were a few more drunk folk in the crowd. Caught Garbage on the main stage who played a not bad set despite attracting about 10% of the crowd…and the were second ont he bill! Other than that I was only looking forward to Billy Idol and the end of Feeder. Mr Idol was the highlight of the festival for me…it was like a REALLY good cover band until you realised it was actually him on stage. Highlight of his set was a cover of Van Halen’s Jump. Everyone was loving it and he played on well past when he was supposed to finish before throwing a huge party in the guest area which we couldnt get access to Because he played on longer than he was supposed to we missed most of the Feeder set. In fact as we came out we heard them on stage and managed to make it to the main stage before they got halfway through thier last song of the night. A successful start to the festival.
Saturday was the day for exploring with us finding the market which ran under the Dunlop Bridge on the race track. I honestly can’t remember who I seen that day other than a bit of Bowling for Soup who still make my head bleed but were actually quite funny and the songs went down well. Id spent most of the afternoon in the queue for the O2 tent to get the phones charged. My phone is now capute…or rather the sim card is…as I spilt cider inside it. Went on the Topspin ride with Vonnie and the both of us spwre never to go on another ride ever again! Velvet Revolver were something else entirely…They dont even pretend to be a new band…they just get up and play the GnR/STP classics and get on with putting on a damn good show whilst throwing in some new ones they wrote recently. Highlight of Saturday had to be their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. 70,000 folk singing along to it just as the sun was starting to set just described the day perfectly. Sabbath then came on and whilst I like them I’m not that huge a fan…ie I dont know the lyrics word for word and felt a little out of place amongst 90,000 folk that did. Still, I know guitars when I hear them and I’ve long been a fan of Mr Iommi and his plastic finger. Went back to the tent and had a few ciders with Andy and Vonnie until we all had to go to sleep.
Sunday morning was the main reason why I was looking forward to this festival. Henry Rollins Sunday Sermon didnt let me down. From talking about Sabbath right through to preemptive strikes on France and Canada just so we’ve got more room and a few clean rivers whislt talking about his experiences of hating Gearge Bush he had me laughing so hard at times I was crying. I’d have been happy just to leave for home there and then. But we still had Therapy? and SOAD to see later that night. Since I first bought Troublegum all those years ago ive wanted to see Therapy? play and never had the chance. I seen them on Sunday night and I wasn’t disappointed. They were a little slow for my taste on the classics but they rocked the place and I’m convinced the bass player was pissed out his skull or on some mad happy juice and he just couldnt stop smiling and jumping about. SOAD were strange. Ive not really listened to any of their newer stuff so was a bit surprised at some of the songs they did but the classics rocked. Unfortuantely nature called and I had to go try and find a usable toilet….I didnt….so I missed the end of the set
All in all a very good weekend and I’ll be going back next year I hope!
By the way…you havent experienced a gig until you’ve got 70,000 folk singing a song like wish you were here and a 747 comes in over the stage so low you can see the pilot and flys ove the crowd to land at east midlands airport which was right beside the campsite…when your half cut on cider thats surreal enough but if you were high as a kite on whatever you had then god only knows what that would have been like!