Right..so yeah…friday and TitP.
Well we’d decided a while ago that we wanted to see Jackson Utd play at Sleazy’s. Or rather Vonnie wanted to see them and I wanted to see TDIS support them. Took us a wee while to realise they were playing on the night before TitP but we still went ahead and got tickets. We then toyed with the idea of heading up to Balado after the gig which would have probably got us there about 1am. Unfortunately, with what was to become a common theme, the festivals organiser didnt seem to have published the opening times for the campsite anywhere… The tickets didnt have them, the pamphlets that came with the tickets didnt have them, the website didnt have them and neither did any other website I could lay my hands on. Knowing that Donington’s campsite shut at midnight we gave it a miss to be on the safe side.
We got up early on the Saturday mornign with the intent of heading off around 9am. Various things slowed us down and I dont think we left until about 11am instead. Once we got on the road though we were fine…flying down the M80/A80 up until we got to within a few miles of the turn off to head for the Kinkardine Bridge. Thats when we hit the tailback. We thought it must just be a crash or something and we’d speed up a bit again once we got tot he other side. We did speed up…only to slow down again. It went a little something like this…One lane on the M80 for the cutoff which quickly spread into two lanes at the actual junction..this was a good thing as we got moving a little faster. It then slowed right down as we had to merge with a 3 lane motorway that was already chockablock. Then the road went down to 1 lane to get over the bridge. All in all I think that took us something like 2-3 hours to go about 4 miles.
Once over the other side though it was plain sailing along the back roads despite the detours in place to get us to the site. When we arrived we followed the road signs for the car park as there was nothing to even hint at the campsite being further down the road. After explaining to one of the stewards that we were looking for the disabled parking for the campsite (I feel bad about this one again but nowhere near as much as Donington) we got waved through to within 100 yards of the front door only to find out that the campsite was another mile down the road and there was no actual disabled parking at that campsite as (as I later found out) they had a separate campsite on the other side of the arena for them well away from the plebs in the normal site. Once we got out of that carpark we eventually found the camping thanks to the helpful police who knew whatthey were talking about rather than the stewards who insisted the campsite carparks were full. I later read the leaflet with the tickets that said something along the lines of “Do not ask the police for help as they wont know. As the stewards as they can help you and get you on your way without wasting police time in case of an emergancy” Or something like that… We should have turned around at that point.
We eventually parked the car and and crawled along to the main gates to get in. We’d gave our tent to Andy who was heading up on Friday morning to make sure we got a half decent space. I’d basically said to him I didnt care if he put it up or pegged it out just to save a space. As long as there was space for me to put it up porperly when we got there i’d be happy. He hadnt bothered as there was plenty of space round about him when he’d last looked. By the time we got there he seemed genuinely shocked when he handed us the tent and realised there wasnt any room left beside them. Vonnie plonked herself down ther while I ran off and found a space…turns out id placed it right in front of someone elses front door and pissed them off. Hopefully my apology to thier friends the next morning got passed on. By this point we’d missed two of the bands we’d wanted to see…The Beautiful South and Joss Stone. We eventually made it into the arena after getting our wristbands in time to see Audioslave halfway through thier set. They were damn good but it struck us at that point how unorganised the site was. We were sitting right back amongst the food stalls and it still felt as though we were in the middle of the main crowd it was that busy, and we werent even anywhere near the ehadline acts yet!
We went for a wander to get space and I bumped into Wilbur’s sister as we waited int he cue for the toilets. So thanks to her we met up with Wilbur and Ang for Jimmy Eats World. We also managed to meet up with Craig TDIS there as well who shockingly knows Eleanor…she works with his wife. JEW were good but we said our goodbyes as they ran off to the The Killers and Craig ran off to see Jackson Utd again. We stayed where we were to watch The Coral. Dont think I’ve heard a band suit the mood and weather in a long time. The crowd were really enjoying themselves though that might have been something to do with the guys sitting doing lines of coke in front of us throughout that set.
We’d made plans to meet up with Wilbur and Ang before the Foo Fighters so we went for a walk to try and catch LCD Soundsystem in the Slam Tent (ok but a bit disappointing after hearing some of thier tracks beforehand) and wandered round to try and get some grub and see if any of our friends were still working the stalls. We eventually got tot he side of the sounddesk at the main stage to wait for everyone only for the crowd to get busier and busier. We backed off a bit to get some space and try and see the main screen that that merch stall was blocking but after 30 mins we gave up and decided we must have missed everyone and headed off to get a decent view from the hill. I enjoyed the Foo’s set but Vonnie reliably informs me that the same ‘improv’ bits get done at every gig at the same songs and withteh same ‘improvs’. Even the sections for banter are at the same bit…Dave even pulled out the old “So how many people have seen us play The Barrowlands before?” bit. still a good gig though. We decided to head back to the tent as the encore ws being played.
God only knows what time I got to sleep at. I remember the folk next to us coming back and finding our tent in the bit theyd set aside for sitting around in and generally mouthing off at us in a drunken way with their mates trying to calm them down. There was the usual waves of screams and shouting going across the site but there was way to many folk with fireworks and air horns for my liking. I was most unhappy about the fireworks though…a sea of very flammable tents and someone lets of roman candles and rockets. Very clever!
We got up the next morning and decided once we’d packed everything into the car thatthere was no point going back in as we wouldn’t enjoy ourselves. So we rove to Bo’ness and hd a BBQ at Vonnies dads instead. I much prefered the BBQ to anything the fetival would have done for us.
Then last night we dragged Tony, Shug and Ryan up to Balmaha for a BBQ by the side of Loch Lomond. It was fantastic. Once I get the pics off my phone I’ll upload them to my gallery. It was a very nice night even if it was a spur of the moment thing. Didnt get home until well after 12 thoguh I dont think as we had to drop Tony and Ryan off in clydebank then drop hug off in Greenock. I am now very very very very tired