Monday, August 25, 2003

I'm Baaack! - The Reading Festival 2003

And clean. You don't want to know the colour of my bath water. I had to wash my hair three times to get all the shit out! This is what happenned


Arrived at the site and there is a big queue. We're all on the way to being pissed before we park. Pitch the tents. Sit and drink more. Go and meet random people. Eventually hook up with a bunch of nice semi-sane people (not that I'm against insanity, it's more exciting), hang out and get wrecked. Jay's nickname is "Bob". Andy's nickname is "Kate". My nickname is "Mysterious Matt in Black"


Jay pukes his ring for most of the day. Andy has a minging hangover and I am only slightly better off than Andy. Andy and Jay both have drinks that they call their "Festival Mix". Andy's is usually Southern Comfort and lemonade HEAVY on the Southern Comfort but this year he decides to replace it with a cheaper version, probably with quantity and not quality in mind. The result is a mix that doubles as paint stripper and is easily mistaken for piss. Jay's is 50% Traditional lemonade, you know, the one with all the bits in it, and 100% Vodka. This one is luminous green and tastes decent but has the side effect of making you puke until the following afternoon. Mine is large amounts of Lager mixed with large amounts of Lager :)

We drag ourselves to the arena and head to the Radio One stage. I'm going there to see bands that I would not normally pay to see.

First up is Violent Delight. They call themselves a Pu-Metal band because, and I quote "it's a mix of punk and metal that both punk and metal fans won't actually like." Lucky we only saw the last few tunes... Next up is Young Heart Attack. They sucked. Then we saw Saves The Day. Samey Country Rock. Shite. Next is OKGO. They are best of this lot. Simple Guitar Rock. Nishe.

On to the Main Stage to watch The Datsuns. Never took much notice of them before now but they were really good. One of the best bands at the festival.

Back to tent for beer top up. Do unexpected comedy slide in puke. Didn't go over.

Next is The Darkness. MMMMETAAAAAAAAAL!!! Frontman Justin appears on stage after the rest of the band and shouts "Coooo-ey!" Class. They are all straight out of the 80s Stadium Rock scene and are single handedly trying resurrect it with full on spandex style. (Black and white stripes, VERY skin tight, mmmmmm, niiiiice.) They had the entire crowd sing in falsetto "Get your hands off my wooo-man, mother fu-ckeeeeeer" and had us giving the "Thumbs Up." The crowd was WELL into it. Hair-shaking thumbs-up metal. I really hope they are more than a flash-in-the-pan...

Next is Placebo. Good enough but dull. Not really appropriate for the crowd but battled on.

Then came Blink 182. Mad as fuck. Played up to the crowd and took the piss. A lot of fun.

Finally I went to the Radio One stage to watch The Polyphonic Spree. I'm sure I could like them and they are talented but I wasn't in the mood so I went back to the tent.

Early night for all of us after last night’s shenanigans.


Wake up. Pringles, Chewy Bars and Beer. I'm officially crusty by this time. Mong in front of the Half Pipe which miraculously appeared overnight. Top action. Many painful wipeouts and impressive as fuck.

Saw some of My Morning Jacket and Jet in the Radio One tent. I appreciated the shade more than the bands.

Watched The Streets on the Main Stage. Sound was shit. They were okay-ish.

Tent. Beer. Limbo. Random People.

Beck next. This guy is a loon. Very good.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club up next. They replaced The White Stripes and did a really good job. The crowd was into them. They did a cover of the Stripes tune "The Hardest Button to Button". Classy. I will be checking them out.

Blur. Rumours abound that Graham will be back. They've still got it. Played one of my favourite tunes "This Is A Low". Didn't play one of my favourite tunes "There's No Other Way". Damon fell off the stage but I missed it (Beer). If I had seen it, I'd have been rolling around. Damon gets all emotional and sloppy about the fans and about Graham leaving the band. Phil Daniels appears for Parklife. Top! No Graham (boo to dodgy rumours)

Random People. Tent. Beer. High Fived Jesus.

Girlies that we met on Thursday appear. They are a good laugh and Jay gets cosy with one of them and climbs trees.

4am. Sleep/Pass out


Wake up. Raise eyebrows. Random female in tent with us... Jay's been busy...

Andy's birthday. He's as old as me now! Happy Birthday. He gets to watch his all time favourite band on his 30th. Lucky lucky bastard! Camp Brown 6 sing happy birthday. Kewl!

Pringles. Chewy Bars. Fruit. No Beer. Started reading 'The Bridge' by Iain Banks. It's mental! Will let you know when I finish it.

Wander to Radio One Stage with the girls and random bloke. Camp Brown 2 sing happy birthday to Andy.

Saw The Applicators. Chicks rocking out... top fun in my book. (music is forgettable...) Kinesis on next. Best I saw in the Radio One Stage. Good solid rocking action. Will sample their wares, methinks. Serifn. Pretty boring but okay. Must do better... The Ravonettes. Eh?

Random People. Tent. Beer. 118 can fuck RIGHT off. I'm sick of it by now. OLD SKOOL 192!!!!! Free hugs appear for the first time.

Primal Scream. Okay apart from Artiste Hissy Fit. "You're all slaves. Your here to watch Metallica and other shite bands." Please fuck right off.... and he did. Very disappointing because I like their music.

Sum 41 up on stage. Heard rumours that Sum 41 were all over the place at Leeds. Didn't share it with the guys because I want to see them at least once so I can tell my little sis about them. Rumours suck. Sum 41 didn't. They gave it as full on metal as they could. Played Anna Nicole Smith is a Fucking Cunt. Awesome.

System of a Down. Mad as badgers! Sure they're all political and convey messages they consider important and relevant but they have such a flair for the dramatic that I couldn't stop laughing. Excellent music for moshing to... if you know when the fast bits in the song are. I was impressed and I'm going to give their album a try.

Metallica are up next. As the SOAD crowd lead, an opening presents itself and we end up about 5 metres from the front. The crowd sings to Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden. You get the drift. Metallica appears! Fuck!!! The crowd surges and move left and right in a mental crush. Jay and Andy evaporate. Missed the first two songs because I'm trying not to go under thousands of steel toe-capped DMs. The guy next to me goes over and I'm standing on him. I pull him up and he says "Fuck This! I'm getting out of here!" I agree. So I try to go over to surf the crowd. No joy. They're all to busy holding themselves up. Spend the next song literally fighting my way through the crush and get to the back. Scary. Eventually end up at the back of the main mosh pit. Metallica are the gods of metal and live up to it. They play lots of their old stuff which is fucking great. I'm going to have to buy the entire back catalogue now... Pyro... Metal... Moshing... Headbanging... Pogoing... I went mental. Nuff said. Jay lasted a while longer than me. Andy is up front the entire time. Respect is due! What a birthday! Lars announces a gig at Earl's Court in December. Will try to get tickets for that!

It's all over! It went so quickly. I stagger around the arena for half an hour. Search for plectrums in front of the stage. No joy unsurprisingly. Made my way back via the girlies. The Reading Rip Up starts. "Tear the place up, pass it on!"

Our camp is relatively docile (phew!) and Andy gets all emotional. Group hugs etc. End up in Brown 2 with girlies and their mates. We all get on really well and they must be nearly half our age! The Reading Rip Up sings happy birthday to Andy. Brown 2 is Mental!!! Tents Exploding. Fireworks. Boobies. Puke. Shit. Pyramids. Naked Men. Boobies. Speed Darkcore. Heavy Metal. Busted. 118. Free Hugs. Boobies. Beer. Fascist Glaswegian Security Cunts. Fire Marshals. Tent Diving. Poo Limbo. You get the idea. Jay and a girlie go off to climb a tree...

4am. I head back. Jay is getting comfortable with this girlie. From the tent I hear him say to me "Fuck off, I'm busy!" INSTANT ooberlooba! It turns out that it was just a furtive "Erm... Busy." I'm pissed and emotional. I'm allowed.


(No sleep)

Mega random wander. Play starfish! One of the girlies told me about this from Reading 2002. Spend an hour drinking other people’s beer and dancing to 80s metal. Starfish involves a group moving/dancing/staggering through the site and at any moment the leader shouts STARFISH and everyone has to drop to the floor on their backs in a starfish. Childish.... yep. Fun.... totally! Sit at fires. People from all over. The Rip Up continues mainly in Brown 2 and the neighbouring sites. It's 6am and the "background" noise sounds something like "AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Pass out/Sleep outside at our tents for an hour. Wander. Free Hugs and 118 all over the place. Chill with the Bumpkin Crew. Guess where they are from...

Back to tent. Jay goes on major guilt trip (hehe). I milk it a little bit. But if you got trees to climb, I'd do the same...

Pack up and leave. Go to Little Chef. Use REAL toilets. Wash hands! I sit down in a real chair for the first time since Thursday morning. Olympic Breakfast. Tea. Yay!

That was the one hundred hour bender that was the Reading Festival 2003. Best festival I've done yet. Andy agreed and I think Jay really enjoyed himself :)

Right. I've been awake for 40 hours and I'm knackered. Beeeeeeeeed!

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