Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Reading Festival

This was the best line-up for a festival I have been to. But apart from the bands, this wasn't probably wasn't the most eventful festival. We had a pretty quiet spot in the Orange camp nothing much really happened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday apart from some intense boozing. "BOLLOCKS!" was back in fashion with a sprinkling of "TIMMEH!" and no "118 118!" Sunday was the usual rip down with the background noise rising to a respectable "aaaaaaaaaaargh!" until about 5am on Monday. Trolley was the flavour this year which involved pushing a trolley really fast and everyone following (it looked fun at the time). It started getting a bit daft when they started pushing the trolleys onto fires... occupants and all. There was also a bit of Emo baiting. Don't quite get that one because as far as I can see, Emo (allegedly uncool) = Goth (now allegedly cool). That piccy is from Saturday when we all hit the maximum average pissedness and Jay had a kip. The furniture has mostly been supplied by concerned passers-by...

Anyhow, this is what I thought of the music...


Goldie Lookin' Chain
Great way to open the festival. The music is irrelevant. They are still funny.

/throws bottle

Graham Coxon
Just like old Blur. You can tell he doesn't enjoy the limelight. Technically, very good.

The Coral
Forgettable but entertaining

Queens of the Stone Age
Awesome Band. Awesome set. Had a good jump around to this. First time I've seen them and they lived up to expectations.

The Killers
Part of the current batch of "bands of the moment". What a pile of utter cack! Dull, Dreary, Lifeless. Their spark will probably die out soon with any luck.

Surprise of the weekend for me. I went into this not knowing what to expect. They appeared on stage and the lead singer looked like a bank manager and the guitarist looked like my old headmistress. The music was amazing and felt that I got where they were coming from. Their set list included the filthy "Debaser" and the angelic "Gigantic" which shows the amazing depth of their tunes and I now understand why they are so important to the landscape of music today. These guys did it years before anyone else did.


Nine Black Alps
Pretty good

Juliette and the Licks
Juliette Lewis' band. You know, the Hollywood actress... Kalifornia... Natural Born Killers... Can't help but think that this is a hobby of hers and that it was all scripted. Kudos if it wasn't. It was entertaining and Juliette was wailing and whirling like a good'un. Not gonna buy any albums if you know what I mean...
NEWSFLASH! - It was too good to be true. She was definitely miming to a tape... At the Leeds festival, she dropped the mic and managed to continue singing... go figure. Silly cow.

Dinosaur Jr
Same as '97. Dull.

The Charlatans
Very cool.

Another of the "bands of the moment". Once they have a few albums under their belt I reckon they'll be really good. The music was tight and the frontman was vocal and got the audience going. This band will get somewhere and are worth keeping an eye on.

Kings of Leon
Another surprise. Never rated them much before now but they were cool. Good solid rock with disturbing Hillbilly tendencies which works well.

Foo Fighters
They didn't split up and I'm so happy that I've finally seen them! Amazing set and Dave was on form. I think I saw his vocal chords shoot into the crowd during Monkey Wrench. And mega bonus, we saw him on the drums again! A lot of the time, when the frontman is talking and bigging up the festival, you automatically think "scripted!" but I got a good vibe from him and thought he was genuine. Dave Grohl is the coolest person in music today... FACT!

Best on stage quote of the weekend - "Glastonbury is for smelly hippies, V is for the clean people, the fucking yuppies. The Reading festival is for dirty fucking rockers who come out to have a good time. Take it from your Uncle Dave I've been looking forward to this for a very long time." - Dave Grohl


Bullet for My Valentine
Another surprise! These guys rocked BIG time. Worth watching out for in the future.

Freaks! Scandinavian deathpunk gods. Also, Gay beyond belief. Eye shadow and navy uniforms. The frontman has a thing for vats of eyeliner and furry sporrans. What Village People would have been if they were metal. I think they only have three songs but they play the chorus in different order each time. It was worth watching though.

Alkaline Trio
I think I liked them. Nothing stuck in my mind about their set. This may be alcohol related but in reality, I don't think so.

Funeral for a Friend
Kerrang's best British band. I really can't see why though.

Iggy and the Stooges

Crap. Had a pizza instead.

Marilyn Manson
Showman! Really enjoyed his set and the visuals were impressive and unsurprisingly spot on with the bands message and intended image. If you strip away the attitude and Marilyn Manson's personality you actually get some really decent tunes.

Iron Maiden
I would never have paid to see Iron Maiden on their own. They are one of those bands that I never really got into. But, as I have found out with a couple of other bands, you really can't judge a band properly until you have them live. I now understand why Iron Maiden is so popular. Their set was made up of tune from their first four albums only. The great thing was that even though the "newest" tune was released in 1983 (!), every one of them was amazing and intense. Iron Maiden are SOOOO good at what they do. Bruce Dickinson is an incredible frontman and I really felt that I was part of something special and even legendary. Here was another person who was talking good things about Reading that I believed. This was real original Hard Rock and made all the others look like copies, even my favourite bands like Metallica and Foo Fighters and absolutely no disrespect is meant in that. Highlights included The Trooper which had Bruce at his patriotic best and Mini Trooper (!), Phantom of the Opera, Run to the Hills and Number of the Beast along with a twenty foot high Eddie with glowing red eyes receiving a brain transplant at the end of the set before the encore. I wish I could tell you the titles of some of the others... albums are now in the post :)

Each of the headliners this year were legendary which is very rare. What a great festival.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Shameless Nostalgia Wallow

The other day I googled ZX Spectrum and found a big pile of screen shots. I made a page for no reason apart from to wallow in nostalgia. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Big Brother is Foul and Unsettling... FACT

Well, it's nearly over and I've managed to not blog a word about it despite being tragically addicted to it. It's been another good year for BB and we are now down to the last four.

It's also been quite funny due to the fact that I've pretty much hated all of the housemates for one reason or another and very few of them have any redeeming features. I know... strange. Still, I found a fantastic article at Guardian Online by Charlie Brooker that, while mostly berating and putting down Big Brother, actually lists many of the reasons I like it. I think he knows why it's popular and realises that it's pretty base television.


The going, going gong show

Charlie Brooker
Saturday August 6, 2005
The Guardian

Foul and unsettling? Yes siree! As per tradition, let's put all human decency to one side, hold a pistol to our collective temple, and celebrate the approaching finale of Big Brother 6 (daily, C4) with a pointless little awards ceremony, coming to you live from an A5 piece of newspaper held in front of your eyes right now.

First up, the prestigious Most Sickening Housemate award, which this year goes to a couple: Maxwell (London's village idiot) and Saskia (burly, wrathful harridan with a face that could advertise war). Their daily routine consisted of bullying, bellowing, cackling at their own dismal non-jokes, glaring, sniping and discussing their imminent ascent to the toppermost peaks of stardom - until the last week, when, faced with eviction, they settled for sulkily rutting like doomed livestock. The latter surely ranks as the least sexy thing ever broadcast on television. I'd get more aroused watching a dog drown in petrol.

Next, it's the Stupidest Single Statement award. This year's show contained dumber utterings than ever before. There was an early classic from Anthony, who, while frolicking semi-naked in the pool, carped, "What's the matter with youse, you're sitting there like you're watching a television show," to a disapproving Science. Sadly, that's ineligible because it was immediately followed by the year's wisest rejoinder (Science: "I am.")

Which means it's a race between Craig's frank admission that "I aren't too familiar with the rules of the English language" and Anthony's claim that he's "more developed than a plant" - both of which are beaten by Saskia's jaw-dropping assertion that the second world war started in 1966.

The award for Most Alarming Behaviour goes, inevitably, to Craig - a high-risk FBI profile made flesh. When he wasn't proclaiming his own brilliance, weeping, masturbating, or shrieking uninformed opinions at a uninterested world, he was mindfucking his beloved Anthony - a man so profoundly thick you could sell him a pair of his own socks for £500, even if he was already wearing them.

Their relationship reached its nadir the night Anthony got paralytic and Craig sensed an opportunity. A bleak farce ensued - Anthony vomiting and crying for his gran, Craig frantically cuddling him while shouting, "I'm your only friend in here." It felt more like an extended outtake from Deliverance than a reality show. How Craig passed the psychological vetting process, and why he wasn't quietly removed from the house and given some gentle guidance, is a deeply worrying mystery.

The Cheated Winner award is a close call between two acquired-taste housemates. Only a heartless warlord couldn't warm to Eugene, a well-meaning human pylon whose ineptitude and timidity meant he was out of his depth from the off. But he's narrowly pipped by Science, a bull-headed, one-man belligerence engine who delighted in provoking Maxwell and Derek to breaking point. For services to torture alone, Science should've won.

Just time for a few parting gongs. The award for Snidest Conniving Prick goes to Derek, a man so devious he probably pisses cobra venom; the Ugliest Body award is split between Sam and Orlaith, for poking their fake, motionless tits in the viewer's face (presumably to attract the sort of person who'd like to screw their way through the plastinated corpses at Professor von Hagens' Bodyworlds exhibition).

Finally, the award for Unprecedented Dignitycide goes to Kinga, who, just when you genuinely believed TV couldn't possibly shock you from your jaded, end-of-the-world ironic detachment bubble, celebrated her second night in the house by masturbating with a wine bottle in the middle of the lawn - an act of such gruesome self-abasement, even the other housemates were appalled. Considering they're the most undignified people in Britain, that's an astounding achievement. Mark my words, we'll be celebrating it on commemorative stamps before the decade's out. Preferably self-adhesive ones.



Sunday, August 07, 2005

England beat the Aussies

Jones gives Hayden the finger and gets fined a grandBloody Hell that was way too close... I was watching the match through my fingers at the end and in typical British style I was expecting the worst when Kasprowicz gloved the ball to Jones off Harmison and we secured the win by 2 runs.

It was a fantastic match and we were ahead for the majority of it and it showed that the Aussies are very dependent on McGrath who was injured. Seeing as he is probably out for the rest of the series it means that we really have a chance at getting the Ashes.

I don't you think that it's weird that the football season has started and there are 3 tests still to go. It's not right.