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Friday, 26 August 2011

Reading: A memoir

Ah, the Reading and Leeds festival. A true staple of the August Bank Holiday. My very first festival experience was way back in 1998 when the Reading Festival didn't have a Leeds bit bolted on. Bro Dude, my sister and I trucked down with our immensley complex tent and set about enjoying a weekend of musical variety.

The highlight of Reading '98 was the Vans Warped Tour. That year saw Bad Religion, Lagwagon and No Fun At All on the same stage which for a 16-year-old MADman was about as exciting as life could get. I spent my hard earned pocket money on a Lagwagon hoody which I wore solidly for the next two years of college and still don to this very day. It's a bit on the grey side and there a large, suspicious burn mark in the front but it's still without doubt my favourite item of clothing.

It was the first time I had gotten well and truly battered with my siblings. Clearly the age restrictions on booze were a little more lax back then as I distinctly emember me and Bro Dude sitting in the middle of the main arena smashing pint after pint of lager in front of Monster Magnet and Rocket from the Crypt. I also treated myself to 20 Silk Cut which I shared with my sister as we sat in front of the tent discussing life, the universe and everything when Bro Dude had drunkenly passed out somewhere. We took that opportunity to imbibe about four litres of Strongbow, resulting in me hanging my head out of the tent and vomitting. The police walked up and asked me if I was okay, I explained it was my first festival, they moved along. They were simple times.

New Order graced the main stage that year and despite my teenage drunken fug I remember being blown away by True Faith, which remains my favourite song of theirs. Peter Hook's short-lived side project Monaco were there that year too so Bro Dude got two slices of his bass hero that weekend.

As a lifelong Prodigy fan watching them destroy the mainstage was pretty bleeding spectacular. I remember little of their set, apart from dancing like a twat in the vain hope that my chubby legs were moving vaguely like Leeroy Thornhill's in the No Good (Start the Dance) video. They weren't. Obviously. And the dancing continued with drum and bass Mercury Music Prize winner Roni Size who played in a tent, and it was loud, and that's all I can remember...

There was also a chap walking around selling hash cigarettes for a pound each and although I didn't partake (I promise, mum) I remember thinking that was a bargain, even then.

So as the crowds descend upon Berkshire and Yorkshire this year, I hope a marvellous time is had by all. The line up isn't setting my groin ablaze but as always with this festival there are some awesome punk and hardcore outfits to be seen.

Still, there's no Lagwagon, so whatever.


Friday, 5 August 2011

A forecast

Today there is a 100% chance of rock, with cold beers approaching from the South. Towards the end of the day, an area of London will be covered in a cloud of Eddies and which may cause flash singalongs in lower regions.

It's the penultimate night of Iron Maiden's Final Frontier tour tonight. I've been awake since 7am wondering when it's appropriate to crack open a beer to get the ball rolling. In t-minus 4 hours me and The House will be on a train to London reliving our monumental Maiden Twickenham 2008 outing and discussing how today will have some shoes to fill but judging from the setlist of the tour so far, it looks extremely possible. The O2 is an excellent venue but it doesn't have the sun-soaked open air vibe of Twickers. We shall see.

DragonForce supporting is a bit disappointing as, although I thought Inhuman Rampage was a belter of an album, they haven't done anything new or exciting for some time. This will be the first time I've seen them since new vocalist Marc Hudson joined after original wailer ZP Theart buggered off so open-minded one is remaining.

Joining the festivities today is Maiden 2008/Metallica 2009 veteran Bandy, Sonisphere compadre Petrovski and work colleague/slightly unhinged former soldier CJZ. In a word, this is going to be a big day. The write up will be on MetalasFuck once I've regained my motor skills.