an idiot in london


Friday, 25th August.

We awoke to find that we were surrounded by tents. There had been some sort of clearway next to us leading right up to the main walkway when we went to sleep. Now we had to negotiate the tent city to get anywhere.

After a rudimentary breakfast, we made for the main arena, where the first band kicked off at noon. Then we experienced the wristband debacle, which cost us another hour, then we were told that we weren't allowed to take bottles into the arena, so naughty kids that we are we smuggled them in. Ooooooh.

The weather was ace, and the crowds were large. The first band we caught were called Big Yoga Muffin. Hmm. We watched the entire Limp Bizkit set, which was a bit ridiculous, but they were pretty good live. Which is just as well, because they're shit otherwise.

Amusing toilet story #1:
The outside urinals were set up in rows so that you were facing blokes engaged in a similar activity to yourself. I was standing there, finishing the matter in hand when a bloke stumbled over to the other side of the urinals. We nodded. He said: "What day is it?"
I didn't laugh, I just said (deadpan): "Friday."
"Oh," he said, a little surprised, "still?"
"Friday all day" I said.

I won't detail all the bands I saw. Many were instantly forgettable, I manouvered my way into position for the Foo Fighters, not too far from the front and in the middle. Was I excited? Oh boy was I!

When the band came on the crowd went beserk. Then the crush. When I was a young headbanger (headbanger? you are kidding me aren't you?) there used to be some sort of Code. If someone was freaking out, you'd let them get out of the crowd. You didn't drop crowdsurfers, and you didn't trample people that fell over. I was being thrown around, and I could handle it until it got ridiculous, and I started to work my way back a bit. Which I could do because I am a big, burly Australian. (haha) Meanwhile other people who wanted out of the crush just couldn't move, the crowd didn't part, even with this Big Burly Australian trying to make way for them. Not good. The band kept stopping, telling people to stop killing each other, which has become an issue since the Pearl Jam tragedy. At one stage Dave Grohl came down the front and helped someone out of the crowd. Also says something about the security that the lead singer had to come down to help people out.

Enough of the Negative Nellie, the band did rock, and rock hard!

Primal Scream were on next, and for me were the best band of Friday. They played a lot of material from their new album. The set and the lighting were amazing. Bobby Gillespie is a star! But he still dances like a freak.

Then Oasis came on. A mutant dwarf stole my tambourine just as I was about to rush the stage, so I stayed in the crowd and rocked out. The crowd around me consisted entirely of "Lads". Many of you would've heard about "Laddism", which is this notion that even non-lads can carry on with laddish behaviour and get away with it. Oasis are these days the ultimate Lads band. The heady days of 95/96 are long gone. Fashionable people listen to shit like Badly Drawn Boy. Anyway, back to laddism...actually let's forget about it, it's such a dull subject, let's talk about the Gallagher brothers!

I've got a better idea, let's talk about me! My passport photo makes me look like a Gallagher, broody and all eyebrows.

Bring on Saturday!