I’m getting too old for this

25 08 2007

but hell, did I have a good time at V2007!

I am sorry I have been rather absent of late. I would like to say it is because I have been too busy but I think the problem is in fact the opposite. The less I have to do, the less I get done – if that makes any sense. I have perfectly enough things to keep me occupied during the day but I end up doing less and less until I am completely inert. Anyway. I am back! And I want to tell you all about our weekend at V.

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Looking at the brilliant sunshine today, it is hard to believe that just seven days ago we were wrapped up and getting drenched and generally wondering why we were doing this to ourselves. The bad weather really started on the Saturday which meant that we at least had a dry Friday to put up the tents and chill out. Although the bands start on the Saturday afternoon, you have to get there early on Friday morning to have any chance of a decent pitch. There were eight of us in our group which means we needed a site big enough for four tents.

Saturday morning started damp and got progressively wetter as the day went by. Other than the obvious downsides of the rain, it also meant we had nothing to do before the bands started except drink and play cards. Whilst this is all well and good when you are twenty, we just couldn’t hack it!! After far too much vodka/fanta, we ended up sleeping too much. I managed to get down to see The Goo Goo Dolls and The Fratellis. Both very good but not good enough to keep me down in the arena. We enjoyed a slightly distant and muffled Kasabian and The Killers from the dry comfort of the tent.

Sunday started the same – wet and more wet. But the bands were much better this day and so we had a bacon sarnie, found a half-decent cuppa and then got stuck in. This is who we saw:

  • The first band of the day was a newish British band called The Hoosiers (have you heard Worried About Ray?) – they were great. Very excited to be there and fun to watch. Plus they were in one of the tents so we were dry for half an hour!
  • From the Virgin Union Tent we headed over to the Channel 4 stage and caught the end of Juliette and the Licks. She is great. We saw her when she and her band supported the Foo Fighters at their Hyde Park gig last year. Lots of energy, an unusal voice and kick-ass rock tunes. I may even look into getting her album. Plus it is quite strange seeing a movie star (Juliette is Juliette Lewis) getting soaking wet on a stage in the Staffordshire countryside.
  • Staying at the Channel 4 stage, we saw The Thrills. I really hadn’t heard that much of their stuff: just Big Sur and Santa Cruz. The gig was immensely enjoyable all the same and was capped off by a superb song caleld Midnight Choir complete with Gospel backing singers.
  • Next on the same stage was a band we were particularly looking forward to –The Fray. We had just downloaded their album. Seeing them live was not a disappointment. Plus the guitar player Joe King is a hottie which helped and the rain continued to come down.
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  • We had a much needed loo break which involves a long queue and a questionable portaloo (although the arena loos were nothing compared to the fearsome campsite loos…) which meant that we missed half of Kanye West on the main Virgin Stage. What we did see was OK but the sound (at least where we were) was dreadful. The bass was distorted and the vocals too quiet.
  • After Kanye, we wondered over to the JJB stage (the largest tent stage) to see Ocean Colour Scene only to find the schedule was out so either they were late or we were late. In any case, instead of some pleasing 90s indie rock we were treated to the garage/hip hop/shite of Dizzee Rascal (you see what he did there? Not Dizzy. Dizzee. Genius.). We left.
  • We caught some of Pink‘s set (I was quite surprised that she was a) considered a big enough star to follow Kanye and b) popular enough with the rock/indie/festival crowd to be there at all but she went down very well. She had plenty of energy and catchy tunes so I ended up quite enjoying what we saw. We were all about the final two acts though…
  • After Pink, we got into a decent position for Snow Patrol. Although I had played a couple of their albums and knew their singles, I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I had a feeling that they were going to be awesome. They didn’t let me down. The lead singer, Gary Lightbody, was charismatic and charming. The music soared. The atmosphere was superb. It was a brilliant gig which was made even more special by a surprise appearance of Dave Grohl after Gary dedicated Chasing Cars to him. Dave came on stage at the end and gave Gary a hug which clearly blew him away and since the Foos were on next, sent the audience wild. Gary looked starstruck – it was awesome!
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  • So then – finally – the band we really had been waiting for. In fact, if I am honest, they are the reason I weanted to go to V at all. The Foo Fighters had a bit of making up to do with us. As I mentioned earlier, we went to their rather expensive gig last year at Hyde Park. After a few too many support acts (did we really need to waste an hour of our lives listening to Angels & Airwaves?), the Foos finally took the stage only to be too quiet (the sound had been turned down during Motorhead – perhaps Her Majesty is not a fan?), too brief and too much Queen (they played a half hour tribute to Queen). Now I love me some Queen. Freddie is a musical genius. But we had paid to see the Foos. It was billed as their biggest gig ever. And we wanted to hear them play their songs. We ended up with an hour of their songs, tops. So hopes were high at V for them to redeem themselves. And WOW did they! It was just awesome. The gig blew me away. I actually felt emotional. The whole band was just amazing. They played all our favourite songs. We had managed to get even further forward so were joslting with teenagers. When Dave asked if anyone had been rocking with them twelve years ago, I was the only one around me to scream – I saw them at Reading 1995 in the tent when they were shiny new and Nirvana was still very much a recent memory. I am more in love with Dave Grohl (totall platonic, honest) than ever.  I don’t even mind the hair.  They are playing in November. Damn, I want tickets for that.

See my photo blog for some more pics from the weekend…

and more from me about: my new job, my craft projects, my bank holiday weekend and what I have been watching on TV (Buffy, mostly) soon.  Have a good weekend!

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One response

28 08 2007
One Way

Glad you had a good weekend! I went to the Beautiful Days festival the same weekend and it was a mud bath too! PS didn’t know you had a photoblog too…

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