Live at Leeds Festival 2002 on Sunday, 25th August 2002
After a f**king long walk home the night before and with a mild sense of too much Carling I opted to drive in on Sunday and be entertained with the knowledge that my car awaited at the end of it all.
The day began with a pleasant surprise in the form of The Libertines who I will now pursue with some interest. Their set showed a lot of promise and they managed to capture my untrained ears with their melodic punk ways. They also have the hardest working guitar tech in history as he managed to change a string on the lead singers guitar on three successive songs. Not bad given that the songs rarely ventured past three minutes.
Onto to The D4 in the Carling tent. Their rock and roll punk squealing was tight and noisy but the bleary eyed amongst the audience would have easily been forgiven for forgetting who they were watching. It was all a bit like a re-run of so many before that I almost forgot I saw them when it came to writing this.
Gonzo rock time as Andrew WK takes to the main stage. The man with the biggest smile on his face, the sweatiest hair and the worst looking backing band of the whole festival. He rocked with a capital ROCK. The crowd loved him right back up to the Potato Moon stall and he will have done himself no harm with a show that entertained even those who despised his big schlock rock style. Good luck to the poor git who has to follow him....
....A enter stage right. Andrew WK = big sweaty rock man, therefore he can pull it off. A = weedy little Bramley man, therefore he can't pull it off. A struggled for the entire set to stop the audience thinking about what they'd just seen and no amount of bum licking helped, i.e. "Thanks for the best year we've ever had blah blah blah". The singles helped with their big melodic nu-rock but the neutrals who wanted the show to continue weren't buying it.
Less Than Jake brought the temperature back up to boiling and for 45 mins didn't stop their relentless punk ska onslaught. You couldn't help love their infectious manner and when they managed to get the entire mosh pit to turn around and proceed to run around the main sound desk, it could only be imagined what was going through the minds of the 3 security guards stood in front of it. Didn't do "All my friends are metalheads" though!
After a quick wee, some grub and a pint it was time to bow at the temple of The Hives. Having seen and loved them before I knew what to expect and they didn't disappoint. There was a sense though that their self appreciation style was wearing thin on the neutrals in the audience by the end. A group of Slipcock fans nearby to us were not buying it and were desperately longing for some chugga chugga! I'm glad I'm not a Sliprot fan!
Sum 41 won the prize for the band who most looked like their audience: skinny spotty spiky haired sixteen year olds. They were ok and rescued an otherwise formulaic set by getting a man in a Spiderman costume up on the stage to pay homage. The funniest part for its irony was the moment when they announced "This one goes out to all those people who want to give their parents a fat lip", greeted by a big cheer from said people. This despite the fact that the majority of them were only there because the fat lip due parents had coughed up the ticket money.
Ash will suffer for the rest of their careers with the fact that they have an excellent back catalogue. You get the feeling that in 10 years time they'll still have to play Girl from Mars, Kung Fu and Angel Interceptor, but you also get the impression that in 10 years they will still sound as good as they did this afternoon. Entertaining and rocking, Ash get the evening off on the right level.
Not really that bothered for the prog power rock of Muse, we wandered into the Carling tent for a pleasant surprise from The (International) Noise Conspiracy. All sporting matching sleeveless t-shirts and tight bright red jeans "They've got to be Scandinavian" says my mate and low and behold they're Swedish! Back flips and leaping off amps galore they rocked a packed tent with what can only be described as big fun glam punk funk tunes. Excellent!
Main stage headliners the Foo Fighters have turned into a stadium rock act! It's scary when the drummer from one of the most influential bands of recent times shows that he has been to the Bon Jovi school of crowd control with extended clap along parts to all but a few songs. Despite this fact the Foo's rock the crowd with all the usual suspects ala 'Monkey Wrench' and 'This is a call' and try as I might I can't help but get wrapped up in the rock fever of it all.
The days winners: Hard to choose between Andrew WK, The Hives and Less Than Jake
The days dogs dinners: A
Best thing I had to eat: Chicken Tikka Masala from the Pataks bus
Star I spotted trying to be spotted: None unfortunately, but I did spot a few Leeds bands trying to be spotted!