Live at Leeds Festival 2000 on Saturday, 26th August 2000
When I set off to the Leeds festival this year, I'd decided upon writing a full length weekend review. Once there however, I thought, "Is that what people really want?"...there'll be a million and one reviews of the event, Backbeat and Charm both there, internet reviews, NME and Melody Maker centre spreads - the works. All telling you who played, who were good, who weren't, and so on. "Could I realistically match that?", I asked myself. Well not really, I couldn't be everywhere for the whole weekend, so I made up my mind to give you my diary of the festival instead.
So we come to Saturday, and the festival is upon us. From this point onwards I will refer to people we meet as random girl or boy, as none of them were planned but as is usual, you always seem to meet people when you've got tens of 1000s of others around you, people who in any other situation would never be seen.
12-15pm: Random male number 1 is Tony from Backbeat magazine, who happens to join the press tickets queue behind me. An experienced writer, Tony has been here before and explains what's going on. It's a help as he relieves those last minute nerves I have. Whilst in the queue, random males 2, 3 and 4 pass - this is the Charm lot already with their press tickets - Dave, Graham and James go on their merry way whilst I continued to queue for my tickets.
12-30pm: Got my tickets, but have no idea whether I get to enter by one of the backstage entrances or whether I have to walk around in the mud and go in with everyone else. I am reliably informed by the Senior Steward that I have to go in the mud. Huh! "Press" get no breaks.
12-35: Buy festival programme from random male 5. After I part with my £6 we discuss the fact that other festivals actually include an event guide in the price so you can at least know who is playing and when. Leeds is one of those rare events that force you to pay again. What a con.
12-37pm: Feel conned even more. Further down, Random girl 1 is selling said programme for £5.
12-45pm: We enter and make our way around to the main stage, where Cay are just about to make an entrance. Buy a hotdog. Spot another random male, looking remarkably like Andy Cav from Evil Little Sister. As I am only a few yards away, I foolishly decide to shout "Andy", but get no response. Perhaps I made a mistake, so with a red face I move off and watch a bit of Cay.
1pm: Decide to find the "Guest Area", which I find with ease. Once found, I vowed never to use a festival toilet again. Luxury.
1-05pm: Wander into the guest bar, and sit down to watch the live Radio 1 broadcast by Emma B whilst having a pint of overly priced Caffreys. Whilst reading the £6 programme, random (Irish) male 6 comes over asking for a lighter. After we discuss lighters, he then goes off to be featured on the Radio 1 show interviewed by Emma B. Didn't recognise him, though.
2-15pm: Decide to leave the guest area to go and watch some music and end up watching who I believe from the schedule to be The Crocketts on the Evening Session Stage. For some strange reason I thought they were Irish! Add that to the fact that I just didn't recognise them - I last saw them three years ago, but this just didn't look like the same band so I left.
2-30pm: End up in the Carling Premier tent watching an Irish band. Double check that this isn't The Crocketts, and in in fact turns out to be Turn. Very enjoyable too, I'd certainly watch them again. See random girl 2, who turns out to be Kerry from Albeit. We discuss forthcoming Albeit news and I find out that they are planning to record a new demo and will also be supporting Idlewild on the 28th September at Bradford Uni.
2-45pm: Just as I leave watching Turn, I get stopped by random girl 3, who mutters something I didn't make out. It turns out that she was telling me that random boy 7 is outside, and this happens to be my brother. He informs me that Leeds originating Mo-ho-bish-op-i "absolutely rocked bigtime". Pity I arrived well after they'd been and gone.
2-47pm: Go shopping. Then go back to the guest bar.
4-20pm: Come out expecting to see Blink 182, who have now been playing for 10 minutes. It's only now that I realise what the Hall or Nothing press office meant when they said that the main stage was running 10 minutes early...it didn't sink in at the time, but now I remember. Duh. Blink 182 rocked, and personally I enjoy watching them. Unfortunately, I am stood in front of random idiot, who is constantly saying "Americans are shit", "I hate Blink 182", "This song's crap", and so on. He gets challenged later to shut up or leave, and it is at this point I decide to move somewhere else (something I should have down much earlier).
5-15pm: The band I really wanted to see, and I mean really, Rage Against The Machine take to the stage. Another excellent performance, all the songs you'd expect, and the usual "Fuck you". Speak to random girl 4, "Who's this?" - "Rage Against The Machine" - "Are they a new band?" - "I've been into them since 1992" - "Oh. Are they English or American?" and "I bet you looking forward to seeing Stereophonics?" close the conversation. I don't answer either, but just leave. I wouldn't watch those boring commercial sell-outs if you paid me. Stereophonics were a band who wrote some amazing songs, but those were four years ago. Since then it's just radio-friendly nonsense in the same way that Travis have turned to make a bob or too. It's just not clever.
6-45pm: Have a headache from RATM. Meet another random guy - Jon, former bassist of Stringfiktion. Waiting to see Slipknot, we wander off to go and see local band Lorimer in the Comedy Tent. After a day full of grunge and kick arse rock, it would have been nice to take a bit of timeout to watch a local "indie" band. Unfortunately, we are sat waiting for Lorimer, expected on stage at 7-15pm, when the compere announces another local band Cowpuncher are about to come on stage. Eh? It dawns on me that each stage is running off-schedule and that the Comedy Tent is 30 minutes late. Sorry to say, but Cowpuncher, similar to Slipknot, sort of, were not the band I wanted to see. So I wait around for three tracks, and leave.
7-30pm: Spy a little bit of Slipknot as I make my way to the exit. My headache has taken its toll.