V2001 Chelmsford Review – Sunday

If Sunday woke with a scream instead of glaring headache in the pounding rain, it probably would have been that of those being bored to death by the desperate Witness, spluttering their once much-vaunted second-rate Verve tribute tripe into our ears.
[R-Zone1]Ed Harcourt was probably quite good also, but we were too busy blagging in two of my friends…

[L-Zone2]Idlewild successfully cheered everyone up, and for all the technical ineptness that they’re normally labeled with, they really stood up tall as the epitome of a fantastic festival band. No new stuff, but when you have ‘Little Discourage’, ‘Captain’ and ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ to bash around it doesn’t matter too much. Shame though how Roskilde all the crowdsurfing fun that the kids used to have. Geddit? I know that’s in bad taste, but I did warn you. Seriously though, I did get reprimanded for trying to incite a bit of flying fifteen-year-old action. It’s dangerous, apparently.

Not quite as dangerous as allowing that comatosingly dull Kiwi, Neil Finn into the country. Yeah, we know you did Crowded House. They didn’t care then and we certainly don’t give a shit now. With little else to do, I had a bit of snap away near the beer tent in a half-arsed attempt to capture some of the prettier figures of V2001. Y’know, a girl gallery kinda thing. Pretty futile.

[R-Zone3]Still, the hour drinking time came in handy for surviving Placebo. Brian’s funny new short hair detracting somewhat from the borathon intro of ‘Taste In Men’ and the stale and monotous air of much of their set. ‘Special K’ and ‘You Don’t Care About Us’ penetrated hard, but you can’t help but think they don’t really care and that Molko is indeed a prize twat.


[R-Zone1]Like the nasty girl on the big screens, David Gray gets his ‘Babylon’ out for the lads, and does the whole ‘soaring’ and ‘life-affirming’ (add various, similarly clichéd adjectives in wherever) platinum-selling anthems bollocks that Coldplay did the day before, this time in the sun. And it rocks. And everyone knows it.

[L-Zone2]Foo Fighters, for all the funny videos and corporate jets flying towards Blink 182 territory, still rock as well. Slightly. It’s a bit tired at times, and whilst ‘Up In Arms’ ‘Monkey Wrench’ and ‘Stacked Actors’ are a right blast, they don’t surprise and they ain’t scarey any more.

[R-Zone3]Like The Foos, Red Hot Chilli Peppers also have nothing new to promote, which makes their presence here a mystery. They seem in pretty fine form for the opening song which I see, before I leave to grab some photos of Ian Brown. Aziz (his previous guitarist, the guy who replaced Squire at Reading…) isn’t here tonight, and neither is any semblance of tune.

[L-Zone4]Sounding like a rhinoceros, recently made tetraplegic before being bathed in acid, singing through the arse of a drowned poodle, he cavorts through ‘My Star’ and new single ‘Fear’ twice, without considering ‘Corpses’ a worthy inclusion in a set which sees him enter on a bicycle and go ‘Ch ch’ every two seconds. One of his songs takes three goes to start, because apparently he can’t hear himself (!) and blasts his sound man, before remarking ‘It’s best when it’s best.’ It’s still genius, isn’t it?

The overriding moment of joy however, came on returning to our tent for final night celebrations. We ran into a bloke completely off his tits who we’d managed to blag into the arena the previous day. He said to go and check our tent for a card and box of chocolates thanking us. And sure enough…

Smiles all around then. Next stop: that shithole on the other side of London. Yeah, the one that ain’t corporate. [Not in the least! – Ed]