[R-Zone1]It was a toss up between The VF Crew and various Hollyoaks blokes as most fanciable famous person in the backstage bar on Saturday night, but with death breath and a bad dreams following Steve (our editor)’s cheese exploits around our campsite, Sunday’s dawn couldn’t come quick enough for us or those around us having to bear screams of ‘SHOT THROUGH THE HEART, AND YOU’RE TO BLAME’ and the old Transformers slogan (showing our age) ‘BAH-WEET-GRANA WEET-NINI-BON’ throughout the early hours. It’s the universal greeting, y’know.
[L-Zone2]ED HARCOURT‘s universal greeting was to try and destroy his keyboard. Lighter fluid, an axe it did nothing except upset Tim, the keyboardist from ATHLETE. ‘It cost thousands of pounds’. Yes, yes. His band again provided evidence as to why they will be as big as Coldplay next year. Their new single is out in September, it’s called ‘Beautiful’ and it is. LEAVES too, are also quite pretty. Imagine an Icelandic Suede with a bit more rock sensibility and add in the rudest tour manager known to man, and that’s them.
[R-Zone3]MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY continue to be bland, bland and bland. Watching Zanadu? Watching bollocks. Big hairy, sweaty bollocks. THE BLUETONES are the same, repeat EXACTLY the same as they ever were. Mark Morris was quite rude to me when I interviewed him a while back, and that’s because they’re the same. They’re still as shit as they ever were. There, there.
[L-Zone4]THE BURN are class. Loud and proud, they’re from Blackburn, hence the name, but you can’t really hold it against them, it’s not their fault. Their early afternoon set goes down a storm, and big things are expected. With luck, they’ll soon be advertising JCB diggers, following Virtual Festivals’ impromptu photoshoot backstage.
[R-Zone1]HALO are proving themselves too. Causing chaos amongst the contingent of illegal female teens at their signing, their live show continues to come on in leaps and bounds. They do look a bit too pretty for their own good, but it’s better than being ugly bitter old gits like, erm, The Bluetones. Speaking of which, who should follow them on the NME Stage but MY VITRIOL? My Bloody Vitriol. Genius.
[L-Zone2]Now we’ve always discounted GEMMA HAYES simply because she’s been everywhere, but she’s lovely. Absolutely stunning, really polite and, erm, absolutely stunning. Her music, bless, is stuck in the middle with you, but she’s so angelically lovely this is really irrelevant. Sexist? Not us.
[r-zone5]ALANIS MORISETTE is sagging all over the place – the words of two FEMALE journalists, not me. You would have thought after selling a squillion albums she’d be able to afford a bit of Kylie here and there, wouldn’t you?
[l-Zone3]It’s all very well rehearsed though, much like NICKLEBACK. If they are the only ‘rock’ band of V2002 then god help us. They do what they do well, though, however shit that may be. Whine, whine, whine, isn’t Eddy Vedder good, look how many empty amps we have stacked up behind us. Wankers. The very opposite of…
[r-Zone4]SUPERGRASS. The lads are in fine form, and are, as ever, the cheery antidote to the dreary slog of much of the shite on offer in the world. Nickleback or Supergrass? Hard, isn’t it? Question of the weekend though, is Gaz shagging Liv Tyler? Here’s a thought: hard core porn starring BADLY DRAWN BOY as Roy Hattersley and THE BETA BAND as themselves. Oh yes.
[R-Zone1]IAN BROWN, no matter what anyone says is King. Believe it. He is the most important person here this weekend, still the living embodiment of rock n’ roll, the peerless forerunner in a generation of nobodies. His charity endeavour for SIGHT SAVERS, shot exclusively by this writer, is thus all the more applaudable, and complete with cropped hair from a recent visit to Tokyo, the original garage flower pulls out a master stroke of a performance as darkness descends on Weston Park. It’s beautiful.
[L-Zone2]MANIC STREET PREACHERS may be slimmer, but THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS are more of a draw, and the party band of the summer break it all apart, as the projection screens break all over the place. There’s none of the ‘girl on shoulders, munching pills, and passing them around’ lark that we witnessed in BENACASSIM, but the Woolworths music fans take it kindly, and it sets of the weekend in great style.
[r-zone3]So why is it that V2002 is so great if much of the music was shite? The people, the vibe, the place, simple as. The people: northern: more laid back, friendlier, funnier. We are from London, and will never go to Chelmsford again. The staff too; security are polite, the PR people are beautiful and considerate (much like us) and the site is lush and full of natural beauty. The music is incidental at some points, but if it feels good, it is good, right? Damn straight. Best British festival this year, by a mile.