Day 1 – Friday arrival
If you can believe it, we set off from almost-sunny Leicester at half past twelve. We arrive at Cannock at half past one. We arrive at V festival and parkat half past eight. That is all I have to say on the matter. We get in and set up camp in a space saved by some people we know, and mosey down in our relatively clean wellies (at this time) to inspect the festival attractions. Music is independently blaring from a variety of fairground rides, designed to make each punter lose at least their wallet and unhappily, their dinner, and people are popping in and out of shop stalls buying every weird thing you can think of, that they know will only be of use to them here, not in the real world. We pop into Joe Bananas and pick up our camping kit from a very helpful lady and talk to the Christians who are handing out free cups of water, right across the path from food vans selling bottles for £2. We decide to get to bed as we have a lot of setting up in the tent to do and the bands won’t wait for us tomorrow!
Day 2 – Saturday
Today is, to put it lightly, rather wet. We awake to the all too memorable smells of the traditional British festival, meaning bacon, sausages and most likely salmonella cooking on disposable barbecues, entwined with portaloo chemicals, Listerine and the sterile stench of wetwipes. All accompanied by a soundtrack of "arghs" and "oofs" from those who slept (unwisely I think) without the aid of an airbed or a roll mat. The day begins with overcooked bacon, a quick glance at a lineup, and the intent to spend a lot of money that we don’t have. Hooray for festival mentality! We head on down to the arena, and I already spy about a dozen things I want to buy but don’t actually need.
The first band on our list of must-see, are The Dandy Warhols, who sound exactly as they do recorded, happy-poppy and quite capable of making people dance around in the mud. I am less impressed than I thought I would be, but ‘Bohemian Like You’ still makes me smile and think of college, so I guess that’s nice. My pal Joey catches Dogs on the Channel 4 stage (I'm checking out the VIP area at the time) and gives them a very enthusiastic two thumbs up, but I cannot personally comment.
Coming out of the VIP area, having spotted and accosted Darren Jeffries (OB from Hollyoaks) and marvelled at the spacious portaloos with real sinks, we see a bit of the Sugababes set, and decide that, although we are not fans in any way, shape or form, they can actually sing rather well. Later on, we watch some of Hard-Fi, we know some of the songs but don’t like them.
The heavens open and Paul Weller is decidedly dumped in favour of having some food and a rest in the tent, however we can still hear him. Despite the downpour, there is no way that we would miss Faithless (originally we had planned on seeing a little of The Beautiful South first, but don’t make it), so we trudge through the muck to the main stage, and set ourselves up for a great show! The ambient sounds of Maxi Jazz opening make the crowd go wild, and with ‘We Come One’ there is practically no floor to be seen, as ecstatic fans hop about crazily. What a set! After Faithless, the gap is big enough to get a jacket potato for the rip-off price of £4.00 and meet up with our mate Tim who is working security during the day. We endeavour to watch a little Morrissey, but it turns out we just can’t stomach him, and journey to Tim’s staff campsite, which resides upon the children’s playground in the woods. It is eerie, and we don’t stay long. The campsite and the lure of cold cider is calling us so we head back, feeling tired and happy!