Glasgow Gig on the Green 2002
Rory Grant - 24 August 2002
Glasgow Gig on the Green 2002
Review - Day One
For the Carling Weekend 2002, Glasgow certainly seemed to have pulled the short straw. Reading had sold out in record time, while Leeds had only gone and booked Guns N' Fuckin' Roses. Gig on the Green however, due in part to its two rather than three day duration, had missed out on several of the main attractions appearing at the English legs, and had sold only half a park's worth of tickets a week before the event. So as the proverbial underdog we needed a bit of luck, which was forthcoming in the form of constant sunshine - not seen 'round these parts since, well, T in the Park actually.
Don't bother mentioning the underdog tag to Biffy Clyro; they'll only throw it back in your face by attracting a full tent of goth kids - each one suckering joints at an impressive rate - and rocking them senseless... by one in the afternoon. Now, every festival these days is inadvertedly characterised by thousands of giveaway junk the corporates dream up - in this case, O2 sponsored frisbies litter the air, acting as constant, sinister reminders of our industry overseers - and when Clyro lead singer/guitarist Simon Neil dares the crowd to fling something a bit more daring than these "mousemats", he's met with a barrage of keys, beer cups, items of clothing, fag packets and small children. This element of audience interaction is presumably what motivates Neil to jump into the drumkit during the next song, which probably seemed like a good idea at the time, and how was he to know the kit was being held together with blu-tack? Half a dozen stern-faced security emerge from their hiding spots sidestage and desperately try to hold the imminently collapsing kit together, while sticksman Ben Johnston continues whacking his drums as they fall to the floor one by one. Amazingly, they manage to complete the song, and go on to finish with the brilliant "57". At this point in the proceedings, and if Biffy Clyro are anything to go by, GOTG 2002 has nothing to worry about.
As it turns
out, no-one quite matches the Glaswegian three-piece's performance for the next few hours, although Death Cab for
Cutie do deliver a competent set of West Coast emo, which is well received without causing too much of a furore.
Over on the New Band stage are Dundee's The Hazy Janes, who are peddling their agreeable blend of pop-folk. Sadly though, today's outdoor mini stage doesn't compliment their sound as well as a tent may have, but they do possess many of the traits necessary to become festival favourites.
At the other end of the scale in terms of experience and musical style are NOFX, who are finding it difficult deciding at what point in their vast back catalogue they should begin today's set. Instead, Fat Mike and El Hefe do their usual comedy routine, pointing out a Mexican (really Eire) flag here, and a Russian (Lion Rampant) flag there, before running through the classic likes of "Perfect Government", "All Outta Angst" and "Buggley Eyes". They stop short of laying into Slipknot (who are up next), probably for fear they wouldn't stop in time for another tune, but they still manage to run late in true punk rock style, to the extent that Fat Mike ends up dodging the Clown's drum podium as it's thrust onto the stage during their final song.
Back in stage two, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead are delivering their usual mess of guitars and drums, which is either immensely enjoyable or totally unlistenable depending on your viewpoint/current mood. To cap their performance, they dispense dozens of Red Bull cans into the crowd from the sidestage fridge, which may have been seen as some sort of anti-capitalist/sponsorship protest - that is until said energy drink appears on their rider list in a popular weekly music rag...