Download Festival 2003 - SUNDAY Main Stage

Download Festival 2003 - SUNDAY Main Stage

Photographer: John BownasAndrew Future, Roy Mussell, Oli Pritchard on 03 June 2003

With so much nu-metal on display today, it's nice to see bands that have a little more substance.  Although they've always been very nu-metal in musical terms, One Minute Silence have a defiantly political streak running deep in them, and this manifests itself well in their music.  As they call for 'Revolution' and rail against politicians they manage to achieve both an air of heartfelt emotion and, importantly, chops just as savage as any other on the day.  It's a good combination, and gets Sunday off to a good start.

Eagerly awaited by the public and courted excessively by record labels, The Darkness are a band intended for this sort of event.  The stage of Donington proves no obstacle to the incredible force of Justin Hawkins' personality. His voice is wondrous; dancing with all the ball-squeezing bombastic falsettos of Bellamy and Mercury. Yes, they have lots of easily recognisable influences.  Yes, they are firmly retro-fixated.  No, they won't revolutionise music but they do have rock n roll leather pants on! As the singles trip over each other to get people moving, the rest of the set builds towards their blinding cover of Radiohead's 'Street Spirit'. It's pure class.

Spineshank on the other hand are derivative in an incredibly bad way.  It's generic nu-metal of the first order.  Most of the set is forgettable and it's clear that this is another of those bands just riding the wave to slowly drown under the slurry of their own music. 

While Metallica blew everyone away on the Scuzz stage, one felt sorry for Apocalyptica.  Having had their slot snatched away, it was only fair for the promoters to let them do a short set between bands.  To fill in quickly, it's three Finns covering Metallica on cello.  The three songs they played, 'Master of Puppets', 'Enter Sandman' and 'Creeping Death' were amazing.  Clearly the most innovative band on this stage today, unusual for a cover band, they receive a standing ovation from the crowd in response to their courage for trying this stunt after the initial bombardment of heckles and bottles. Truly a virtuoso performance, the variety of sounds (including percussion) that can be produced from a cello was almost as remarkable as the range of postures they can be played in. Definitely Metal.

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