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Reading Fest – The Return August 25th 2002

Let’s get this straight, we’re heading back into the fray for one reason only, Trail Of Dead. Been ages since I saw my tubby little Texan modboys. Take the precaution of wearing a jacket and packing some sarnies along with the vodka. You really do not want to have to eat from those food stalls.

Feeling well prepared and ready for anything, we find there are now barriers dividing the entrance/exit at the main gate. Hey, good idea. Shame they're not needed now. Today’s ‘clientele’ are markedly younger than on Friday, lots of wee kiddies flocking to see a load of dire nu-metal type arse on the main stage. Gah. I’m going nowhere near there all day. Eat a cheese roll and scan the burn-pocked field for Trailie-men. I want to show them my fantabulous home-stylin’ TOD tee-shirt. It’s pink with a lovely drawing on.

fever pitch excitement for Deathcab
me watching him watching them
Find ourselves at the front of the Eve Sesh tent for Deathcab For Cutie. The ground is all compacted mud here from a thousand stompin’ feet. For some reason I thought this lot were Australian but they turn out to be American. Hmm, pleasant enough, jangle guitars. The singers orange tee-shirt is the most diverting thing about them until I spot someone sidestage with a videocamera, intently filming the band. It’s Jason Reece, all little and blackclad. Yeah! Spend rest of set watching him watching Deathcab.

Sit on unpleasant in-tent hairy grass, reading a scummy tabloid that blows my way. Urgh. Hoggboy soundtrack my disgust, churning out a mess of gargley, geezery, modrocky, another-night-in-Camden, secondhand leather jacket blah. Wander outside, lie in sun listening to various bands that I have no interest in. Capdown: shouting for der kidz. Sparta: okay I have a vague interest in these ex-At The Drive-In types. Go for a quick peek. It’s the pompous U2 moments from ATD-I without the good bits. Still, better than Reel Big Fish whoever they are. Terrible name, terrible ska-rock shite, lots of the kids seem to like it, but then what the hell do they know? Have a look at Six By Seven. I quite liked them when I first saw them several years ago, but they’re a bit boring really. Ho hum, is it Trail Of Deadtime yet? Amble distractedly into Carling tent to catch end of Minuteman, that hairy bloke what used to be in Ultrasound’s new band. They sound fabola. All shining and sparkling guitars. Maybe it’s just in comparison to all that other sludge. Maybe I’m feverish.

Back to Eve Sesh tent to get stage front in good time for TOD and to marvel at Cornershop. Thank you Tjinder for your swooning funky, sitarred up tunes. It’s a million miles from any other sound made anywhere round here today. They even throw in ‘Brimful of Asha’ to raise the goodtime vibes higher. The sun sets outside, all blushing pink and orange and gold, matching the warm glow in our hearts.

I’m at the front. I’m on suave-boy Neil’s side. Trail Of Dead are oonnn! At last. Kicking things off with ‘It Was There That I Saw You’. Conrad does his swingy side to side, blurry hair thing. Neil does his ankle twisting, leaning over bass thrusting. Kevin smokes. Jason goes smash batter blam! on the drums. Jason shreds his vocal chords on ‘Homage’. Jason climbs a lighting rig and makes it wobble scarily. Jason flings himself into the crowd, mic lead stretched taut. Neil sings ‘Monsoon’. Ace. I haven’t seen them do this live before, churning and chiming. More Neilness with the eternally splendid ‘Mark David Chapman’ and straight up rockery chug of ‘Baudelaire’. Conrad slides over on his arse and tries to make it look like he meant to do it. It’s ‘Richter Scale Madness’! With a long clap-along middle section with added extra, ‘Yeah she looks so fine’ lyrics from Conrad and Neil. Jump up and down excitedly yelling, ‘Kill Kill!’ Sorry, getting carried away. Finish with ‘A Perfect Teenhood’ fling self around while keeping firm grip on barrier. Smash! Crash! Duck flying instruments, watch meany bouncers grappling bits of drumkit back from eager crowd, try to touch Conrad when he leans over us. Why? I don’t know. What am I doing? Argh.
Go home for a bit of a lie down.

blurry hair thing

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