This weekend I did that age-old last minute thing where your mate wins 4 complimentary weekend tickets to the V-Festival in Chelmsford and says "do you want one" and you go "yes" and then sponge a lift and go around all weekend slaughtered out of your mind spending the money that you would have spent on tickets on alcohol. RAWK.
Basically the music sucked. We knew this before we arrived because all the bands playing were a bunch of toss/not my kinda thing. But it just didn't matter. That was the thing. Nothing could have spoilt my perception because it was allllll FREE. Well, the ticket was. The rest of it was extortionate. The £10 for the programme, the £3 per pint, which involves inordinate amounts of double-queueing (for tokens, then at the bar). The £4-£7 for the half-cooked stall food. Then there's the security which is frisking and bag-searching and watching from scaffold-towers of sentineldom, plus there's no fires or shouting or running or heavy petting. But, hey, that's V for you. Think Glasto without the crusties and all the interesting bands replaced by not-so-interesting popular music bands. It's that middle-class 'shooting stool and lunchbox' kind-of festival.
The bands - well, we slit our wrists to Radiohead, we gaped at the unholy shit that is Sugarbabes. Obviously not for long. I think we saw about two songs of virtually everything before leaving in disgust. The only full sets we saw were Biffy Clyro (the only band worth going for), Ordinary Boys (lively but ultimately unfulfilling), Hard-Fi (better and more cockney than expected).
Also danced drunkenly to Fatboy Slim. Well I danced to a huge TV screen flashing various words up for about an hour before I spotted this tiny figure on top of it. Yep, it was Fatboy giving it large. The organisers had put him in a giant tent which meant only a privileged *snigger* few got to see him. Just why they felt the need to erect a fence outside to keep the fans out god only knows - we had to jump it. By the time we came out the crowd behind the fences were at least 10 deep in every direction.
The only other full set we saw was Faithless who flattered to deceive. The hits were all there but it sounded like they'd sampled them with others which was just weird.
I regret not staying for all of Paul Weller who sounded great during "Peacock Suit" and Keane who for some reason just hit the right note with me. But both times I weighed up whether a beer, piss or a burger was more important and the music lost out every time.
They'd made a real effort with the inter-crowd entertainment - there was this dancing robot. I think it was that one off that advert that turns into a car. It was proper big. And kinda scary when it came close! It was rapping and dancing and each movement was accompanied by a realistic "vvvvvsttt". I wanted one.
All this and the weather after all the scares was great. The odd blast of rain but mostly sun. I came back with a tan for crying out loud! Mind you, I also came back with mild food poisoning which sucks.
P.S.: If you want a better review you can do a lot worse than this chap.