Thursday, 27 August 2009

Festival Republican

"Glastonbury, its flighty audience mused, was 'about more than just the music'. [Reading] is all about the music, and not much else. It is an utilitarian operation, which simply delivers the best bands across one weekend, without the idealistic claptrap." Daily Telegraph

Lest you should forget, thanks to their two year ban, it's Reading's Conservatives who are responsible for the rise of that particularly grotesque bean-curd munching, crystal healing, green wellie wearing, middle-class field fest where accountants commune with nature for a few days before driving back to London in their 4x4s. Okay Yah!

It's 22 years since I first cadged a backstage pass to Reading. I got it as a payment for working for 'free' building lighting racks and doing light shows at rave gigs at weekends. I blagged my way in in similar style for the next few years!

In 1987, Friday night was goth night with The Mission, Fields of the Nephilim and All About Eve. I caught the train straight from work at which I'd spent the day in my finest goth gear and carrying a metal flight case covered in stage passes. The finest beer smuggling device I ever possessed. It was never checked on entry!

1988 was one of the funnier Reading Festivals, even now. With a pretty poor line up, bottle fights were the order of the day. On the Sunday afternoon Janice Long announced: "If you don't stop throwing bottles, the Hothouse Flowers aren't coming on." Cue 25 minute rain of bottles!

1990 saw a major mud bath, where we discovered that Mudhoney didn't like mud. I'd hazard a guess that they didn't like honey either.

1999 had the 'funniest use of a flag' winner during Catatonia. Half way though 'International Velvet', the biggest flag of St. George ever seen in Reading started making a stately procession from the front of the mixing desk to the front of the audience causing Cerys to almost crack up with laughing. It is to be seen whether the ban on flags will also extend to foilage. British Sea Power would not be the same without it.

August 2000 saw the inspired choice of "We Hate Tottenham" to open the Sunday on the Carling Stage.

Even the dual-festival hasn't diminished the pull with the BBC forced to add "and Leeds" under their breath during their coverage. It'll will always be Reading Festival because: it's all about the music.

This year I am looking forward to seeing: The Horrors, Placebo, Kaiser Chiefs, White Lies and Glasvegas. If you want a laugh check out Crystal Castles and Anti-Flag!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Kick Off

The start of a new season is always a time for optimism. Even Spurs fans think that they have a chance of avoiding relegation this season.

A new Up The Arse! hits the streets today, 17 years after the first issue and the quality hasn't improved although the targets have.

Looking forward to keeping an eye on Eboue Goals as Arsene Wenger continues with his ethos of fair play by forcing the Arsenal team to play with one arm tied behind their backs for at least part of every game.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Banana - the Atheists' Nightmare

Whilst it's no Screenwipe, You Have Been Watching still has to be one of the better shows on the box right now with probably the best description of a Tory I've heard for quite a while:

"Boggle-eyed, slapheaded, unpleasant, revolting, heartless, shit-for-brains, attention-grabbing, foetid excuse for a prick."

Had to use my V+ box to rewind and relisten several times! Who says satire is dead?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

National 'Elf Service

Who said about the NHS on American TV:

"I find it incredible that a free people living in a country dedicated and founded in the cause of independence and freedom can seriously be thinking about adopting such a system."

Was it some right wing American nut job like Rush Limbaugh? No, it was a member of our very own British Tory party. Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP.

You see, you can say one thing in public, attempt to play to the gallery, deny it is party policy, hoodwink the voters... but we know what you're really thinking deep down. The only crime is getting caught saying it out loud.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Stuff of Nightmares!

For some reason (!) I fell asleep on the sofa on Saturday with BBC Four on and was woken at 2.30am by a programme about Prog Rock. It was enough to give anyone nightmares. Did Sid Vicious die in vain? Oh..., hang on a minute, yes he did!

Wind forward a day and I'm having a quiet beer in the Nag's Head and the background CD from Hell is playing: Genesis, Yes, arrgghhh! Can you demand Tamiflu for accidental exposure to Prog Rock two days in a row?

Later they swapped it for an eighties CD which wasn't much better, but it did have one of my least favourite Cure tracks, Caterpillar Girl, which against the opposition became my favourite track of the night.

I am going to have to listen to 'The Top' again. I think I might have been a little unfair to it.