It’s a slow work day today, or perhaps the lull before the storm, either way it gives me a great opportunity to document the day that was 23rd August 2009. Today was V day, no not the reptilian alien mini series from the mid 80’s I mean the Virgin Festival.
No I don’t mean a festival of virgins… I am of course referring to the V festival sponsored by Virgin Mobile.
Virgin mobile were racketeering again charging £10 per car for parking, I may be mistaken but I think that has doubled if not last year but quite recently, that’s big business looking after the little folk for you!
Cost aside we were lucky to get a space very near the entrance/exit to Weston Park, the walk down to the arena was a decent hike but the additional exercise easily outweighs the absolute misery that comes of getting trapped in a car park related paradox loop whilst trying to escape the park.
The walk down to the arena was quite pleasant until we started going past the camping areas, quite how anyone can sleep with the with the vapid urine aroma floating through the air I do not know, if I could lower myself to mix with the peasants in their shanty towns of cheap nylon and aluminium my gag reflex would have been working overtime.
The guys and gals on the gates were working efficiently, hardly a queue at all, the bag search consisted of a quick hand delve that lasted a split second, accompanied by a “have you got any cans?” question, how he can call himself security is beyond me unless he deliberately missed my glock and stash of crystal meth.
We headed towards the mains stage, the first act was just starting, and it was hard to make out what it was I was hearing. Bethan rather unashamedly stated that the “band” (and I use the term loosely) in question were Mc Fly. Jacob asked the question “Who the hell are they?” which in my books is a result, the education in decent music has appeared to have paid off. Irony was plentiful, well it was for me as the only decent track they managed to bleat out was a cover of The Beastie Boys – Fight for your right (to party).
Next on were a band of distinct quality – Star Sailor, although I new I liked a few of their songs I never realised how great they were, admittedly they started with a few tracks that I didn’t know but finished with some beautifully crafted tracks…Alcoholic, Good Souls and Four to the Floor
This set was followed by some no mark from Tennessee called Taylor Swift, if you like banal jangly countrified pop music then look no further than this young lady, she was announced as the worlds best selling artist of the last 2 years, I will however take that under advisement, I had heard of her before today but my ears had never previously had to bear witness to her shrill warbling.
During these performances it was a good opportunity to get a few photos out of the way before the alcohol kicked in.
Jacob and cousin Richard Bethan and Adam
It was during these performances that we pulled the posse together for the first time, I’m really not sure what time we met up with Richard, Chris, Kyle and Cathy, the only person to blame for that is Lieutenant Strongbow.
Next up were some band called The Script, from the get go the a large proportion of the crowd were singing along with these Irish rogues, we vaguely recognised one track, we left after about 15 minutes as our stomach’s were growling and proved to be more persuasive than The Script ever could be.
After some pretty decent (by Festival standards) Tex-Mex food we headed over to watch Dizzee Rascal, I was expecting a decent show but was quite unprepared for how the little chap could whip up the crowd. An excellent showman, I’ll be honest I didn’t know a lot of the earlier tracks and it didn’t matter it was all pretty spectacular. The later tracks including Dance Wiv Me, Holiday and Bonkers had the crowd leaping around in a manner that resembles House of Pain crossed with and old hardcore rave; truly bonkers indeed.
We left at the end of the Rascal set to catch the tail end of Lily Allen’s set. I have soft spot for Lily which I cannot place. She had the crowd on her side which is always a good thing and looked half decent too.
After Miss potty mouth we stayed at the main stage to catch some of The Specials, basically a live version of their best of album, which is what you’d expect for a long established band like these chaps.
We then headed back to the Channel 4 stage for the Ting Tings, they cave a good performance, Sam managed to miss most of the second half of their set queuing for the toilet, the joys of being a male at these type of events, we just spray up walls like unneutered cats creating what can only be described as piss-mud.
The highlight of the day as far as Sam and I were concerned was to follow, they provided one of the most awesome displays I have witnessed at the V festival in fact probably anywhere, what I’d do to see Pendulum followed by Muse one day would probably be considered illegal in most countries.
Not one bad track but a plentiful supply of banging tracks from both Albums with an excellent cover version of Calvin Harris’s “I’m Not Alone” (as featured in this BBC clip) A Techno, Drum and Base rock-fest that had the crowd jumping and raving like epileptic kangaroos, one casualty in the camp at this stage as Sam inadvertently gammified her leg.
We slinked off then to take our position for the headline act of the day; some band or other from Las Vegas called the Killers! We spent most of the time listening to the band belt out their usual array of hits whilst trying to meet up with Adam and Bethan. For me they were good but nothing spectacular, Jacob however really enjoyed them.
I stupidly suggested using ice cream vans as markers for meeting points, I didn’t realise until it was too late the sheer number of ice cream vans around the place! We left about 15-20 minutes from the end to avoid the usual park exit rush.
In all a fantastic day out – oh I forgot to mention – Not one drop of rain all day!