Who I Saw: A / Slipknot / Judas Priest / Corrosion Of Conformity / Clutch / Lacuna Coil
Steps Walked: 15,097 / Distance Covered: 11.46 km / Pints Drank: 9 / 'Mrs Miggins' Sausage Baguettes Eaten: 2
Feeling beautifully refreshed from an early night, but heavy in wallet (having spent surprisingly little on food the night before…) myself and Download buddies got the shuttle bus to site. £25 for a weekend bus pass made it good value and a top notch service.
This was the year of cashless Download. The scare stories had started early with reports of long queues on the Thursday. Have to say that I never had any issues and I didn’t see anyone else have any but there are always going to be teething troubles. Cashless presumably means security is much better for all concerned and I found it easy to use and it kept things moving well. Actually thinking about it I did have one gripe, I kept looking to see how much everyone had left on their account after they had paid for a beer. Some serious under and over estimates going on.
This was also the year that we decided against camping. Last year’s torturous time involving blood, sweat and tears…or at least aching backs and legs (caused by general unfitness) and an over reliance on baby wipes had put us off for life. This year we had the luxury of a hotel, a shower, a comfy bed, a tv and more pot noodles than you could shake a fork at (any flavour as long as its chicken).
Getting to the site around 3pm on the first day meant we had an easy start. The sun shone bright, sun cream was worn, the sausage baguette was ace and the feeling was good. Alas the weather reports were very bad and would prove to very right. Saw Italian band Lacuna Coil first. Started poorly but finished strongly. Stayed for Clutch who I knew little of but had been recommended by a friend. The friend did well. A very good set from the Maryland group (together since 1991 apparently. I really need to keep on top of things).
Moved over to the 'Encore' stage to see Corrosion of Conformity who I think I liked but for the life of me I can’t remember their set. Possibly a few too many beers early on. Back to the main stage to see Judas Priest. Always wanted to see them however was never their biggest fan. Enjoyed their set although more to tick it off the list than anything else. Great to hear Breaking The Law and see Rob Halford at his old school best.
Never had any interest in Slipknot. Never gave them a listen. The masks and singing style especially just not doing it for me. Watched the first 45 minutes of their set and although hugely impressive, especially Taylor as a front man and the drummers (wow), it just wasn’t my thing as a whole. The rain had started to come down in bucket loads at this point. Feeling wet and bored I left the others behind and wandered off. I had got it into my slightly drunken head that I had to see Black Stone Cherry. Unfortunately they had already finished. What to do? I was getting more and more drenched. This rain wasn't stopping. There was only one thing for it...I would have my second sausage baguette from the Mrs Miggins stall. I ate five over the whole weekend. Didn’t eat anything else on site actually. I’m actually missing them as I write this. I may have an addiction.
Decided to see if another band was playing and so headed over to the Jake stage (which was undercover) to see A’s last few songs which were very good. Also it was dry in the tent which helped the decision greatly.
Bought a programme and laminate which came in a nice waterproof cover. I took said cover off putting the laminate around my neck and leaving the programme in my ruck sack. Later when back at the hotel I opened the bag and took the programme out. It was wet through, stuck together and in pieces. Note to self…don’t be so stupid in the future (26 years of gig going and I still get shit like that wrong).
When leaving the site I tried ringing the friends who I had left at Slipknot to see where they were...they ignored my calls (some excuses about wet phones and bad reception) but caught the bus back feeling wet but happy.
Hopefully the weather would be better tomorrow. It really is the hope that kills you.
Ticket Price: £170 Weekend Ticket