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#70 Witnness Festival @ Ratoath Fairyhouse Racecourse (August 5th 2000)

Witnness Festival @ Ratoath Fairyhouse Racecourse August 5th 2000

Line Up: David Gray / Ocean Colour Scene etc

After my wife had left on April Fool's Day the previous year I was pretty much rock bottom. I really threw myself into work. Luckily for me my then job enabled me to travel to Ireland a few times a year. It was there in May 2000 that I met a gorgeous Irish lassie by the name of Fiona. She worked for the Irish branch of my employers and very kindly took me round the pubs in Dublin on one of the nights I was there. Quite simply we hit it off and it wasn't until 3am in the morning that I said goodbye to her and managed to sneek a quick kiss. To be honest I was in love. I certainly didn't know that I would be moving over to be with her a in a mere ten months...but that is for later.

All night we had been talking about anything and everything but music was something that was a common theme. She talked about some guy called David Gray and this amazing album called White Ladder. A few days after arriving back in Hull (my hometown) I received a cassette tape with a copy of the album. Many phone call, letters and eventually visits later it was decided that I would go to see Mr Gray at a brand new music festival taking place in August.

We met some of Fiona's friends and had a great time that day. To be honest I vaguely remember seeing Ocean Colour Scene but I don't remember seeing any of the other bands on that day. I do, however, remember smoking one of my first joints. I was, and still am, useless at all forms of drugs and hence I have largely stayed clear of them. This day was no exception and after having a few drags I had to sit down next to a fence until my colour changed back from green to my more usual sun burnt look.

David Gray was headlining and he really blew me away that day. At that point he was the biggest thing in Ireland; barely able to sell out clubs in England here he was headlining a major music festival. He really had the crowd in the palm of his hand and it has to go down as one of my favourite ever gigs. It was only a short while later that Babylon hit the airwaves in England and he went on to replicate some of his Irish success back in his homeland.

Ticket: August 5th 2000

Ticket Price: ¬£34.50 (Irish Pounds)

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