This weekend, Gaymers Cider were nice enough to send me to the Leeds festival. Some good things happened, some bad things happened. Here is a list of those things:
Pro: That Gaymers paid for me to stay in one of these tiny, twee garden shed things. Which was nice as it had a lock, so I didn't have to worry about someone stealing all of my stuff (which someone did to me at Leeds one year), or someone drunkenly thinking my tent was their tent, getting inside, puking everywhere, realising their mistake, then leaving (which I did to someone one year).
Con: The discovery that the term, 'The Offspring, "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" mosh-pit' was an apt discription for something occuring in 2011.
Con: Mentally assessing the environmental impact of thirty years of Dexter Holland's hair style.
Con: Having a camera around my neck. This made it impossible for me to walk more than ten feet without somebody demanding I take their photo. I guess "pilled out of your face, getting increasingly frustrated at how difficult it is to rave to The Streets" is a moment to cherish forever.
Pro: Picturing the circumstances leading up to these people crossing out "knock 4 free blow jobs".
Con: This was in one of the campsites. There were two worried looking guys standing next to it, one said "Oh God, this is definitely Alice's tent. But where's Alice? Where's her stuff?" RIP Alice.
Con: Tim Minchin. I once heard Tim Minchin described as "the Australian Russell Brand". If you need me to tell you what is wrong with combining "Australians" and "Russell Brand", then you're probably Australian. Also, this is the closest I could get to the stage while he was performing. What the fuck is wrong with people?
Con: This sign.
Con: "Hey mum, guess what? I'm volunteering to pick up litter at Leeds Festival. No, I don't get paid, but I get to go to the festival for free! It's gonna be well good!"
Con: The fact that I stood through an entire Henry Rollins spoken word set waiting for him to say something embarrassing that I could make fun of here, only for him to not say one single mock-worthy thing. I still hate his fucking guts though. Actually, the 'funny' story about the woman who lost her eye at a Black Flag show was pretty annoying.
Con: The two billion percent markup on electricity.
Con: Realising that I fucking hate live music. Not that I especially like Muse or anything, but hearing "New Born" in the rain, from a mile away, with 20,000 drunk northerners singing along to the piano parts hardly enhanced my listening experience. Also, Matt Bellamy sounds like Janice from Friends live.
Con: Getting stoned before watching New Found Glory and feeling really, really bad for them. I mean, how sick of hearing New Found Glory songs must they be? Think about how sick you are of hearing them, and you haven't even heard any in the last ten years.
Con: Mud, obvs.
Con: Mud fights. Short-termism in the extreme.
Con: That, after eating one of these, I accidentally licked mud off my finger thinking it was cake.
Pro: Jared Leto's band. I knew Jared "wait, aren't I fourty years-old? What the fuck am I doing?" Leto was in a band, and had always assumed they would be hilarious, but I'd never really given the time they deserved. It was INSANE.
He kept screaming things like: "I wanna fuckin' see every motherfucker here fuckin' jumpin' right fuckin' now!" and there were screens on the stage that were flashing up images really fast like: Martin Luther King / the word "victory"/ a Plato quote / footage of September 11th / George W. Bush / the word "liar" / slow motion footage of Jared Leto firing a machine gun / an Einstein quote / starving African children.
Makes you think, doesn't it?
Pro: And OHMYGOD you guys, at one point he pulled these three Jared-Leto's-Band superfans on stage. Apparently that hair is called a "Mars-hawk" and is the official haircut of the band. The shirtless guy also had the band's logo tattooed on his chest. It's that triangle you can see on Jared's arm. Their logo is a triangle! It was all so exciting, I thought I was going to die.
Con: The sneaking suspicion that this might actually refer to a real genre.
Con: This place. The Leeds 2011 "So Chill Circle" is pretty much a chill circle of hell and it turns out that hell is other people. Other people listening to James Blake, smoking hash, sitting on muddy bean-bags, shitting on at their shitty friends about how excited they are to see some shitty band.
Con: Constant, unrelenting male shirtlessness.
Con: Constant, unrelenting male crossdressing.
Con: The return of Liam Gallagher. The chorus of the one song of theirs that I watched was "nothing ever lasts foreeeeeeever". How was an indie lyric that generic not already an integral part of an Oasis song?
Con: This guy. I asked him what he'd done that for and he said: "I put bacon and sausages all over his tent; it's gonna stink!" Yes, it is gonna stink. It's going to stink really, really bad.
Pro: Before leaving, I got the chance to spend some time in Leeds city centre. Seems like a nice place, doesn't it?
JAMIE LEE CURTIS TAETE