V Festival 2010
I'm a veteran to the V Festival and I think this year was my final one...
Arriving on site at 6am on Saturday morning, bleary-eyed, my friends had already set up camp the night before. My friend, Chris, sent me a text with a picture of our tent so I could find it. He thought it was funny, but with 100's of the things, it wasn't much help!
Eventually I found it and obviously they'd been partying the night before. I offered to make them breakfast, which of course they accepted. Disposable BBQ on the go, I looked around our area, watching other campers reluctantly rise from their slumber to walk zombie-like towards the portable toilets.
After breakfast, we checked the line-up, creating an itinerary for the day. Off we wandered towards the main arena to begin V2010.
Everywhere I looked, people seemed to look the same... Same styles, same haircuts, same 'wacky' costumes. I began to wonder why the V that I remember has suddenly become a mecca for teenagers who want to have their first drink. Then again, I WAS that teenager all those years ago!
As soon as we entered the arena, we headed towards the main stage, where Pixie Lott was about to play. Literally, as soon as she came on stage, the heavens opened. Wearing only a hoody, we tried to find some ponchos to keep dry. I think the man selling the ponchos was loving the fact that he was about to make a LOT of money!
Ponchos on, we tried to find cover as the rain began to fall harder. Chris found an 'Oxygen Bar' - a bar that sells Oxygen for £4. I kid you not. Oxygen. And before you ask, yes, we had some! Sat with pipes in our noses, like we were in intensive care, the man who we'd just given our hard earned cash to for air started the machine. It was 'flavored' air - Apple, Strawberry and something else which is indescribable.
Back to the main stage we headed, full of air. Skunk Anansie was next on the list. The only songs I knew were "Weak" and "Brazen", however, this was a great start to the festival. Skin has such an amazing voice and is very rock n' roll - jumping into the crowd.
We stayed by the main stage to await Seasick Steve. I'd heard a lot about him, but had never actually heard his music. I have to say he was fantastic. He's very 'simple' (as in minimal, not slow) and raw, but he is very entertaining. In his Hillbilly-esque outfit and beard, this man could play a tune. What made it even better was how his instruments are either made out of bits he's found lying around or they're broken in some way, yet he still makes great music.
Madness were on next and I decided to get right into the thick of it. Bad idea. Within minutes, hundreds of people started gathering around me. I was suddenly lost in the crowd. Suggs and the boys came on stage and those hundreds grew into hundreds more. "One Step Beyond" was shouted and all of sudden, I found myself in the middle of a mosh pit! Not what I was after, I headed out of the crowd to relax at the back.
After Madness, there wasn't much choice and I fancied a sing-a-long... So we headed off to see the Sugababes. It seemed like everyone else also had the same idea, as the tent was rammed. Standing towards the back, Heidi, Amelle and Jade belted out the hits. Not one to gossip, but Heidi seemed to be carrying a little extra weight... Pregnant? Hmmmm.
Back to the main stage once again to see The Kooks. By this time, the tiredness started to kick in, but we were here for a good time.
For the headline that evening, the choice was Kasabian, The Prodigy, Air or Pet Shop Boys. I decided on the latter! I felt a little sorry for the boys as it wasn't as busy as the other acts, but I'm glad I chose correctly as their set was amazing and they know how to put on a performance.
Still buzzing from the long day, it was time to head back to the tent for a 'good night's sleep'. Not going to happen at a festival.
Sunday arrived and so did the grumpiness. You could see how many had overdone it the day before and how unhappy people were to queue up for at least an hour for the toilet. All I can say is, I'm glad I'm male!
Sunday's line-up was much more appealing...
The sun was shining, people began to wake up and Feeder kick started the main stage for the afternoon. However, we all had to take stuff back to our cars, as we were leaving that evening and didn't want to mess around later on.
When we got back, The Coral were playing. Because of Weston Park's location, there were many Liverpudlians at the festival and they love bands from their own city. Phrases such as "this song's boss" and "Ah, mint mate" were hollered around us as The Coral played their hits.
Our other friend, Joe, wanted to see Goldie Looking Chain, so we headed towards the tent they were playing in. I'm not a big fan of GLC and don't really understand what the fuss is about, however, I thought I'd give them a(nother) chance. Nope, I was sticking with my opinion. Not for me.
I went to see Newton Faulkner for a chill out. I've seen him a few times before and he is very talented. He ended his set with a cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on his acoustic guitar. Superb.
Jason Derulo was on next. By the time we'd got to the tent, it was full of hormone-driven teenagers who'd probably only come to see him, so we sat outside. Looking into the tent, we could see he was about to take his top off and that he did... The music was completely drowned out by teenage girls screaming. Time to move on.
Once again, the main stage it was. NOW the festival was to begin... Paul Weller, Stereophonics and Kings of Leon. This is what we'd been waiting for.
The 'modfather' was brilliant as always, not only doing his solo material, but also throwing in a couple of Jam tracks.
As for the Stereophonics - probably the highlight of the weekend for me. Every song you know, even if you don't know it.
Unfortunately, I had to go soon, so I headed towards the back to see the Kings of Leon start their set. They did rock the stage and after "Molly's Chambers", I went to my car to avoid the traffic.
It was a good weekend - but I think it's gotten a little bit too commerical and there's now too many 'kids' attending the festival. It's lost it's rawness, it's edge. I mean, Peter Andre?! Really?
Saying that, it's the time of year I look forward to, so never say never!
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At 12:00 Adam Lawrance