Sticking the computer on and finishing this post is almost the very first thing I've done since walking through the door from Kings Cross and the train journey back from Download. I took my shoes off though because due to an unforeseen administrative error I was one pair of socks short, so it was good to let the plates of meat get some air.
First of all, massive thanks to Global Cool without whom I wouldn't have been at Download.
Check out Global Cool's website for a more detailed account of what we were doing at Download, but the gist of it is that we're trying to get as many people as possible to ditch the car (not literally - that's illegal) and to see the value in an amazing bus journey (or coach/train/whatever) and to make this point in a most literal way we've got a GC bus onsite - first of all at Download, then we'll be taking it to Wireless, T In The Park and V. On said bus, you can dick about till your heart's content in all manner of ways - giant jenga, Connect 4, dominoes, lego (amazingly popular with the stoners), play some acoustic guitar, lounge in the hammocks, meet a band or two (Enter Shikari, Attack! Attack! and Jett Black all stopped by) and also sign the actual frigging bus! But not on the hub caps please - THAT SHIT IS NOT COOL. Here's the bus in all its glory:
We had a lot of fun in the sun, and there was no pain in the rain, which in some ways was a nuisance because I for one had lugged wellies and a big coat and jumpers all the way to Derby, whereas I'd have been much better served by a nice off-white linen suit, open toe sandals and a dapper bamboo fan. I'm sure I'd have fitted in just right then. Or, I could have just taken my clothes off like these fine upstanding gentlemen:
Still, the clothes I was wearing weren't customised in nearly as stylish a fashion as this young roister-doister:
And to round up the sartorial critique I'll just mention one tattoo that particularly impressed me. There were many, many, many, many, many tattoos on display and while some were spectacular, some were spectacularly bad. This one isn't really either, but I love the idea of it so asked if he'd mind me taking a photo. I think he said yes, but he was on another planet anyway so not really in a position to have an opinion one way or the other:
But what of the music? Well, it rocked. Of course it did. I actually didn't get to see many bands, but in truth I only had one absolute must-see band on my list and that was Friday night's headliners Faith No More. They've been away for a while and started their set in typically eccentric style with a cover of Peaches & Herb's smoochy Reunited. They played the whole damn thing, which seemed to be about 8 minutes worth, all in front of a crowd baying for the likes of Epic, From Out Of Nowhere and Midlife Crisis. That said, even the metallers in the crowd couldn't help but sing along to Easy, a hit for FNM back in the mid-90s. It was great to see them again, something I thought was an impossibility after their split a few years back. Here's a not-very good shot of them onstage, though by coincidence I've managed to take it when the big screen is honing in on a woman showing the world her bra - that was pure luck, I assure you:
I also caught some of Limp Bizkit (screw the haters, I say - they're always good value live even if Fred Durst can sometimes be, erm, difficult). Motley Crue were about as cliched as you could get but non the worse for it, and their outro to Kickstart My Heart lasted for nearly as long as the song itself, which is quite a feat. Oh, and Nikki Sixx kept spitting up into the air and then catching it with his hand, which just utterly perplexed me. Why would you do that Nikki?
I wanted to see ZZ Top but I have to say, of the twenty minutes of their set that I managed to see, I was bored for 19 of them, so won't be in a rush to see them again. Buckcherry were naff, my old pals Papa Roach rocked it, as they always do, and the bits I heard in the distance of Pendulum, Journey, Whitesnake, Attack! Attack!, Chris Cornell and Marilyn Manson seemed pretty good. Probably not as many bands as I'd have liked to have seen, but I was there to work, and without the work wouldn't have been there at all, so what can you do?
So that's it - same again for the Global Cool gang at Wireless on July 4/5th, so if you're about come and see us at our bus. You never know, we might even let you sign it.