Saturday – Biffy Clyro & The Sausage-Fest!
Sounds like some weird gay antics were had, but it’s not like that. Biffy merely headlined and we ate lots of sausages!
Jodz had brought with him about 50 sausages for a morning barbecue, which were the breakfast pick me up that was most definitely needed after a night on the ale. Complimented by my morning brew and apple, the greasy sausages on leftover baps with warm cheese slices were spot on! As the next batch of sausages were cooking, we headed into the arena to catch the first band of the day that were on the radar… Sylosis! Well, they were just as good as expected and we even managed to get a full set out of them this time! Hurrah! Tight, shredding guitar work and a good sound. Front man Josh Middleton seems to have come out of his shell a lot more and works the crowd well, something they were lacking for a while after departure of previous frontman Jamie Graham. All in all, a damn fine show!
Next up was the legendary Richard Cheese and his backing group Lounge Against the Machine. We’d all been loving the Cheesemeisters covers of some of our favourite (and not so favourite) metal and hip hop tunes. The man did not disappoint. A master of the stage, he really knew how to get the crowd going and was such a funny guy to watch and such a talented singer to listen to! Sporting some classic leopard print lounge attire, He did a load of the tunes we wanted to hear, Disturbed’s Down With the Sickness, Limp Bizkit’s Nookie, Slipknot’s People = Shit, Snoop Dogg’s Gin & Juice, Nirvana’s Rape Me, Metallica’s Enter Sandman and more. He crammed a load of good fun tunes to sing along to in his set and was such a laugh to see. He said he’d be back over in London in 2012, so we’ll have to go see that!
Next up were Architects. Not really into these guys, but Ben said he’d not really paid any attention to them before so wanted to have a look. We loitered at the back and sat down to give ‘em a listen. Largely unimpressed, we got some food and went to do the same thing for Gallows ‘cause Jim likes them and apparently the singer was due to quit.
After Gallows, it was time for my second viewing of Cavalera Conspiracy this week, and the second time in 2 days I’d hear Refuse/Resist (fully this time though). They were good. Well, the band were. Max just doesn’t look arsed! The sound was a bit pants, which didn’t help as it was a struggle to hear Tha Rizzo playing. They did however do a load of good Sepultura/CC tunes and got the crowd moving! …and yessssss! They played Nailbomb’s Cockroaches. A classic tune. Max had his kids on stage to play it, so it was a very family oriented experience.
Time for a break now and some cheap beer. So we headed back to the tents just in time, as not for the first time this weekend… the heavens opened!.
A few cans later and we wandered back in to catch a bit of Sum 41. It was rammed. We could hardly move to get a good spot for ‘em so we just stopped mid-crowed and enjoyed it from wherever we were. The played ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Fat Lip’ back-to-back at the end, so we were done. They tried to cram in another tune but were clearly over time, so they had the sound cut! Ha-ha! I laugh, but it was pointless. If they were gonna cut the sound and let ‘em finish playing the song anyway, they might as well have left the song on!!!
Regardless, it started raining again, so we legged it back to tents for some more cans. …and we didn’t wanna watch All Time Low!
We sat round the tents in ponchos and bin-bags, determined to not let the rain spoil the weekend. I’d even sparked up the kettle for a pot noodle. At one point, it absolutely hammered it down, but I sat it out, as did Ross, and it didn’t stop the kettle boiling either!! Lo and behold, just as it boiled, the rain stopped, so I could enjoy my lunch without it filling with rainwater!
We came back into the arena for Weezer. The rain had gone and it was relatively ok weather-wise from here onwards (for Saturday anyway). We were walking in as they played Undone (The Sweater Song) which a few of us were singing along to as we strolled in. Weezer are a great live band, though I fear Rivers Cuomo may have lost the plot over the years! They did some classic tunes like Buddy Holly, My Name is Jonas, Beverly Hills, Hash Pipe and my fave (which Rivers didn’t sing, Scott Shriner did) Dope Nose! Oh, and again they played Teenage Dirtbag and a crappy Radiohead cover. WHY????
As you can imagine, by now we’d been drinking a fair bit and were on the way do being smashed. So we hit the bar… again! We’d gotten to the point where paying £4 for a beer was no longer an issue, so we strolled to the bar and got a few in while we waited for a decent band to come on. We’d tried watching Gojira, but again the full tent rule stopped us from getting in for a decent view. Ah well, another beer and wait for Biffy.
They were really good. I like Biffy Clyro and they are a deserved festival headliner. Just not a Sonisphere headliner. Ok so Saturday was a mix of things, but on the whole it’s a metal festival. Summat like Leeds/Reading they’d be a top headliner. Regardless, they were on top form. We watched from the back as they went through all the favourite tunes: Who’s Got a Match, Folding Stars, The Captain, Many of Horror et al. We had a good laugh while they were on, chatting and singing along, then they finished and we all started to walk off. Until it clicked in my very drunken brain that they hadn’t played Mountains yet. So I halted the crowd and we waited it out. They played it. I was a happy drunk. Then off to tents for more drunken idiocy!
On his way back, Ben had found a gravel pit that was supposed to be for making barbecues on. He’d stood in it and deeply offended the girl camping next to it, so we walked back up there to see what was going on! We did the only thing we could do at a gravel pit. We stood there singing Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Gravel Pit’. This caused a mosh pit in said gravel pit that offended the locals even more! One of them shouted “I’m sick of people throwing stones at my tent”. Stupidly, I picked up the tiniest piece of grit and threw it. I say threw, it was the weakest ‘throw’ ever. The tiny piece of grit, hardly visible in the dark, never got past my shoe. Talk about over react! The girl in question launched an all out assault, trying to grab me by the throat and screaming at me, as everyone, including myself, laughed at the incident! She calmed down, I apologised and the world was cool. But, jeez! Mental!
Back to the tents for a few more tins, then into tent where I fell asleep.
Sunday – Slipknot & Hometime
I woke up feeling a tad uncomfortable the next morning… and a tad rough! I was face down on the floor of my tent with my face in my rucksack. I distinctly remember going to sleep in my sleeping bag, on my air bed with my face in a pillow! I think the earth must have shifted slightly under my sleeping carcass.
Brew n breakfast later and it was nearly time to head back to the arena for another day of tunes and a day of shitty weather.
Firstly though, it was the last day, and we were planning on darting as soon as Slipknot finished, so it was time to pack everything away. So a few walks back and forth to the car and we’d packed away. I managed to nurse one can of cider on the hour long walk (that’s how rough I was feeling!).
As we were doing this, the fuckwits that were camped next to us decided to kick off about something and got two of our posse kicked out! Nightmare! Apparently, their tent had been wrecked and we were to blame! I don’t think so! We watched you put it up, incorrectly, then break it, then move it, then try and fix it, then leave the top off so the rain came in! So no, you broke it!! Liars!
We headed in to see Arch Enemy, who sounded pretty good. It was the last day and we were hungover somewhat and knackered, so we could only manage a seated position for most of the day! After they’d finished we wandered over to Apollo stage and took a seat for House of Pain. I only know two House of Pain songs, and I was only getting outta my seat for one of them! Our enjoyment of the party tune that is ‘Jump Around’ was marred by an immense fuckup on Sonisphere’s part. The ‘No clashes between Apollo and Saturn stages’ rule was out the window, and as we were jumping around, we heard Parkway Drive kicking in on the main stage. Bloody Hell!!!!!
We legged it over as Jump Around finished and watched Parkway ripping it up! Frontman Winston McCall had gone all out on the first song and sounded knackered for the rest of the set! They were ace though! A cracking set of songs and good stage presence made them one of the bands of the festival. That and the dinghy race they set up across the crowd was a novel idea! There were a few people with boards that were crowdsurfing too! In another unusual band move, one of their guitarists had broken his leg and so was moving himself about in a wheelchair! Fair do’s to him, he covered a fair bit of the stage while hammering out some technical guitar mastery!
At this point, there was a 2 minute silence held for Paul Gray of Slipknot. Probably the quietest festival moment I’ve ever been party to.
In Flames were up next. I’m not really into ‘em so we sat and listened. They sounded quite good, but I only recognized one track – Take This Life – which was cool. Mastodon were next and we were both tired and bored during their set. So bored, that Ben went for a kip in the next field and we just sat and monged out. Before they finished though, a few of us made a move to check out Airbourne.
I only know one AC/DC, I mean Airbourne, song, so it was pretty new to me. They were alright though. Definitely something I can get into. Well, I like DC, I must by default like Airbourne! Enjoyed what I’d heard and it’s always fun to see a band going above and beyond just playing at a festival. Their singer/guitarist Joel O’Keeffe decided to achieve a new high in festival playing and climbed the scaffold to the top of the stage and played some riffs from there! I know he did this at Download last year, but this time he was actually standing on the top! Class. On his way down, intentionally or not, he looked like there was a moment where he was gonna fall! If he had, youtube would be getting a new viral phenomenon! He didn’t though. They finished the set and we meandered across to see Motorhead.
Mark found some energy and managed to get out of his tent for the first time since Friday and met us during Motorhead’s set. I’ve never seen them before. Like never ever. Must’ve played at 5-6 festivals I’ve been at over the years, but I’ve never seem them, so this was summat I had to finally check out. They were good. It was like they were playing in a pub with a few of their mates in the crown. No heirs and graces, no rock star attitudes, just three old school rockers playing loud rock music for the hell of it!
After Motorhead we scooched across for whoever was on second stage. Turned out it was Opeth and none of us like Opeth, so we checked the guide. Fortunately, Cancer Bats were on in a mo, so we headed to the Bohemia tent to watch them! We got there pretty quick, so we actually managed to get in the tent! Didn’t watch all their set as we wanted to scooch back over for Limp Bizkit. Cancer Bats were good though. They had a pretty decent sound and a good response. The singer Liam Cormier is a really good character to have fronting a band. Full of energy and really gets you into the spirit of the music! Anyway, they played ‘Sabotage’ and we did one….
Twas time for the Bizkit! I love Limp Bizkit. They’re just fun to listen to. The came onstage and got right into it. OK, my one gripe is that they seem to play far too much off ‘Chocolate Starfish’. I get that it was probably their biggest record and scored them a number one single, but come on!!!! We got, Hot Dog, My Generation, Rollin, Take a Look Around, Boiler, and from the other four albums (new one included) we got Faith, Break Stuff, Douchebag…. That is all! No Gold Cobra in sight, and I’d been singing it all weekend!!!
They were class though. Last few times I’ve seen them, they’ve not seemed particularly into it. On this day though, they seemed in top form, with Durst looking unusually up for a full day of rocking! Can someone please get them to headline a festival, or even get a decent headlining tour so we can see more songs of other albums!!!! Please? “Whaddya wanna hear?” Said Durst… “PLAY F**KING POLLUTION!”
The rain was still coming down and ruining everything, but we soldiered on to watch Bill Bailey. We were all borderline ‘sod this, let’s go’ but persevered. Now, generally I’m in two minds over Bill Bailey. I’ve seen him on panel shows and he’s ace. I saw some of one of his DVD’s where he was playing tunes and having a laugh and it was good. But I have seen one of his DVD’s and I just didn’t get it and it put me off watching him. His Sonisphere videos did make me laugh though, so maybe watching him would brighten my mood on this dreary day!
It did. He was indeed top class. Walking on stage with a mask of himself on, throwing out a few jokes, some novelty videos and playing some comedy rock tunes and it was all good fun. His Rammstein version of Scarborough Fair was class. He had an amazing reception too, considering it was a comedy performance at a rock/metal festival AND it was pissing down. He said on the day it was the biggest crowd for a comedy performance ever. Have to do some fact checking for that! He ended the set with his horns version of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, making it the third time in three days I’d heard it! Enjoyable, and something different for a festival!
Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain! Thank god my poncho was good! I had my rucksack on over my stomach cause I couldn’t get it on properly under the poncho and I looked like I was heavily pregnant and soaking wet! Didn’t even have my wellies, but my trainers remained mostly dry due to the large shadow my pregnant belly caused! …and on to Slipknot!
We were literally ready to go now! The ‘Knot came on and after 5 minutes of weird noises and flashy lights, they started. Straight into (sic). Then Eyeless, then Wait & Bleed. Thought they were gonna do the whole first album (which would have been ace) but they didn’t. We left before they finished, but did hear Left Behind, Before I Forget, Liberate and a few others. Could hear Heretic Anthem and Duality on the walk to the car! They were pretty damned good, but the shitty weather and long drive home got the better of us, so we hit the road!
Another festival over. Next year, maybe?