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Tuesday 3rd September, 2002 - http://turkeyphant.livejournal.com/
Sex on my fingers.
Your beauty took my breath away
And all day your company was so relaxing, easy going ways.
We saw the first signs of summer and springtime change.
Walking barefoot along the sand, I hadn't planned to stay.
Yeah, we've been walking barefoot all summer;
It'll be sad, my friend, to see it come to an end.
Why can’t we just quit?

It was Friday night. While my mother entertained old friends downstairs, I made the most of my opportunity and crept upstairs to covertly download the interweb thingy. I spoke to some random girl, who had seemed to add me without reason, about how appalling the world was for not letting me go to Reading. After staying online to bemoan about this for as long as I dared, I went down to eat some food. Just as I stepped into the kitchen, the telephone rang – it was Weasley. Once I'd stopped chanting "Weasley you are gee/fat", he was able to ask me whether I wanted to go to Reading on Saturday. I quickly became very happy and, even better, my parents actually said yes – probably the guilt acting on their conscience. And so, I went to sleep that night a very pleased boy especially as the ticket was only going to cost me a negligible twenty-five pounds. Still, I did have to stay up forever that night listening to about a thousand bands in order to remember the lyrics...

As always seems to precede a good day, I woke up at some absurd hour so that I could travel to Redhill and catch the appropriate train, all while eating a blueberry muffin designed to keep me going through the day. At Redhill, I bumped into Tom and Dom, but went down to find TD then Wealsey who was already in Maccy D's with Mole. I took a piss, they bought shit and soon we were on a train bound for Reading. On the way, we had a nice argument about shorts sucking asses and trousers 0wnz0ring everything. You see, Weasley loves to wear his backpacking tourist shorts and Molee invariable has a pair on in the summer. However, it's clear to all that wearing shorts is just a bit gay and thus, should be avoided at all costs. We got to Reading station and, because we are all pikey (except TD and Tom), we buy illegal cheap kiddie tickets. As we passed through the barrier one by one, the ticket man asked us our ages: everyone said fifteen. However, when stupid Molee walked through, he smiled broadly and proudly declared he was sixteen. Immediately turned back, the fool even went and got halfway through a huge excess fares queue before realising he could just go and lie to the other ticket man to get through. How we chuckled... And that was only at the diabolically high concentration of people wearing Sum 41 t-shirts. Weasley bought sackloads of food, and Molee spent ages learning how to bargain so he could sell his other spare ticket to the touts. Weasley then chirped up with some moronic comment, saying that the touts were stupid because he'd only seen them buying tickets and he didn't expect anyone would want to be sold one.

We latched on behind a girl who had a map to get to the actual site. However, she was very stupid, and led us in a huge great big loop before we met the crowds and found our own way via free drinks (w00t!) and free gum (brace = not w00t). As we walked down a long road passing numerous fake t-shirt stalls, we somehow bumped into Ian, Jack, Rob, Kapmandu etc. and exchanged brief words with them about the incestuousness of The White Stripes. Eventually, we made our way into the Reading place and pikeyed a programme while the stupid people sampled the luxury festival-finest portaloos. However, we had failed to steal an expensive timetabley thing so had to buy one, and then had to walk miles to exchange our tickets for magical wristbands. Going in separate queues, Weasley and I came out against all odds and beat TD and Molee in our Super Race 3000.

Finally in the main arena, we wondered around awestruck, and settled down quite a distance from Sahara Hotnights who were onstage, to plan and overcome the various stage clashes. Sahara Hotnights were actually very good indeed – very energetic and their singer's voice sounded similar to Poly Styrene. We had picked up free Orange-branded sitting down mats, so I carefully planned to emblazon it with something along the lines of "Alec Empireeeeee is teh fuckl0rd!!!!!!!1111oneoneone" in fat board pen. Despite TD getting all confused, I ended up plotting guide marks for a 6666 logo. I cunningly turned the neck attachment of the timetable into makeshift compasses and started to draw out my masterpiece. Even though I rüttered up my rough, I'd already wasted so much ink I had to continue, and ended up making a rather superb representation when I'd finished colouring in. Even TD had to cease mocking me.

Then Vex Red came on. They were an exact replica of the perfect pile of wank. Oooh, they just swore – that'll boost their pre-teen record sales. The music was über-generic and the hardcore lead singer came up with an immortal quote: "It's never too early to rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111oneoneone" before addressing his three fans with the usual "This is the best day of my life" etc. horse poo.

TD and I immediately ran away to the Evening Session Stage to see what was on there. I think it was The Libertines, and they were pretty good. Completely fortuitously, I spotted Rütter Rossie and Nick from the pub, so danced over to talk. Rossie and I talked and, because I forgot he's a leet h@><0r, my conversation with Nick was reduced to trying to consider just how cool Joe Satriani live is. However, by the end of the set, we went our different ways and TD and I returned for Andrew WK. Weasley had bought some overpriced water, so we were able to stock up on fluids before heading to the front of the stage. TD and I managed to get about two rows from the barrier and Andrew WK didn't disappoint starting with der, d-d-d-der, d-d-d-d-der, d-derrrrrerr, d-d-d-der, d-d-d-d-d-derrr, d-der dundundundundundundundundun DUN DUN DUN der - IT'STIMETOPARTY! He was absolutely fantastic (so very gee, just the way you love him) though the voice channel was criminally low. Still, we all filled in and, towards the end when Party Hard rounded off his slot, Mr. WK was stood on the barrier and was instantly assimilated into the crowd. The stewards couldn't hold his sweaty body back, and we all grabbed our share of Andrew WK's ass dragging him in with us. He landed almost directly on top of me and, after patting him a bit, I reached for his mike to try and shout "st0w" as loudly as humanly possible. It was even more fantastic as half the crowd vehemently hated him and were struggling to get close enough to strangle him with their wristbands. Andrew WK did a fantastic coolio dance, then ran away.

TD and I then went to get in line for Alex Empire, which had the added benefit of meaning we were as far away from Less Than Jake as possible. TD texted Banks saying "Haha, we're watching Alex Empireee and you're not. He's really ace an- No! - surely not? Omg! He's getting NAKED!" We queued up for Alec Empire, gradually pushing our way to the front through the sets of Goldfinger (okay, but too skapunky) and The Icarus Line (cool and splendidly attired in wonderful array, but probably worse due to far, far too much feedback). All the time, there was a very cute girl dancing next to me who kept accidentally-on-purpose? bumping into me. In-between songs we would glace at each other and our eyes would meet, locked together for a few seconds. Her hand kept brushing against mine, and our fingertips pressed slightly together for many, many fractions of a second too long. I began to feel like there was a small ring around me, a buffer zone, with no-one there, and all the people and sound was blocked out – it was just me and the girl together moving in slow motion, and when I looked up I saw a huge white spotlight shining down on us. Still, I knew I was being foolish yet again, and did nothing, just waiting again for our bodies to slide together or her to touch my ass again. There was also this large guy a bit behind her who I was terrified was her boyfriend/brother. And when I think back, I feel so stupid, as usual. But then Alec Empire came on, and she was forgotten about as I made a last desperate lunge for the barrier.

We watched in awe as three drum kits were wheeled out (one was later removed) and gasped in amazement at the samples and effects soundstation. Nic Endo was far too fit to be real. Despite not being as fit as on the cover of Intelligence And Sacrifice, he was an absolute fucklord. I whipped out my hand-crafted Empire logo and desperately waved it around as much as was possible in the packed tent. I was actually rather surprised at the turnout. The only bad thing was that the voice and samples were broken for the first couple of songs :( (no leet "Someday I'll go to heaven. Jesus said I would." in the middle of Everything Starts With A Fuck >_<) Still, he didn't disappoint as a showman. The inter-song banter was top quality and he attacked a gee cameraman. Then, according to TD's prophecy, he took off his top and instantly became über-fit. That prompted him to sing standing on the barrier for a few songs as he swatted away the hands of a thousand lawsuit-fearing marshals who had jumped forward to try to hold him back. He came over to TD and I and allowed us to grope his semi-naked body. Which was fun. After complaining for ages about silly Reading people trying to make him turn his show down, Alex Empireeee pumped the volume up to eleven for his finale, and then dived into the crowd to the horror of the guardsmen. Exhausted, everyone trooped out of that tent muttering to each other about how damn fucking amazing Alec Empire is – every person a new convert.

TD and I found Danny, then quickly bought food and rushed back to see the last half of The Hives. Howlin' Pelle Almquist is hilarious. We slowly made our way further toward the main stage and sat down in the middle of a million people going crazy for Summer 41. I was especially proud of myself, as I immediately fell asleep during their set. I was woken once they'd left the stage, so we fought to stand up and walked forward in preparation for Ash, who nobody really knew whether they were playing or not. On the way, I bumped into the girl we saw at Slipknot. I was pretty sure it was her. At the time, Abu and I had come to the conclusion we had met her at tennis. Anyway, this time we both recognised each other again and, as I went over to check it was her, she asked if it was me. So, we chatted for a while, and it turned out she was from my old, old school in Portsmouth. The primary school I was at from four to seven. I hadn't realised at all but then it all came back to me - she was my "girlfriend" for most of year one or two. Somehow we had managed to recognise each other and fuck, it was lucky we bumped into each other among the other hundred thousand people there. Almost as lucky as me getting the ticket in the first place... It was fantastic to catch up for a few minutes and we swapped mobile numbers before I ventured further forward.

While waiting for Ash to come on, I talked to some guy who suddenly dropped his trousers and pissed into a bottle before flinging it open-topped across the crowd. After a few seconds, the same bottle came back our way and hit someone else to our right. This sparked a fairly big bottle fight, which ensued up until the appearance of fit Tim and fitter Charlotte Hatherly. TD and I managed to get to the front where we could see her better, and they were fantastic. My only complaint is that they didn't play Walking Barefoot, but there were very horrendously violent moshcircles for some reason. After losing TD and Danny, I bumped into Moleee and he put me up on his shoulders for a song and the experience was so awesome I dare not try to describe it.

Afterwards, the stewards showered us with so much water I ended up standing in puddles from my dripping shirt. I made my way back a bit to have a rest, and then it started pouring with heavy, heavy rain. After playing Idioteque over the PA, Muse came on and Matt Bellamy was an absolute god. Pogoing to New Born under strobe lights in torrential rain was probably the best moment of the day (ace song + damp bodies + a million people = best song evar ^_^) and Mr. Bellamy proved himself to be the keyboard maestro. They even had cool background animations. Foolishly, I left after Feeling Good – partly because I wanted to see Jimmy Eat World and partly because I didn't think I'd survive to preach about Empire if I stayed out in the rain any longer. At Jimmy Eat World I could only get round the edges, but I only knew two thirds of the songs, so that was probably best. During the set, I was sure I saw Dom's ex, Amy, but she didn't recognise me and then I got into Salt Sweat Sugar and The Middle. I then left to catch the start of the Foos, but later found out I'd rüttered up because I missed Sweetness as well as Bliss and Plug In Baby from Muse grrr... I couldn't find anyone, and had no money to 'phone Rob, so I watched Grohl storm through Breakout, Generator and Learn To Fly before we had to leave. I'd really wanted to hear Next Year, Stacked Actors, Monkey Wrench and M.I.A. too, but we had a train to catch. We ran back to the station and Weasley kept saying moronic things and falling over into mud.

Once on the train, we had more fun arguments especially the one where TD and I argued that microwaves aren't actually the gastronomically supreme cooking apparatus used only by élite Michelin star chefs. We also all promised never to take off our Reading wristbands. I took the train back to Gatwick by myself, briefly mourned over the broken Hotmail booths and bumped into Tim who was wasted. I finally got home, and was so knackered I collapsed onto the sofa and nearly fell asleep there after finding out that Pompey were top of the league.

You are broke all summer but you still sing;
Don't need money when it's sunny, don't need anything.
Just need music and sun and laughter and no currency.
The sun on your bare shoulders, it comes for free.

Yeah we've been walking barefoot all summer;
It'll be sad my friend to see it come to an end.
Why can't we just quit?
Yeah we've been walking barefoot all summer;
Why can't we just design to live like this all the time?
Why can't we just quit?

    mood: Happily knackered.
    choon: Ash – Walking Barefoot