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Thursday 28th August, 2003 - http://turkeyphant.livejournal.com/
So I went to Reading
  • To start with userinfoDavid and I had to walk nine miles with the heaviest bags evar because my mother couldn't be bothered to bear the obscene amount of traffic on the Thursday morning.
  • We got in and managed to meet up with userinfoKappo who had acquired a huge plant pot full of water and icy-cool beers. We set up our tent in the right place on our third attempt and then successfully obtained our beautiful pink wristbands.
  • After some cursory exploration, userinfoDavid and I decided it would be a perfect idea to drop my stash of 'shrooms. As we were munching them carefully with Skittles, userinfoKappo came into the tent and begged to get in on the trippage action. And so we had to run to the nearest supply line where he bought ten grams of phil stos to share with me back at the campsite.
  • At about T-plus-twenty Russell decided it would be awfully cool to 'phone me and ask to meet up. Thus, the three of us went on a mission to find his tent and chequered flag. We walked round the river for miles, with the flagpole in sight the entire time. After jumping over a river and looping round a huge field, we finally made our way over to his tent which turned out to be only about fifty yards away from mine. At this point we'd dropped about forty five minutes earlier and the mushroom juice had just started to kick in. I tried to speak to Russell, Pauline and Bea and explain my difficulty with basic interactions, but it was too late. The unmistakable thoughts were rushing through my head and I smiled and I recognised them from last time and welcomed them in. Serotonin surged into my brain cells and somehow I made an excuse to get us away from people and we made our way back the proper way to the campsite again.

    Trip the second had begun...Collapse )

  • And then we partied for the next three days and the nights never ended and all was good forevermore.
  • That Thursday night was the best ever. I was overwhelmed by the festival atmosphere and wandered about getting lost in the eclectic and diverse range of people all wanting to be your friend. Everywhere you looked there were people who supported Portsmouth, were making music, running naked, offering free hugs, offering novel ideologies, peddling drugs, preaching politics, creating art or simply sharing love. It was blissful. Never before have I spoken to so many random people and shared so many joints with strangers.
  • We stopped off for an impromptu disco round a campsite we'd stepped over trying to find friends and they played Underworld for userinfoDavid to dance to.
  • While we returned to the main pathway, I spoke to a strange girl and we mutually winked and decided that we were long-lost best friends. I sat down opposite her while her friends strummed guitars round a raging campfire and we quickly fabricated a shared childhood for a good few minutes. At first my companions were bemused but then, as I spoke more to this completely unfamiliar girl, they were quickly convinced. Over the next couple of hours we passed by her several more times and upon each occasion, dredged up more fantastical yarns from an imagined past to share again. It also took us a whole two days to realise that she was friends with some bloke sat round the same fire the whole time who is a South African gap-year student currently at my school. That was fucking weird too.
  • I spoke lots to Russell and made up with Pauline whose anger had somehow become quelled by the whole incident of encountering me all 'shroomed up. We shared bucket bongs and drunk lots and only Bea was a bitch toward me. Russell also introduced me to a former bum chum who was called Jamie and, although he was completely fucked when we met, was the campest human I have ever encountered.
  • We slept after seven and woke by nine and the pattern continued day after day.
  • I hung with Hannah for most of the first evening, we both got horribly drunk and, for reasons I can no longer recall, she had nowhere to stay and therefore spent the night in my tent. I think she had made some feeble excuse about her inability to find the way back to her tent she was sharing with a girl from school called Verity (who seems decent enough).
  • Friday night was almost as eventful, although you must appreciate that my memory isn't perfect and the events I'm about to describe may well have occurred on Thursday, Saturday or even Sunday evening. We went round exploring for some while and found Red Chris and Portsmouth fans at one point. We saw six naked men placing about and I chased after them hoping for photographic evidence. However, misfortune struck as I failed to make my disposable camera function in time before they had disappeared into the darkness and crowds of revellers.
  • Heysteve had numerous arguments with Blinkgirl – a charming ragamuffin who couldn't help proclaiming her love for Blink 182 at every moment. Heysteve started off by cussing them in that jovial manner he so perfects but, as she continued to come up with defences and reasons why Tom DeLonge doesn't suck dick, he became increasingly vitriolic and abusive. Heysteve ignored all bounds of compassion as he continued to flung acerbic bile in her direction in exacerbation long after Blinkgirl appeared utterly defeated and almost on the verge of tears. Her arguments were met with bitter accusations, denunciations and hatred and still he wouldn't let up until she crawled feebly away from the campfire, mortally wounded. The next day Blinkgirl was cheered up by being lifted on stage during Blink 182's show but Heysteve soon turned up and attempted to steal some of her limelight by proclaiming their set the best gig he'd ever been to in his life and hailing his new rock idols with sycophantic encomia.
  • There were also about five girls staying near our tent who, confusingly, all shared the same christian name.
  • We befriended some random girls who offered us free beers and vino tinto. One was a younger sister who was incredibly hott and her attractiveness was only increased by her exceedingly cute lispish voice that made her seem about nine years old. As she was utterly wankered, Heysteve naturally tried to bone her; ultimately to no avail. We walked around with them the whole evening, got lost for about three hours and introduced them to all manner of strange people (including some of Russell's bumfriends) we met upon the way. A thousand strangers, hugged us, in introduced us to singalongs and intoxicated debauchery and party games. We departed from their company at what must have been about four and promised to meet up the next day in a giant tent designed solely for dancing and falling over. A combination of forgetfulness and distractions ensured that we never met up with these enjoyable females again.
  • I queued up for the McDonald's toilet for ninety minutes on the Saturday morning and, as such, missed the arrival of the radiant girls: Catriona, Tara and a flirtatious Sophie. After they went off to see rubbish skapunk bands, I went off with Hannah and we purchased something claiming to be MDMA but which merely incessantly buzzed in my head and pissed me off because I couldn't concentrate on what people were saying. Harriet arrived and said hi before disappearing forever and Hannah fed me million and millions of poppers. Waiting for the good bands to come on I bade my time with a few beers and then far far far too much weed in the hope that it would make the buzzing go away. Unfortunately that was not the case and I soon felt unwell.
  • I admit it: I failed. I lay shivering on the grass despite the cloudless sky and the thermometers reaching up toward thirty degrees. I couldn't stop retching, desperately trying to remove the toxins from my body. I was almost delusional and couldn't really think straight. My whole body was freezing cold and I was violently shaking, yet sweat was pouring off my entire body as through I were in a sauna. After perhaps an hour of trying to throw up, I finally achieved it and, over the next twenty minutes, repeatedly emptied my stomach of its contents until I was heaving dryly and painfully. It was about two thirty when I looked up to see Sophie with the others – she was still cutely smiling but now looked through me and no longer gave me those coy little looks. I rolled away from the patches of sick in the grass and lay down to troubled sleep for the next three hours or so. I felt I'd missed a lot more than the day's music.
  • Later that day I was feeling sufficiently well to get up and walk into the arena. I only felt up to watching The Cooper Temple Clause and Hundred Reasons from afar which, as you can imagine, was a mighty shame.
  • By that evening I was feeling sufficiently well to walk around freely but not to be able to appreciate Blur's set. I didn't know any of the new songs and couldn't care to concentrate nor get anywhere near the main stage, so went back to the campsite where I could still just hear them playing. I think this was the evening on which userinfoDavid disappeared for several hours. After some form of fucking about and getting drunk again Catriona and Tara took Sophie and I over to the tent of her male chums about nine hundred miles away. We must have stayed there from about two to four thirty and, although it was all very relatively amicable, I knew none of them and found myself becoming steadily more bored. At quarter to four a torrential downpour began and some abused girl remained outside throughout, lying rather to close to the rapidly dying fire completely comatose. All the others put out their spliffs and dived into the tents with the rest of us crowding in afterward. I remained outside for a good half hour seeing as there appeared to be no room for me. During that half hour Sophie and Tara continued to complain of tiredness and Catriona adamantly refused to return to our tent such was her desire for one of the man's cock. Eventually we came back to the fire and, tiredness instantly forgotten, stayed up chatting for a good hour or so during which Heysteve made about four passes each at Tara and Sophie. After Catriona had finally returned and people were retiring to their tents for the purpose of slumber, I led the three girls into my tent where userinfoDavid was already sleeping and, after a lot of giggling, we managed to squeeze in and get a short rest.
  • It was fun waking up to The Chilis' Otherside coming through the static on the communial radio.
  • On the Sunday I was feeling really rather knackered due to having washed so rarely, taking so many many downers and only lying down for about seven hours over three nights. I still managed to see several wonderful bands but, after exhausting myself all over again in The Eighties Matchbox, I lay on the grass outside the Radio One tent and drifted in and out of sleep to the bands around Hell Is For Heroes. As I was on my back passing between various states of unconsciousness, I was roused by the shadow of two figures standing over me. One was a man trying to talk to me and the other was a hott Asian chixor. Although I was far too dazed and exhausted to pay attention to what was going on or even realise I was actually awake the guy chatted to me for a while and took a photograph of me while the chixor stood next to him and smiled a lot. I woozily trotted back to the tent later on at which point I kinda realised the enormity of what had happened. Waking amongst the gargantuan Reading crowds, this bloke had noticed my Mikabomb t-shirt as I was sprawled on the grass by some loud bands. He woke me up, introduced the chixor as both his girlfriend and none other than one of the hotties from the fricking band. Like no way dooder! A mans from Mikabomb had spotted me at Reading by virtue of my Mikabomb-branded clothing purchased way back then and spoken to me and photograph my body. I hastily txtz0red userinfoTD and Abu and everyone else to gloat and was rewarded when they then rang me back crying. It also reminded me of that time I was walking down the High Street in Canters avec Russell and saw some mans walking past me with a Mikabomb t-shirt on. I yelped "yay mikabomb" as he disappeared and he returned my surprised look because, as I noticed later, I took was wearing my shirt too. Rawk!
  • On Sunday evening I was thoroughly bored with Heysteve being a cunt and everyone else's failure to question his inflammatory remarks that must all have been direct quotations of Daily Mail headlines. I went for a wander around amongst the anarchy I was so woefully unprepared for. Kids were pulling down the lights, learning to cheat, learning to hate, learning to fight. Everyone was smashing shit up and throwing bricking into people's faces – rejoicing in pointless suffering. I was simultaneously terrified and intrigued. After walking past a huge bunching of people baiting/singing to some hotdog seller (I later read somewhere on the internet that it was some flash-mob-like event) I returned to my tent where I learned that some cooonts were going around setting fire to people's tents. Sure enough, over the next few hours, we heard lots of sirens and witnesses several piles of flaming canvas and waterproof plastics. I went over to one of the pyres and almost lost all faith in festivals and love when I saw the mindless rioting hooligan dickheads drunkenly picking fights with stewards in a manner oh so very different from the atmosphere of the other days at Reading. Alas.
  • People I met included the following:
    • userinfoBnaks, natch
    • userinfoKappo
    • Heysteve
    • Woss
    • Natalie
    • Dean
    • Pi Boy (so-called because of his homemade π hoodie
    • The wonderfully nice man named Saudi whom I had much respect for
    • The boss girl who had a Clipper lighter
    • A crazy guy who sailed a very long way down the pissriver in a giant flowerpot (no really: I kid you not)
    • Some stoners who claimed to be from Crawley but who kept losing their bongs
    • The one that userinfoKappo boned
    • The other one that userinfoKappo boned
    • the other guys in tents around us whose names I can't recall plus about seven others who probably emerged from userinfoKappo's tent at various points in time
    • Russell from school
    • Pauline, who was actually civil but who will mock me forever about the 'shrooms
    • Also: Bea who was sharing with Russell and Pauline in Dave's tent who made a huge bong out of a barrel, but otherwise was an utter bitch
    • Jenny Armstrong (no not "phœnix", userinfoTD) from school
    • Who then introduced me to those peeps I'd noticed at various Miss Black America gigs
    • Schmeeeeeee and chums
    • Stuart Frith and Milk Boy once more by the burger van
    • Pendy and Mini-Pendy both looking hard and aroused
    • My good friend Hannah Robinson
    • And her brother and some girl from my sister's house called Verity
    • Some random people who danced to the Trainspotting soundtrack with us
    • My fake long-lost friend
    • Who introduced us to that King's gappie
    • The dancing friends and a bunch of other people who joined in with us that night
    • Blinkgirl
    • An incredibly camp guy Russell introduced as Jamie who was completely off his face on a cocktail of uppers
    • The marvellous Crimson Christopher who we spent about three hours trying to find one evening
    • Some girls I must have seen at some Miss Black America gigs before who sold me a fanzine I promptly lost amongst the frenzied moshing during Kinesis
    • plug_in_phil (twice) who I desperately wanted to photograph, but kept forgetting about
    • lawragh in the very same crowd
    • The nosering girl and her boyfriend from the 100 Club
    • Some other random chick I'd seen at a gig in the past
    • Harriet
    • Sophie and Tara and Catriona. They turned up while I was queuing for the McDonald's toilet and stayed until I passed
    • Henry Lodge who, after messing about for two days, decided he would turn up albeit only for about fifteen minutes or something.
    • Chris and Kristian – yet more affiliates of Catriona. I used their camp fire
    • "Ah can play Metallica solos!"
    • Another Milk Boy of sorts.
    • Lubie (who's still fuckdamn hott) and Fiona and Ali.
    • Mrs. Mikabomb outside the Radio One tent
    • Anna who used to be my sister's bestest buddy and Jo Nye (my god, she's related to Richie).
    • However, there was no sign of either Old Hannah Johnson or Rossie or Nick (from the pub)
  • And I saw the following bands:
    • Friday
      • Mull Historical Society : Mr. MacIntyre was very ace and included a great crowd-singalong that he claimed would be sampled on some new CD or something. It was much more exciting that I expected although I do adore the first album.
      • The Datsuns : Perhaps I didn't give them all that much of a chance but, to me, they were nothing exciting.
      • The Darkness : Although I quite like them now, I got sick and tired of everyone there raving about these guys. They came across as dicks and were wanky and overrated. In a live setting, they are so so very mediorcre.
      • Placebo : I enjoyed it much more than at Brixton because I was familiar with the new songs and this was one of the few times I bothered getting close to the front of the Main Stage. Still, the lack of Nancy Boy is always a huge disappointment as is not playing even one song from the inimitable eponymous album
      • Interpol : Rather damn ace, actually.
      • Elbow : They were great even though I hadn't heard the much-hyped second LP. Ribcage was hypnotic and I enjoyed it although my feet were in excruciating pain because Guy Garvey behaved like a god and they pumped the speakers up to eleven.
      • The Polyphonic Spree (screw the marking system because it just ain't enough): After barely surviving Elbow's set I was desperate to go and lie down to give my feet a rest. However, I thought I ought to at least stay for one song given how good The Spree are meant to be live and persuaded Hannah to wait with me. They took fucking ages to come on stage but after about thirty seconds I had completely forgotten about the pain and was jumping up and down. It was fucking immense in every single way. I adored the album but this was seventeen zillion times better – I had no idea a show could ever be this good. We were in the second row and I loved every second: I was unable to stop beaming and soaking in the happiness. Damn it, it was almost as good as the bloody mushrooms.
    • Saturday
      • The Cooper Temple Clause : Rather fucking ace really. I'm sure my rating would go up at least one notch if I'd been well enough to actually get somewhere vaguely close to the stage.
      • Hundred Reasons : I'm still unconvinced about this band. It took me a while to get into the mp3s I downloaded and I was equally unimpressed with their performance as with their album. Still they may still convince me yet, and I did choose to buy one of their singles from a bargain bin.
      • Blur : I'm sorry everyone but *yawn*. I never heard Think Tank and couldn't be bothered to make any effort. I adore Blur but I was just too tired to care about much more than singing along to Song 2.
    • Sunday
      • The Applicators : With prejudice based solely on their name, it was unsurprisingly that they sounded like a generic and formulaic sub-Josie and the fucking Pussycats band with songs that anyone could write in five minutes.
      • Kinesis : Pretty damn exciting seeing as I've still failed to listen to any of their songs outside of the gig environment. I suck at learning lyrics but userinfoDavid and I got into a good place and moshed so fucking hard. Unfortunately, I still didn't know the songs well enough to cream my pants about them. Still, they were much better than at the concorde2, but I suppose they could have done with a more intimate venue because Conor's hott.
      • Winnebago Deal : Bloody hell. Straight after Kinesis as well. They gave me all I wanted and more. I knew all the songs and it was at the ace Carling Tent. The crowd consisted of a million huge fat tattooed beer-guzzling old Hell's Angels dudes who started the hugest, most incredibly violent mosh circle evar. I very nearly died about nine times but thankfully my shoes stayed on and I survived with only a few bruises. The Bens were gods and even played the winning duh-duh-stop song which pissed all the n00bs off. Still, everyone there loved them and excitedly chatted about how fucking incredible they were afterward.
      • Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster : Fucking A, man. I knew Abu would have loved it, so phoned him during Celebrate Your Mother.
      • Hell Is For Heroes : Not bad at all. I quite enjoyed it and would like to see them again in the tiny back room of some pub. I might try to steal a CD from someone...
      • System Of A Down : Seemed a million miles away and the new album is blaters arse. Don't get me wrong: I love them really, but tens of thousands of people clearly loved them more that night and I was too knackered to fight my way through the crowds.
      • Yeah Yeah Yeahs : Karen O didn't get nekkid.
      • The Music : It started slow but that wasn't enough to disguise the fact that they're actually a damn good band. I danced with Russell and all was good. The People was fucking ace and the entire crowd loved them. Especially the man who miraculously managed to roll a spliff from hashish in the middle of a six-minute mosh.
    • I was devastated that I missed out on most of Saturday and the lack of The White Stripes, Lostprophets and The 'Smack was unfortunate. As usual, I moaned about all the stage clashes and particular mention must go to those ace bands I missed out on: The Scream, Grandaddy, Serafin, Ladytron, Electric Six, Doves, The Streets, Junior Senior, The Mars Volta, The Thrills, Lamb, Death In Vegas, FC Kahuna, Sparta, Mclusky, British Sea Power, Longview, etc. etc. Plus, I was upset that Mark Thomas was so packed I couldn't even get inside.
  • After stealing enough tent pegs to replace those that had gone missing, we set off home again more tired than ever. Leaving the campsite with a ton of ten poles on my back, I reflected back on the past weekend. One of the things I was most proud about was my expert control of my bowels that let me get away with only taking one shit the entire five days. I was probably assists by the face I only ate burgers and soup for the whole jaunt.
  • We queued for hours to buy train tickets and just managed to fit on the train. I got home all smelly and knackered to find that £20 worth shrooms had gone mouldy, no parents were home and that there was no way of getting to userinfoSammie's. I had spent £15 on a taxi and there was now only a week to go until school started again. What's more, Sophie had read the most embarrassing parts my journal (god, there's enough to choose from) before coming to Reading and sent me a long email about it that I hadn't been able to read before leaving. Also: I was fucked off and tired and hungry and after my huge euphoric high of the first night, I'd lost faith in humanity again like a right wanker.
  • But, in the end, the thing that mattered most to me was seeing those clouds rush by.


    mood: knackered tired
    choon: Air – Kelly Watch The Stars