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I can't be the only person...

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...who thinks that the start of the new AC/DC single 'Rock N Roll Train' sounds a bit like Tina Turner's song 'Nutbush City Limits'.

Leeds Festival 2008

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We're back from the Leeds Festival now. Unfortunately a lot of the bands suffered from poor sound quality, especially on the main stage where the sound was sometimes muffled or microphones weren't working so vocals were inaudible.

Highlights include:

  • Tenacious D put on a good show.
  • The Plain White Ts, who were blessed with a rare moment of good sound quality.
  • A singer/comedian called Stephen Lynch in the Alternative Tent. We had never heard of him but the tent had filled up with many fans who sang along with him.
  • The Manic Street Preachers, who headlined the NME tent on the Sunday. Their set consisted almost entirely of Greatest Hits and old favourites, which is what you want at a festival.

This years festival was muddier than any Leeds I've been to before. I've ended up with a 'welly tan', where my legs have only tanned in a band around my knees.


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Leeds Festival Shop

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Written 27/08/08 but backdated to when it happened

The Leeds Festival site has a supermarket which sells a lot of packaged convenience food. Sunday is the last day of the festival so the shop usually has all food items as buy one get one free.

When we went to the shop on Sunday evening we noticed a slight anomaly with some prices. Cakes which used to cost £1.00 for a pack of 2 suddenly cost £1.80 per pack. Packs of 4 of cookies for £1.50 had somehow turned into packs of 2 cookies for £1.50 each. Cheeky ****ers.

Leeds Festival 2007

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We got back from the Leeds Festival last night. I'll post some photos and comments when I get time - probably back-dated to when things actually happened.

Comments and photos now uploaded.

Highlights of the Leeds Festival 2007

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  • Smashing Pumpkins playing an acoustic version of 1979
  • Nine Inch Nails ending their set with a version of Hurt which borrowed from both their own and the Johnny Cash version.
  • Simon Amstell and Ed Byrne at the Alternative Tent
  • Hypnodog
  • The weather - brilliantly sunny most days with no rain!
  • The milkshake stalls in the main arena - the chocolate hobnob milkshake was great
  • After we'd packed our tent away on the monday, finding a couple of abandoned unopened cases of beer nearby
  • Being allowed campfires - they were banned last time I went, in 2005. It was good to sit around the fire at night, chatting with our neighbours and enjoying a beer or two
  • Gogol Bordello on the main stage. Described as Gypsy Punk, they were good festival material
  • The start of the Red Hot Chili Peppers act when it looked like they were going to be good


  • The end of the Chilis when the singer walked off and the rest of the band jammed an instrumental for ages before leaving. There was no big finale, the concert just fizzled out, leaving people feeling disappointed with a sense of anticlimax.
  • The cost of drink in the main arena - no way were we going to pay £3.20 for a tasteless pint of Carling. Thankfully the 'Wine Bar' had 500ml bottles for £6.50, which wasn't cheap but was more acceptable.
  • The Enemy coming on stage to the tune of Too Much Too Young, pretending they are the new Specials, but the lead singer came across as some sort of moron knob-head who insists on using f**k as every other word.

There were also the now obligatory trouble-makers on the sunday night. Thankfully there was little violence and no actual rioting, but a lot of peoples tents got burned. We acquired a few refugees as neighbours, who managed to salvage a couple of their tents and carried them halfway across the site to safety.

Leeds 2007 Photographs

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Here is a selection of photographs from this years Leeds Festival.  

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In the middle of the night

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I was listening to the radio, moving through the stations trying to find something I wanted to listen to. I had to turn it off after hearing the Billy Joel song River of Dreams twice on different staions. I hadn't heard the song for ages - I don't dislike it but I think once per half hour is enough for me.

I mentioned this to 'Jack' on MSN messenger and she had the song stuck in her head for ages afterwards.

Eurovision Song Contest

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Europe seems to have suffered a collective sense of humour failure tonight. The contest was won by Serbia with a fairly dreary ballad, whereas the Ukraine deserved better but only came second.

Apart from the Ukraine (who benefited from the Eastern Bloc policy of voting for friends and neighbours), no other novelty act scored well. France should have scored better than they did - the singer jogging around the stage with a toy cat around his neck had to be worth something. Scooch did surprisingly badly - we would have been better with Pif Paf Pof.

The swedish song sounded very familiar but I can't work out what it reminded me of.

Turn your ****** phone off

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There must have been one very embarrassed person listening to the Birmingham Philharmonic. During a short silence in the middle of a piece of music (possibly Gershwin's American in Paris) the familiar beeps of the Nokia 'SMS' ringtone could be clearly heard.

Piff Paff Poff

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Tonight the lucky viewers of BBC1 got a chance to vote for the act to represent us in the Eurovision Song Contest. After the first round of votes it was narrowed down to 2 acts:

  • Cyndi, with a dull unoriginal 'power ballad by numbers' combining the worst bits of that Titanic song, Wind Beneath my Wings and various others and

  • Scooch, an act reminiscent of the 'Piff Paff Poff' episode of the highly underrated short lived comedy The High Life. It's been far too long since British TV has had a camp Air Steward song and dance routine.

The final phone votes were counted and it was down to Terry Wogan to tell us the winner. He initially announced that Cyndi had won but there was a confused silence then he corrected himself. I had mixed feelings - I thought poor cow, she briefly thought she was going to Eurovision followed by that's more like it, Cyndi's song was a bit crap.

We'll have to wait til May to find out whether our novelty song and dance act is good enough to win.

Leonard Cohen and REM

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I was listening to the radio this afternoon and Steve Wright (on Radio 2) and he played the song 'Sunzanne' by Leonard Cohen. I thought the song sounded very familiar but it took a bit of googling with the lyrics to find out why.

The lines (from Suzanne):

And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you

have the same tune and are very similar to:

You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever.
You know that it sounds childish

from 'Hope' by REM. According to Wikipedia (so it must be true), the band didn't realise how similar the two songs were until after they had recorded theirs. As a result (and presumably to avoid and ugly legal action) they gave Cohen a co-writing credit.

Lordi, what a surprise!

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Possible the most deserved Eurovision win since Bucks Fizz and Making your Mind Up. I never thought I'd live to see the day when a Scandanavian heavy metal band would win Eurovision. Especially not one with lyrics such as 'arockalypse' and 'day of rockening'. Unmissable TV. Well done Finland!

Grandaddy no more

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I was listening to last nights Mark Radcliffe Show on my way to work this morning and he was talking to Jason Lyttle, from the band Grandaddy. One of the things they talked about was the band splitting up. The Sophtware Slump was one of my favourite albums and it was a shame to hear that the band were no more. Hopefully Jason's next project, either solo or with another band, will produce some more great albums.

Reel Big Fish

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We've seen them live before (at the Leeds Festival 2 years ago) and they're good live so we went to see them again, this time at the University of Warwick Students' Union.

The first support act were called Fandangle and were quite good - they were in the same ska style as the main act. (We bought one of their CD singles for £1 and listened to later on - they were actually better live than on the record!).
The second act were called Zebrahead and they were more of a standard rock band. Their music was a bit too similar to a lot of other bands, although they did have some good songs.

Reel Big Fish themselves were good. I recognised a few songs from the last time I saw them. While we were at the merchendise table at the start of the night, alongside the usual t-shirts they also had ties. I decided to buy one to wear for work.

Leeds Festival: Going Home

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If arriving at the festival was chaotic, going home was even worse. Thousands of cars were being squeezed through a couple of narrow lanes to the main road. Instead of trying to queue up, we packed all of our stuff into the car and went back into the campsites for some 'tidying up'. A lot of people don't want to bother taking unopened tins back with them. Fair enough if you went there by coach or train, it is extra weight to carry. This means that there can be some rich pickings left behind after people have gone.

We walked through the camp sites looking for tins of beer or occasionally food. Last year we managed to get around 80 cans of beer of various types. This year wasn't as good, we only managed around 50.