Flash
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Reading Festival 2003
Bloke and I set off to Reading for the August Bank Holiday, since the line-up was fantastic. We only saw a handful of bands - those I bought the ticket for - but had a great time. (The rest of the time was interspersed with trips to the pub, playing cribbage, or crashed out.)

The full set of photos are unindexed here.

Friday

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InMe opened the festival with a strong performance.

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Finch, who I had hoped would be good, were not - noisy but incohesive.

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We were obviously on the Heathrow flightpath, as Concorde passed us once a day.

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Placebo were pretty good this year after some early sound problems required guitar swaps mid-song.

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After the dull performance in Big Day Out 99 I was impressed this time round!

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We didn't want to watch Blink182 but were stuck as they were sandwiched between proper bands.

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Still, they had some pyrotechnics to keep us amused.

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The lights were bright and shiny. The music was puerile and dull.

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And they wrote "FUCK" in flames on their backdrop, but as one letter lit up another would extinguish.

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Linkin Park were the best band of the weekend.

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The sound quality was excellent...

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...and the performances were tight and energetic. A great night!
Saturday

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This car belonging to 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster was parked in the disabled and guest campsite.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, caught as we wandered around scavenging food. Sounded quite good although I don't know their music.

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The Bloke, with me in the Carling Stage tent.

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While we waited for Billy Bragg we saw Brendan Benson. All his songs sounded like they'd borrowed riffs from other songs. It all sounded familiar without being distinctive.

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Billy Bragg didn't disappoint with a great set, including some old classics, some newer tracks, and political comment.

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The tent was dark so it was hard to get a shot, but the lights went up as we applauded New England at the close.
Sunday

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We visited a pub next to St Mary's church to watch the Grand Prix. The church is quite pretty, and over 1000 years old.

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System Of A Down, my favourite Armenian metal band. (How many can there be?)

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Ew, Daron's gone all hairy. He was so cute before!

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Cheers, moshing, circle pits and feet waving in the air.

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Shavo's still bald.

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An appreciative audience as the lights come up.

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Metallica's mixing desk - it's huge! The hairy hippy at the console had a large spliff as well as the knobs to play with.

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After leading us on with a LONG prelude, Metallica hit the stage.

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I was worried they would play too much new stuff but they only played a few tracks from St Anger.

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Most of it was old stuff like Harvester of Sorrows, Master of Puppets and Battery, so I rather enjoyed them.

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They had much better pyrotechnics than Blink182.

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The fireworks were well-timed, but fairly tame.

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My typical view of the stage as Metallica drew to a close.

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Lights dance over the campsite as we head to our car to drive home.




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