Reading festival last year was held in Reading (no really, it was) from Friday August 22nd to Sunday August 23rd.

I toddled along on Friday with my dad (don’t laugh!!). Once there we roamed around for a bit and found a suitable(ish) place to pitch our tent (nicely positioned so where I slept there was a nice big lump in my back, cheers dad). Because it was now about 10 or 11 am and the first band didn’t start till about 1 pm, we roamed around for a bit.

A SHIT load of bands were playing (as is usual for festivals) and I saw the following <deep breath>: Mainstream, Strangelove, Catatonia, Symposium, and Suede (on Friday), Stereophonics, Apollo 440, The Orb and The MANICS!! (on Saturday), Radish, Dog Eat Dog, Descendants, 3 Colours Red, Bush, Marilyn Manson, Audioweb and finally Metallica (on Sunday), which was nice. My dad saw loads more bands than me, ‘cos I was with the listees!!

The listees I met there were as follows: Jaime Hutchinson (Friday and Saturday), Anna Fisk, Alexandra, Katie Cooke, Catherine Whaley, Kieren Butler (??), Tim Rowbottom, Pete and various other lurkers who will kick me in for forgetting them most probably. Ho-hum. (listees, this was before the world wide web, and we were on a Manics ‘alt newsgroup’)

Anyways I had a bloody excellent time and the Manics were excellent!! They played (in vague order): Australia, From Despair To Where, Kevin Carter, Faster, Yes, Enola/Alone, La Tristesse Durera, The Girl Who Wanted to Be God, Motorcycle Emptiness, Removables, Roses In The Hospital, Mowtown Junk, “Ready For Drowning” (a newie), No Surface All Feeling, then an acoustic bit with Small black Flowers That Grow In The Sky and This Is Yesterday, before returning to the full set for Elvis Impersonator, Everything Must go, Design For Life and of course You Love Us. No news as to whether it will be released as a bootleg, but if it is, I strongly recommend you get it.

On the Saturday night after the Manics had played, I got talking to the two blokes in the tent next to us, and I ended up (with one of them, the other fell asleep, bless!!) having a Manics karaoke with ’till about 4:30 am, much to the annoyance of our Neighbours who kept on yelling at us “Too shut up!!” “Stop being so bloody selfish!!” etc. In the morning (ie after going to sleep and waking back up again) we were greeted with “Well, thanks for the Manics karaoke last night” and “God, it’s gonna be “We Hate Them” after that”. Whoops!!