Oh death, where is thy sting?
Welcome to the Festival Of Death – the sonic equivalent of a World Cup qualifying group consisting of the Faroe Islands, Outer Mongolia, Canada and Scotland.
You were conned. The PR said, “Do you want to go see Motvrhead?” so you said “Yeah!” and then the live editor phones saying, “Apparently you’ve volunteered to review the Guildford Festival AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
You check the listings. And suffer an immediate and irreparable nervous breakdown. [a]Bad Manners[/a], [a]Rolf Harris[/a], Culture Club, Hazel O’Connor, The Crocketts, The Counterfeit Stones, Joan Armatrading, Van Morrison… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
And it is shitting it down. And you’ve just fallen arse-over-tit on the slippery grass and torn a calf muscle. And someone’s just given you a giant pill. And someone else has spilt your drinks. And, in the background, THE CROCKETTS have just introduced a song as ‘Feeling Like A Bastard On Father’s Day’ and proceeded to bang out a speed metal version of ‘Kum By Ya’.
It can’t get any worse. But, incredibly, [I]it does! [/I]A fucker with a beard and a camouflaged bullet proof jacket strides up and showers you with stickers reading, amongst other things ‘FUCK THE [I]NME[/I]!’. But then TERROVISION bound on to the main stage, and toothy Tony whips the drenched denizens of this ninth circle of hell into a screaming frenzy, with a malevolent piece of party-down pantomime containing the chorus “[I]The party over here says FUCK YOU OVER THERE!”[/I]. And all seems right with the world.
Or is it the pill? No time to find out. Got to see ROLF HARRIS. He’s singing ‘Tie Me Kangeroo Down Sport’. And that’s when you get THE FEAR. Run! Run for your life!
But backstage it’s crawling with HELL’S ANGELS! Normally this would not be a problem. But you’ve just written an extremely critical review of head Angel Sonny Barger‘s autobiography, safe in the knowledge that one seldom meets outlaw bikers socially. And now there are THOUSANDS OF THEM! Well, three.
Whiiiiizzzz – SPANG! A missile bounces of Lemmy from MOTORHEAD‘s warty bonce. “If you want to throw something, then come up here and throw a punch, and I’ll kick your fucking teeth down your throat!” he snarls. “Um, that’s just for one person. The rest of you are cool!” adds Philthy Phil.
For some reason you want to climb on stage and just hug them to pieces. Because, despite Lemmy‘s unfortunate habit of talking shit about Nazis in interviews, Motvrhead are a perfect and utterly unimprovable evolutionary dead end – like the Siberian tiger, the great white shark and the tyrannosaurus rex. During ‘Metropolis’, your wrecked calf starts to spasm uncontrollably – the pain bringing tears to your eyes. But even the shit awful version of the Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’, and the shittest drum solo in the history of shit drum solos cannot detract from the fact that you are privileged to be witnessing one of the greatest live rock acts the world has ever seen. Even if it WASN’T loud enough.
The next two days literally whizzed by. CULTURE CLUB, ASWAD, MARC ALMOND, BAD MANNERS and STIFF LITTLE FINGERS sucked us back into a tasteful ’80s timewarp. And then GONG, GLENN TILBROOK, IT’S JO AND DANNY, JOAN ARMATRADING, LONNIE DONNEGAN, HAZEL O’CONNOR, JOOLS HOLLAND and VAN MORRISON made us scream: “WHY!? OH GOD! WHY ME! FOR FUCK’S SAKE, WON’T SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP!? PLEEEEEEASE!!!!!”
Oh death, where is thy sting?