Oh my my my my, July! 11 July 2005 | week 528
Pictured top: Strong lads; SPAM!; Kate, Al, Caroline; Cieran; Kaiser Chiefs; Razorlight
2nd row: Al and Elaine; The boys; Kate; Human Tower; drunk guy; Luke
3rd row: Chicks and beer; sunset; Al and Steve; Greenday; timetable; Al enjoys a smoke break
4th row: The Van; Luke; Brian tries to get arrested; Gets arrested; some chap; some girls
Last row: Mundy; Mundy fans; guy drinking from a baby's bottle; Bad Girl; Hats in the air like you just don't care!; Doves
I just came back from Oxegen and we had a super time. I went with Brian, Luke, Steve and Alan Rapple, as you can probably tell from the pics.
On Saturday I went to see The Saw Doctors, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Snoop Dog (I'm not a big fan but wasn't doing anything else at the time!) Queens of the Stone Age (rocked) and finally after being a fan for ten years, Greenday! They played some of their old tunes and a lot from the new album. They were fantastic.
On Sunday I went to see Feeder - missed the start of them though cos I was helping the lads bring beer back to the tents. Then went to see Mundy who really rocked, surprisingly, Mexico and July being the heaviest ones! Then it was on to The Killers who were fantastic, then on to Doves who were great and we got good and close to the stage cos everyone was over at the main stage for Keane. Then we headed back to the main stage and caught the Foo Fighters who really rocked. I must have helped about 10 crowdsurfers over the course of the Foo Fighers gig, and evfen as far back as we were, people were moshing and going crazy to all the songs!
So all in all a great gig! Don't miss Luke's special write up below -- Waltzer
"You're a strange fellow Skinner, but you steam a good ham!"
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and very often this can be true. A run through the Waltzer's snaps on the site will most certainly back that up. However to sum up a large event such as a weekend music festival would be difficult to describe in just one sentence, though the above quote in my humble opinion, encapsulates the greatness that was Oxegen 2005. And in case you don't believe me, read on and find out why it was so good!
First off lets start with the basic facts. Seventy thousand people have paid €150 a pop to spend the weekend living, eating, sleeping and drinking in their own filth and the filth of many other strangers. We are paying to use manky toilets, sleep on uncomfortable ground and stroll about a litter strewn festival area. If you were camping anywhere nears the jaxx, the smell would be overwhelming especially in the roasting Sunday summer sun. The chances of camping near scumbags who hadn't quite completed the evolutionary cycle were high. Was this why our ancestors battled against the potato blight in 1800's? Is this what our forefathers died for in 1916? You bet your ass it is!
Lets look at it another way. An abundance of quality bands, a van load of beer, great weather, in the company of some of the soundest people you will meet. Away from work, from the city, from emails and memos, meetings, power lunches, in-roof electrical lighting. A weekend free from a desk covered in post-it notes, ergonomically designed furniture and congestion smog. You arrive to the open air, people running wild and free, the (warm) beer flowing, smoking and joking, the knowledge that only a few hundred feet away from your temporary home for the weekend, a whole host of fantastic live acts would soon be gearing up to launch an incendiary assault on the ears of everyone who dared to care, and did we love it, by Christ we did!
Imagine it, arriving to see the Kaiser Chiefs launch in to a set of blistering new wave rock n' roll, the lead singer lurching across the stage, the look of a man possessed in his eyes while the band behind him were tighter than a Cavan man before pay day as they pumped out the tunes. They predict a riot? So do I, top stuff indeed!
Following that, myself Ste and Alan made our way to the second band stage to catch Eagles of Death Metal, and by god they kicked out the good time 70's Rock and a Roll with aplomb. The lead singer was a fantastic, working the crowd like he had invented them. As we said during the show, if he wasn't a rocker, he'd be a bender. Possible both, but as he said, "I love Ireland SO hard, I love you guys SO hard!" if he had time to, I'm sure he would have!
With every passing band, the weekend was getting cooler so who better than to go sub-zero on our asses than Snoop Dogg. He arrived with the most ghetto fabulous entourage this side of Tuam, there were giant marijuana plants on the stage and he looked like he was wearing a dress. Oh and did I mention that through all the chants of OlÈ, OlÈ, Ole and the his ego boosting requests for us all to cry out snoop, the tunes he knocked out were solider than a crew and top dogg to the fly G!
The Queens of the Stone Age rock and there is no doubt about it. And while they might not be everyone's cup of storming rock tea, for those that know, they were awesome. From the opening full pelt, thundering dash that is 'Go With The Flow' to the magnificent 'No One Knows', Josh Homme and Co. would eat your dog had you dared bring it to Oxegen!
Before finishing on Saturday's music, I will take a quick foray into what Sunday had to offer. As the sun beat down upon the ragged fields of Punchestown from 93 million miles away, The Streets were riding high, probably both literally and metaphorically. Mike Skinner et al were in fine fettle as they reeled off some crowd pleasers while ripping the piss out of the posh people in the pit (they deserve it if you ask me!). They finished up with a storming "Fit But You Know It", I would give them about an 8 or a 9, maybe even 9 and a half in 4 beers time!
The Killers put on a good show too from what I heard. I say what I heard because I spent most of their gig lying on the ground so as to get a bit of shade. Standing was demanding at that stage, but on stage the synth supremos from Vegas were landing and from what I heard, the reception was rapturous!
My highlight of the Sunday, and quite possibly the greatest band ever arrived in style. The lights dimmed, a golf cart pulled up to the side of the stage in the New Band Tent and five men dismounted, clad in body suits covered in flashing neon glowing green lights, their arms held aloft, fists clenched, the crowd roaring ceremoniously, the Super Furry Animals had arrived! They cracked into a storming set of classics, including the magnificent Status Quo/ABBA hybrid tune that is "Rings Around the World" with a couple of new tunes thrown in (Which sounded wicked), before climaxing as always with a tumultuous rendition of the awesome "The Man Don't Give a Fuck!" If you don't believe me, check them out in the Olympia this September, you wont regret it!
And finally in terms of music, Saturday's Headliners Green Day turned in the performance of the festival. Three men, a barrage of rapid tunes and one aim, to rock Oxegen like the news of JFKs assassination rocked 1960s America, and by god they succeeded. The new songs from their album, American Idiot, are already huge anthems, the crowd singing along like these songs were sung to us as lullabies when we were kids, albeit lullabies with huge slabs of bass and drums and driving electric power chords. The oldies such as "Minority", "Basket Case" and "Longview" turned already battled hardened rockers into rabid animals as crowd surfers went gliding above our heads and human pyramids came tumbling down. The inclusion of three members of the audience to play a song was a masterstroke of Billy-Joes excellent showmanship and proved that even playing to a crowd roughly 40,000 strong, that there is no need for any loss of intimacy. They were so good, it fully justified Waltzer wearing eyeliner for the day!
So its pretty clear then that the music was good. But despite what some hardcore aficionados will tell you, it's not all about the music. Its also about the campsite, the craic, spending time with your friends even though you are mostly ripping the piss out of each other and knocking back some warm beers before and after the gigs. The first battalion of us (Waltzer, Brian, Ste and Luke) reached the campsite at about half 4 on the Friday armed with a multitude of tents to put up (somewhat poorly) for those who would be joining us later. But then as I told Alan on the Saturday morning as he complained about the large puddles of water in his tent, I said I would put your tent up, I never said I would do it well! Besides, who's to know for sure he didn't have an unfortunate accident whilst he slept?
As the evening passed, we had more arrivals in the shape of Jen (House), Matt, Brian (a.k.a. Dave) as opposed to the other Brian who had already arrived that is Scottish Brian. While Jen (House) is my housemate as opposed to the other Jen who has yet to arrive who is OCD Jen, Kristin's friends. Waltzer's real name is Alan but luckily he usually goes by the name Waltzer, as the other Alan would be arriving later. It's lucky they are all sound people and worth spending the weekend with despite the name crisis which was emerging! Later on Kristin and OCD Jen arrived, as did my sister Clare and her friend Caroline and the other Alan arrived too in the wonderful magical van bearing Beer and Buckfast! The scene was set, and shortly after midnight when we had all finally reached the campsite area, the weekend had finally landed and Matt was stumbling round drunk with cake all over his face. Still it was his 30th Birthday so the fact that he was even up after midnight was a miracle!
From here on in things got a little blurry as the beers were sunk with the efficiency of a bank holiday LUAS, one every 20 minutes! The first night was great craic, everybody getting into the festival mood to some quality Dad Rock tunes and I don't care what every else said, the Almighty Quo, Neil Diamond and Meat Loaf all rock! The only bad thing about camping weekends is you are at the mercy of the elements and although the earth's sun is 93 million miles away, its combination of burning hydrogen and helium and the subsequent rays produced served to wake us fairly early. I got up, went to the toilet area to have a piss, the jacks were already manky so I used a fence, then brushed my teeth (not with a fence) and back to the tents where my house mate Kristin had very kindly gotten me a cup of tea. With that safely consumed to get the head right again and following the lead of Caroline, the first beers were cracked open at 10 and we sat back, relaxed, and waited for the music area to open. Oh, and we ripped the living piss out of each other too!
And so after an action packed day of quality tunes, we hit the campsite again for the Saturday night drunk fest that would no doubt ensue. I am not one to name names so I wont but while a few people had chosen to have an early night, most of us were kicking back with warm Amstel, more Dad rock swapping tales of the quality bands that we had seen. Damien and Ali (friends of Matt's) joined us too, which was great although Matt was there in body for a while, his mind didn't quite join us that night.
Sunday morning was another early start. Luckily it didn't rain during the night so we were spared Alan's girlish whining about a bit of water in his tent. You'd think it was feckin' battery acid or something the way he had been carrying on. So anyway, most of us were up. Ste was still in the tent but I had heard him stirring as if he was about to get up. Luckily for him, his highly trained hearing caused him to stay in his tent for a little longer to avoid seeing what we were talking about. Unfortunately for us, we didn't avoid the sight of a man wearing only boxer shorts and a tent wrapped about him, squat between two tents about twenty feet away and defecate into his temporary weekend home. Basically, he took a shite in his tent! Rotten, but then what would you expect from a guy who liked he was no stranger to wearing tracksuits on regular days.
Shortly after the guy had chucked the tent over the fence, with the majority of the contents flying out, Ste emerged the gloriously sunny day that was now upon us. And as the beer was running low, myself, Waltzer, Ste, Alan and Brian took a stroll to the aforementioned magical van to get more beer, and such were pleasantness of the surroundings out there, we stayed for a few beers. Life on the Car Park is so much cleaner, less congested and littered, and you can light BBQs out there and there is no need to drag all your stuff to the campsite, which was now becoming a festering mess as the earths sun caused the temperatures to soar into the nineties, Club Tropicana here we come!
The heat on the Sunday was crazy, people were getting burnt, borderline sunstroke possibilities all around and yet despite this and the toll the weekend was taken, we all materialised back on the campsite at about half 11 on the Sunday night to lash into more beer and a deliciously delightful device that Damien and Ali brought with them when they came over. I have been told it is called a Chillum and without going into too many details of what it does, it gets you real high, Nice!
By the time I got up the following night, about 8am, the two Jens, Kristin, Matt, Clare and Caroline had already left. I heard they left at the ungodly hour of half 6 in the morning. The Alan's left soon after I got up and so Brian, Ste and myself slashed our tents, shook up the last remaining cans and sprayed them on each other, fecked a few bottles of Coke and cartons of Cranberry Juice in the air to watch them burst. Then we departed the fair fields of Punchestown to rendezvous with my Dad who very kindly drove us down and would now drive us home. We looked forward to getting home to some fresh food, the best shower any of us would have all year and an almighty shite too. But most of all, we were already looking forward to next year!
So anyway, I have waffled away about Oxegen 2005 for long enough now, here's what everyone else had to say!
For Waltzer it was Green Day and who could blame him, they would be mine too. Rock N Roll almighty! Kristin and OCD Jens favourite was New Order but then that's what happens when you let the oldies out for the weekend. Ste also went with Green Day while Matt, who was voting on behalf of the Swedish Lesbo jury, picked the Killers as did Jen (house). Awww isn't it nice to see couples doing things together. Scottish Brian went for the Foo Fighters and although I didn't see them at Oxegen, from past experience I am sure they rocked with the vengeance of an old woman in a rocking chair with a 6-barrel shotgun across her lap. Brian (Dave) went for Interpol and who could blame him, they are bloody brilliant. Damien went for the Futureheads, didn't see them either but the album is great, Decent Days and Nights indeed. Alan went for the Eagles of Death Metal, he loved them so hard! Ali was very impressed by LCD Soundsystem and Rilo Kiley.
Kaiser Chiefs were the choice of both Waltzer and OCD Jen. However people stopped being surprised by the music there and had the following ideas. Kristin was surprised at how unfestival fit some of the young ones were, you know who you are! Ste was most surprised at Waltzer being in bed by 11 on the Saturday, let thee who has not sinned! Matt was most surprised at the amount of girls queuing to have their photo taken with him. In fairness, you were dressed as Superman, try see if it works in your regular threads! Scottish Brian was most surprised to see a semi-clean portaloo and I would have to agree with you there! See below for the appendix on using portaloos at a festival. Brian (Dave) was most surprised by having Foccacia bread with Hummus for breakfast. Well Brian that's the chance you take when old people are allowed out for the weekend. Damien was most surprised by the weather (Good point) and the Magic Numbers, I presume you mean the band and not the spliffs? Jen was surprised at the filth of the toilets and Ste's shameful early night on Saturday despite him being the veteran Godfather of festivalscast the first stone! Alan's biggest surprise was the same as his highlights, Rock N' Roll and such hard love, who can beat it! Ali was very surprised to hear somebody saying they had stepped in human poo and also realising that the weather in Ireland can get too hot for a festival! It was too hot indeed but judging by the state of the jaxx, the first one was bound to happen to some one.
This is really starting to stretch on so here are a few points that everyone also mentioned. Kristin was particularly amused by Matt's lame attempts to fold a tent at 6am on the Monday morning. Waltzer enjoyed the Sunday morning beers up in the carpark, further proof that next years decision to de-camp and subsequently re-camp to the Car Park is a fully informed and brilliant idea. Ste was impressed at being the last man standing on the Sunday night, must have been the stellar nights sleep you got on Saturday! Ste didn't like having to reach for the bog roll for the long walk of shame, none of us do Ste and even I had to make that unfortunate journey this year, twice! Matt's campsite moment was the reading of the birthday poem, I was reading it, everyone all heard it but he thought he was just imagining that he was thinking back on his life and was confused as to why people were laughing at the funny bits, this man has to be put in a 'Just Say No!" advert. He was also impressed by Jen learning to, and succeeding in rolling, I was impressed too, ye hear that Ste, get the bloody finger out. Scottish Brian's most festival fit moment was him helping the small girls of Punchestown see the show from his shoulders, there are some things you should keep to yourself Brian if you don't want to end up on a local register. In terms of festival fitness, Jen thought it was a bit of a disaster as half our campsite was over thirty, personally I think its great that these people can still get out and about at their age, thank god for incontinence pads eh! Alan was delighted with the two birds scrapping in the campsite, nothing like a good bitch fight is there, knives out! I was just surprised that Jen wasn't one of them! OCD Jens most festival fit moment was only have to use the smelly campsite toilets three times. She said, "That's good bladder control!" I reckon it's a just way to get kidney failure! Ali also mentioned that her festival fit moment was seeing three hot blondes in bikinis jumping up and down. Why do I always miss these things?
There were a few different choices for this. Waltzer and Brian both picked Alan, but Alan also picked himself, saying there was no doubt about it. Well whinging like a girl because of a few puddles in your tent doesn't cut it mate! Kristin wouldn't officially answer but off the record said it was me, she wouldn't let me amend her answer so I didn't, just thought I would tell the whole truth! A lot of votes went to a certain couple of people who I think do thoroughly deserve it! Damien and Ali went the weekend without sleep and they also arrived on the Sunday night with the Chillum and they are under 30 (I think, don't know for sure but presume they have to be). Congratulations folks!
At a crackin' festival weekend, what it all boils down to is.....
Waltzer: The music is what it's all about man - booze and chicks take second place, to be there in the crowd watching the likes of Green Day and the Foo Fighters, that's what makes a crackin' weekend! Sorry I'm not clever enough to condense that into seven words!
Kristin: good music, warm beer/cider, knacker-free camp site, an entertaining gang of people, real coffee nearby and camp chairs!
Ste: a good portable chair with beer holder!
Matt: Fun, sun, music, loosing it, nipples, tipples.
Scottish Brian: Buckfast, bikini's, no pissing near the tent and suunshhhiiiine
Brian (Dave): corporate whores fucking us for every penny.
Jen: the shitty toilets, lovely warm beer, warm cheese sandwiches, the slagging in the campsite and friends.
OCD Jen: GOOD MUSIC, GOOD COMPANY AND GOOD FOOD!!
Alan: tunes spoons and goons!
Ali: Lesbians... Droooool
Luke: The steaming of a good ham!
See you all next year!
Hope you enjoyed this action packed waltzer.net! Come by next month for more crazy antics. Thanks Luke for the writeup! Luke Ryan is a stand-up comedian who can usually be found on stage in the Ha'penny Inn in Dublin city.
Liam: What the hell is wrong with women? They wanna have a chat in the middle of the biggest act at a rock concert!
You deserve that hangover
Serious detox considered
Good price for a shirt you'll never wear
Waltzer is a graphic designer who lives and works in Dublin. He likes being upstairs on the bus on his own and drinking in the Porter House.
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