Thursday, August 23, 2007

Premiership, super happy fun times and beach

Since the age of three or four when Dad tried to make me kick a football I’ve bumped, ran, fallen, lunged, jumped and thrown myself over had, wet, soft, uneven ground. I’ve split knees, my head, hand webbing, fingers broken and collar bones, and I’ve looked like an epileptic high on crack whilst walking under a strobe light doing it. So after trying to win premiership with Gembrook Brookers, Haileybury Bloods, Balmain Tigers and the UTS Bats, it’s with great relief that after 27 years I can finally hold a medallion with the South London Demons.

A hard fought game was blown apart in the last quarter with the final result of 1.4.10 to 5.11.46, which did not reflect the first three quarters, but showed the arm wrestle across the middle that it was. But game over, I wished I could have stayed, but it was off to V-Festival for a music extravaganza….with medal in hand of course. Some photos of the day here.And this was the line up we were to face:

Foo Fighters
Snow Patrol
The Killers
Kanye West
Paolo Nutini
The Kooks
The Fray
Damien Rice
Corinne Bailey Rae
Sophie Ellis Bextor
Basement Jaxx
Manic Street Preachers
Lily Allen


Mark Ronson
The Fratellis

Arriving in Chelmsford at 3.30pm I realised finding Doc, Lucy and Neil was going to be a problem with 75,000 and bugger all phone reception. So searching for my tent, which had been kindly put up by Lucy, it didn’t take long before I realised that 75,000 campers have a lot of tents also. After hiding my bag in a tree I set back off to the concert grounds before realising that 3 in 75,000 people in several square miles of farm land are even more difficult to find. So I decided to just lap up Kanye West and let what ever will be simply be.

Through delayed text messages and a mutual love of booze, we ended up finding each other by one of the bar tents. From then on it was a slightly messy, fantastic, funny, wrong, but oh so right evening. So after Pink and Snow Patrol, we pushed our way right down the front for Foo Fighters, who didn’t disappoint. Dave Grohl has to be the funniest frontman going around, and by the end of the set had people eating out of his hand. By 10pm the rain was pissing down, but the collective heat of the crowd meant that people were not getting wet, rather the water evaporating about a metre above the crowd.

By the end we were all very, very loose units, so Doc and I decided the world needed to be tackled - so much love to give, so many people trying to run away from us. Off to the tents to continue, but not after eating a hamburger from the ‘Great British Grub’ van (it was no Posh Burger, which markets itself as ‘a finer class of fast food' - because when you’re knee deep in mud, sleeping in a wet tent, haven’t showered for two days and using the same porta-loos as 75,000 people, a finer class of fast food is what you want).

The next day it was difficult to get up. I was sore, could barely sleep the night before and was cold. The rain was bucketing down and I stunk. So, shower in can, packed the bags away in the car, bacon, egg & sausage roll, breakfast beer and back to the music.

By the time the day got going it was great fun. After deciding to buy random things, find random signs and tackle random strangers (including an inflateable condom), we hit the mother load: Police officers. With our Aussie charms we managed to get a hat swap going on. And that’s when the Essex police made a bad decision: giving two random fellas who were nowhere near the right frame of mind a symbol of power - badges. Mind you they were just pin badges, but what junkie/drunk/kid knows the difference if you shout out with confidence:

“ESSEX POLICE – I'm confiscating all your contraband!”

We had people shitting themselves all over the festival! One poor little man that I walked up behind and said: ‘Essex police, move out of the way thank you’ actually screamed and ran away.

Mistake - talking to me

Mistake two - giving me something I could play with

Essex police!

After a little while we decided to pop off and see Sophie Ellis Bextor. Three minutes later I felt like I had been labotomised, so we left to watch Mika. In my frame of mind, watching a man as camp as a row of tents bouncing around on stage singing ‘big girls you are beautiful’ was not doing it for me, so Doc and I continued with policing ways. Returning for Lily Allen – who won a new fan in me – was a good move, with her giving shit to basically everyone and playing the crowd very well.

About 9pm it was time to head back to the main stage to see The Killers. While they didn’t have Dave Grohl up front, their music definately got the crowd going more. With the rain pouring down and the festival winding up, The Killers did three encores until it was time to go. So going back to crash tackle the tents – finally – we left on a high. Photos and videos of the V-Festival here.

One week later...

After a short week of work, some 38 of us headed to Mallorca (Majorca), Spain for the football trip. But as we all know what happens on trip, stays on trip.


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