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Friday, 3 March 2017

Reading Festival 1994

This post has to be done due to the great pleasure of listening to BBC 6 Music today. The whole show was dedicated to 1994 which was without doubt my favourite year in music. There was the Grunge movement, college rock, hardcore, punk, the Britpop scene (which was coined by John Robb from the Sounds years) you name it. The kettle of music had a massive brew going and it was fuckin ace!! I was managing Fruit Tumor at the time and we had quite a big following in Oldham due to our monthly gigs at The Shack.I got friendly with a few Oldham lads who asked me did I want to go to Reading Festival that year in a camper van. Being a bit poor at the time I managed to scrape the money together and I was in! i remember listening to Neil Young - Ragged Glory, a bit of Senser, and a lot of Chili Peppers on the drive down. We got pulled by the pigs just outside the festival site. They found fuck all (we hid it well!) We set up camp and set up the awning to make the van into a tent that held quite a few heads! I remember the first night when we had a big campfire going and got to know loads of people in the surrounding tents. Exploding cans of beans, a tent that played Pixies tunes all night and day, the shouts of Bollocks!! until 5am in the morning! Excellent. First day I saw some top bands, Highlight of the day was Pavement.
Their first album was often compared to The Fall but so was everyone who couldn't be pigeonholed. Great live band with an insane drummer who threw celery sticks into the crowd! I saw Frank Black (being The Pixies head I was) do an amazing solo set. Cypress Hill were headlining. As you know I've always been into hip hop but I couldn't miss Lush (great shoegaze band) or The Wedding Present who as you know are up there in my music library. Gedge was fuckin great as usual with his guitar over the head antics and Northern banter. Stumbled back to the camper van and staying up around the camp fire and got about two hours kip before day two.

We were all still wrecked from the night before but knew we had some top bands to take in. I wanted to see Superchunk and they did not disappoint with their power pop punk! Compulsion were fuckin ace (they were a great band who I miss a lot) Pulp were just fuckin brilliant. Jarvis Cocker is a legend who had the crowd at his fingertips. Between songs he just sat with his legs dangling at the front of the stage telling stories! Radiohead were, well Radiohead cementing their place into the top league. Manic Street Preachers did most of The Holy Bible but the highlight was Courtney Love coming on stage to do a cover of Penny Royal Tea with tears in her eyes. What can I say about Ice Cube?

 His set was monstrous. I don't wanna brag here but how many people can say they were in a crowd of between 30 - 50,000 people rapping along to Fuck The Police? The pigs in the crowd were shitting it! Hair on the back of the net raising shit! I missed Primal Scream due to an urge to watch Madder Rose in the Melody Maker tent. I had heard Panic On earlier in the year and rated it as one of the best albums around. They were blinding live and I will never forget that night. It took me an hour to find my digs due to numerous shit but I survived!

Next day we were all fucked but up for it! Chili Peppers were headlining and there were some great bands to see. The Jesus Lizard were on too early in my eyes but they fucked up the crowd with their searing riffs and insane vocals from the mad as fuck David Yow. Helmet did their best to get the crowd up with a storming set and did not disappoint! I was there for Therapy? though. One of the best bands around at the time with their industrial punk thrash stuff that had me! I remember them shredding my brain at The Boardwalk earlier! I missed Soundgarden for some reason probably due to having a quick nap. Watched the first few songs of the Peppers (Kiedis dressed as a light bulb!) but trundled over to The Tindersticks.
These were a recommendation from a friend and besides Madder Rose were my highlight of the whole weekend. Moody as fuck Nick Cave like preaching which fucked with my emotions and have made me a long life fan.

What a weekend and an eye opener which introduced me to new genres I never would have thought of looking at!


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