Part #3: The smaller bands, and my random thoughts.
Headlining the fourth stage on the Sunday were UK rockers Panic Cell. Only about 40 people were present due to the distractions elsewhere, but the band put in a spirited performance which was well worth seeing. A much better proposition live than on their recordings, I’m not particularly sorry not to have seen Stone Sour instead.
I caught a few songs by Ginger from The Wildhearts on the acoustic stage, playing to a rain-soaked crowd. He performed a few of his classics to the assembled who were loving every moment of his and the seven (!) other acoustic guitarists’ (plus the bassist’s) strummings.
The reformation of Skin may have been due to them knowing the right people in the right places, but their third stage headline slot on the Saturday night was welcomed by a packed tent. Nev MacDonald’s really impressive voice seems to have gotten even better in the years that they’ve been away.
The Genitorturers give you a proper show when you see them, but the dancing girls, props and the like can’t completely make up for the lack of musical substance contained within.
You and What Army have a style which mixes Enter Shikari, Hadouken! and nu-metal. You can imagine how good that (doesn’t) sound. Their rapper also seemed to find the fact that someone might have got seriously hurt during Rage Against the Machine the previous night highly amusing. Knob.
The torrential rain meant that Hearts Under Fire played to a rammed fourth stage tent on the Sunday, and the young all girl band played like it was the gig of their lives. Their rock and roll song-writing seems to have bags of potential and their enthusiasm was infectious. You may be seeing more of them in the future.
Max Raptor‘s hardcore stylings brought about a moshpit which mixed some rain soaked men with some very attractive ladies.
As if putting the price up for punters to see a lesser number of bands wasn’t enough, there were a couple of other money-grabbing things that really annoyed me this year, the main one being the continued use of the alcohol tokens which can only be bought two at a time.
It’s absolutely ridiculous that you have to buy a minimum of two tokens. Cynical people might suggest that they hope people buy too many and don’t bother to get a refund on them during the (very) limited time available to do so.
Charging ten pounds for a programme and then putting bands on at different times to when it says they are on is pretty unforgivable too. Proper Atreyu fans must have been seething that the band were on an hour earlier than scheduled.
Some people were annoyed that hardly anyone could see the England game. Personally I wanted to watch it but I didn’t see it as being advertised as part of the events that were being provided, and it was going to clash with the headline act so it’s fair enough really.
I can’t believe that Download Scotland was such a short lived venture given the disproportionate number of our friends from north of the border who were in attendance over the weekend.