|Saturday May 25, 2002|
|It's a downbeat start to the day - 12 months ago I set out to the Ozzfest at Milton Keynes with my mate, the now sadly departed Wigg. It seems strange, to say the least, to be sitting on a similar coach going to the same festival without someone with whom I shared so many other trips. Still, he wouldn't have wanted anyone feeling miserable when there's a day of heavy metal and heavier drinking ahead so I decide crack open a can of lager and drink a silent toast to his memory - it'll soon be time to rock... unfortunately the coach operator Nazis have other ideas and booze is banned on the bus! Even worse, there's a tedious hour's stop at motorway services just a few miles from Donington - for Ozzy's sake, why?
As soon as I get off the bus I'm greeted by Quayley, who's happy to share that toast to Wigg. We wander off to the campsite to meet the others and while away the next couple of hours drinking lager and talking shite. Old habits die hard, but we know what we do best.
|Eventually, the cans run out and it's time to see what's on offer so we amble in to check out the Mad Capsule Markets on the main stage, catching the end of Zakk Wylde's set, too. Neither are any cop at all, so it's off to the second stage for the main act of the day - Danko Jones. Unfortunately, the security staff appear to have been sourced from things that feed off the bottoms of ponds and there's a log-jam to and from the second stage. When we do get in, it's in time to see a bit of Skindred, who sound pretty good, before Danko comes on like a hurricane, all blues licks and sleaze, flicking his (abnormally long) tongue out at every opportunity while playing like a demon. Why he's still unknown is a mystery, but the people that are there lap it up, and rightly so.
By the time we're back outside, Cradle of Filth are coming on. Their dismal, tuneless roaring is accompanieded by driving rain, which just makes things worse. Lostprophets sound equally dull and Slayer go through the motions. Again. System of a Down start well, but their set seems brief. We find out later that part of the lighting rig has fallen down onto a roadie, so their performance is cut short. Shame, really, as it was so promising.
Ozzy Osbourne (8.45pm-)
System of a Down (5.45-7.00pm)
Cradle of Filth (2.40-3.25pm)
Drowning Pool (1.00-1.30pm)
Mad Capsule Markets (12.15-12.45pm)
Zakk Wylde (11.35-12.05pm)
KERRANG! / RADIO 1 STAGE
Hundred Reasons (8.00-8.45pm)
Ill Nino (7.10-7.40pm)
American Headcharge (5.40-6.10pm)
Hell Is For Heroes (4.10-4.40pm)
Danko Jones (1.10-1.40pm)
Pulse Ultra (11.00-11.25am)
|For once, Ozzy doesn't keep the crowd waiting forever, preceding his set with some of his now-obligatory comic shrot films. It's the biggest laugh of the day, made all the funnier by the poor quality of Ozzy's show. Last year, when Sabbath headlined, they were so tight it hurt; this year, Ozzy's on his own, and he's flabby and unfocussed. In every possible way. Zakk Wylde is no Randy Rhodes. Equally, he's no Toni Iommi. Ozzy's solo stuff is known by too few in the crowd, so Sabbath classics are exhumed and churned out as crowd-pleasers. Ozzy is a clown, beyond a joke and it's time we stopped giving him our money. He's not getting any more of mine unless he ups his game considerably. Donington is a terrible place to hold a festival. It may have the heritage, but Milton Keynes Bowl is a much better venue. As an exercise in making money for Ozzy, Ozzfest was a huge success, as a satisfying experience for the paying public it was a disgrace. Even Ozzy was appalled...
|Good things about
Nice, warm coach
Bad things about
Far too many crap bands
Generally over-priced merchandise, but specifically Tool short-sleeve shirts at a whopping £40 and programmes at £12
Best bands of Ozzfest 2002
Coming soon: Ozzfest 2002 QTVR