Rain, sun, lager and loads of bands Click on pics to see 'em bigger
Thursday August 23/Friday August 24
We make an early start to try and beat the queues at the festival site, but loads of people have had the same idea - there are quite long queues into the site even at 10:30am. Splendid (and unlikely) organisation means we arrive not long after the London contingent and find each other in minutes. The campsite is filling up rapidly and we have a hard job finding space for five tents. Then it starts to rain - this isn't meant to be happening. Still, there's always lager, which keeps out the cold and the damp better than any anorak. There's nothing much to do on the Thursday apart from eat, drink and talk shite, so we stick to waht we do best - all of the above. A ropey veggie burger for tea, then the lager kicks in all too soon, so it's an early night.

On Friday Dan and I decide to stay on site for breakfast in order to catch the Donnas - first band on the main stage. There's been a run on veggie burgers (How? Why?) and most of the stalls have sold out. However a van run by some Scousers has some. Sadly, they're the most disorganised food-sellers at the festival: the tea urn isn't switched on, so there's no hot drinks (not that we wanted anything other than lager); they've sold out of almost every food item they're advertising and someone has forgotten to switch the gas on, so they can't even cook the burgers. It takes nearly 30 minutes to get a veggie burger that wasn't even worth a three minute wait. Still, when you're hungry...

The "organisers" keep the arena locked until gone 11:30am, which results in stupid queues to get in and a massive bottleneck, so we make good use of the time and sit around drinking. Lager is £2.50 outside arena - we later find that it's £2.70 inside and they won't let you buy outside the arena and carry it in. Ripped off? We will be.

We enter armed with a clever plan to see loads of bands - amazingly, it works, all while getting monstrously pissed, too. The Donnas rock like only and all-girl band of 21 year-olds can. And they cover Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight", though nobody appears to recognise it apart from the two of us. Very nearly a proper old-school metal band!

Then we nip to the Carling Stage for the Parkinsons - you really had to be there. Imagine a Portugese
Sham 69 if you can. The singer leaps into crowd and walks round with his hands in air to recieve the adulation. He deserves it, too.

The sun shines and everything is great, then the Strokes take to the main stage - promoted from the Evening Session Stage due to "demand." Whose demand? Only the NME's. They suck. Big time. Then an afternoon nap through the Eels - who sucked, too. At least from what I heard of them before dozing off.

Lager turns out to be the most potent tanning agent known to man - simply drink six or seven pints, fall asleep and, hey presto, a nice tan. Who needs factor 20 anyway when you've got Mr Carling's, er, finest?

PJ Harvey is a goddess and I'm awake - and sober - enough to see all her set. Awesome, truly awesome.

A cracking veggie tikka is followed by Gary Numan - what the hell was the shite was he playing? I didn't even recognise 'Are Friends Electric?' until the spoken bit in the middle, then wander off and catch the second half of Evan Dando playing to a less than half-full tent before taking in some of Ritchie Hawtin playing amazing techno to virtually empty tent.

Then back to the campsite for more lager round a ridiculously smoky fire - even the hillbilly's wood is damp this year. Once I'm seeing two of everything, it must be time for bed, so that's where I go.

Kev's got that Friday feeling. That or an early hangover Stop it, man - you'll frighten the children I think Mariko's trying to tell you something, Quayley...
Dan remains blissfully unaware of the Yeti sitting beside him Everyone: "Can you believe how shit The Strokes are?"
Kev feels a right tit... sorry, had to be done you know The best way to experience the Eels Not sure if this is the result of lager or inbreeding...
Dan - lounge lizard. Nice shirt
Top bands of Reading 2001
• The Parkinsons
• PJ Harvey
• Backyard Babies
• The Donnas
• Queens of the Stone Age
• Teenage Fanclub
• Evan Dando