We get to Reading earlier than ever before and our favoured camp-site looks full, but the festival gods are on our side and a space big enough for our ever-expanding waistlines magically appears. Tents up, beers open, ready for the festival. We opt to sit round a fire drinking instead of going to a pub, and by the end of the first evening I've already drunk half the beer I've brought for the weekend - it's shaping up nicely already.
On Friday morning, I've got something in my eye. Whatever is in there won't come out, and it's constantly streaming. Vodka Sidekick glasses look like little eye-baths when attached to the side of a pint glass and soon we've all got tears of laughter rolling down our cheeks. You probably had to be there...
Friday is a day for seeing bands, so we get back to the festival at a reasonable time. First stop back on-site is the bar (of course) then off to catch a bit of the Von Bondies and the Bellrays, both of whom suffer from terrible sound, before heading off to the Carling Stage to catch the Kills. But they're dull, so we lounge about drinking.
Then, it's into the comedy tent to see Ross Noble, who turns out to be, officially, the Funniest Man in Britain. We're fortunate that he doesn't pick on us as we're sitting right in front of him, but the even fatter bloke next to us gets all the stick. Yelling "fuck off" to Craig David's answerphone is an unexpected highlight.
Right up next are The Datsuns on the Carling Stage. The lager was kicking in nicely by this point - The Datsuns were awesome, but (and please note that I knew nothing about them before this show) I came out thinking they were a group of female Japanese midgets. Rockin' stuff, though.
We wander forwards in the arena in time to see The White Stripes, who are everything I'd hoped and expected, plus a little bit more. Then Weezer play a storming 'best of' set and we high-tail it out of the arena before Jane's Addiction. The evening ends, predictably enough, in an alcoholic haze.
|If you've really got nothing better to do with your life, you might like to click on the pictures to see them a bit bigger in a remote window|
|Good things about Reading 2002
Chick pea curry
Seeing every band I wanted to
Nice quiet field where old folk can get a decent kip
Bad things about Reading 2002
Toilets - the worst in years
Beer prices in the arena
Queues for the arena
Crap new airbed
Zero tog-rated new sleeping bag
Poor sound quality on smaller stages
No Pot Noodle stand