Sunday August 24, 2003
Wake at 8:30. That’s a festival lie-in! Sunday drinking laws mean a very long wait in the pub until they’re actually serving alcohol, but as that’s noon, it fits nicely with Dan’s drinking laws. And when noon comes, we’ve settled on the idea of jugs of cocktails. And what a great idea! All the benefits of vitamin C (at least in the Tounge Teaser I was drinking) plus it gets you drunk. All washed down nicely with Purple Hazes or Slippery Nipples on the side.

A vague plan to get back to see the Raveonettes becomes reality, though I really wish I hadn’t bothered, as they sound like a third-rate Jesus and mary Chain tribute band.

We wander out to see if Good Charlotte are being bottled off, but sadly they’re not. Instead, quite a large number of people appear to be enjoying them. Some are even clapping! This can’t be right at all. Suddenly we remember we wanted to catch Winnebago Deal on the Carling Stage, and I’m very glad we did – two blokes (drums and guitar) making a blinding racket. Fine stuff indeed.

But the cocktails have been washed down with lager and it’s taking its toll on our ability to stand up, so, after being charged £4 for a cut-up potato with some cheese sauce on it – take the piss why don’t you, Mexican food van?) we head back to the camp-site to prepare ourselves for System of a Down and Metallica.

The three-second rule (whereby any campsite chair left un-sat on for three seconds can be claimed by another person) meant much of the afternoon resembled a game of musical chairs being played by fat, drunk people. Plus, there was the first (and, frankly, proably last) air guitar championships (see pics) which, if we’d been bothered about taking a vote on it, was almost certainly won by the girl-on-girl action of Becky and Mariko.

And so the festival draws to a close with some heavy metal. System of a Down are a superb warm-up for Metallica, drawing plenty of people in to the arena. And they put on a great show, too.

But Metallica appear to be the band of choice for half the festival crowd today – their T-shirts are everywhere. And they come on stage rocking, having a little joke about being The Black Stripes. A hard-rocking set is only let down by the lack of “So What” but for two hours they are unmissable.

As ever, the evening is rounded off by drinking and shouting round the camp fire. Somewhere along the way, I get really quite drunk and stagger into my tent at 2:30am. I’m going to feel rough in the morning, for sure, but I think it’ll be well worth it.

And to cap it all, Exeter City got their second win of the season and rose to 7th in the Conference. If only every weekend were this good. Roll on August Bank Holiday 2004. See you there!
It's just after 9am and already people are queueing for the arena - it won't open for another two hours... I wonder what Quayley found so amusing on Mariko's camera, then?
Aah, cocktails. How civilised for a Sunday. That's a Slippery Nipple on the left, Purple Haze on the right Has anyone been going to Reading longer than this bloke we saw in the pub? Yes, that's a two-pint jug of some whisky cocktail that Quayley's drinking. He later had it re-filled!
Now traditional moronic salute in the pub Equally traditional Sunday afternoon nap for Dan

The air guitar competition
Graham gets is lips round a Slippery Nipple. Ooh-er! Champagne to celebrate 20 years of going to Reading Dan shows his pants again. Luckily camera wasn't out when he pulled them down...
Kev plays it cool Quayley plays it straight Dan does it Kiss-style Graham goes crazy But mariko and Becky are deserving winners

Quotes of Reading 2003
“Woah-woah-wo-oh! I got erection!”
Turbonegro. Later enthusiastically adopted in a call-and-response style by Dan and Fat Reg.

“I don’t think I’m going to get pissed today.”
Quayley as he drank an unknown number of whiskies from a two pint jug in the pub on Sunday.

“You are weak and white man.”
Mariko when Fat Reg was unable to separate two plastic glasses.

“That was the longest minute of my life.”
Dan, clock-watching his way to noon, and drinking time.

“I’ve got an erection spoon. With built-in sizzles.”
Quayley. And no, I don’t know what he meant.

"I can afford to buy beer, thank you."
Mariko to the guys handing out rubbish bags for the "rubbish for beer" scheme

Kev: "Isn't that a big one" (referring to a large cheese & bacon baguette, just bought by Billy Bragg)
Billy Bragg: "As the bishop said to the bishop" (I guess referring to the sexuality of un-ordained Bishop of Reading)
Kev hob-nobs with the stars
Colin (who was really called Lee, but we didn't mind) and Sam
As ever, sartorial elegance is one of Quayley's strong points
This chap first came to the festival way back in 1982 - now he's bringing the family
That's Metallica, whipping the crowd into a frenzy

Links to other Reading 2003 sites
• See Mariko's pictures of Fat Reg and co here
Pyro Steve's pics are here
Bad Fairy's review is here
Dan converts baby Phoenix to the dark ways