Monday, 24 August 2009

V2009 - Day One

Through a totally unnecessary "Day of the Jackal" style operation, I dismantled my Nikon D700 camera and lens in order to smuggle it into this years V music festival. Unnecessary, as the security checks were minimal to say the least. It was worth it though, for I discovered that when moving through the crowd any initial resistance crumbled away once they caught sight of the beast.

With such a large camera held at head height and just in front of me, people assumed that I was there on official business. They were not only stepping out of the way but getting their friends to do the same. From above it must have looked like Moses parting the Red Sea. This worked fine as long as they did not ask the age old questions :-

"Are you a professional photographer?"

and before I can answer...

"Who do you work for?"

Letting people think I'm a professional is one thing but I can't bring myself to actively lie to them.....

As the Red Sea parted, one young lady accused me
of having a 'perv' lens. I looked her up and down
and assured her she was perfectly safe from this
'perv lens', as it had much more interesting things
to take...

Not my best photo but a good demonstration
of what you get when some drunken festival
goer insists you take their photo in the
middle of a crowd. Trying to explain to
him that the camera is set up to take
pictures over 20 feet away, is a bit like
attempting to explain to a hysterical five year
old that you ate their chocolate bar to save
them from obesity..... In the end I just took
the photo. As Mrs B pointed out, he didn't
really want to see.* He just wanted his soul
captured for posterity.

* To be honest he was so far drunk it probably
would have looked in focus to him if he had
bothered to look, rather then swaying off through
the crowd...

The artists in the order which we saw them on Saturday 22nd August at Hylands Park Chelmsford :-

A nice start to the day but found it a little sad that such a great band as Starsailor should make such an early appearance in the day. At least they were on the main stage though...

James Walsh - Lead singer of Starsailor

Bassist James Stelfox

Good entertainers, if a little scary. Impressed to see Shingai playing a guitar.
Shingai Shoniwa the lead singer
and bassist with the Noisettes.
She's a little intimidating, so
I'm glad that I did not get that close
to the front.

Jet - Australian rockers who
did not impress Mrs B. The best thing
about them was having a bunch of
Australians in front of us as they got
thrashed in the cricket. Harsh but fair.

Lily Allen
I like Lily but wish she would stop smoking on stage. It's not big, it's not clever. While I'm at it, what's the point in playing with the Wha Wha machine? It's not a musical instrument and just goes to highlight that Lily can't play one. While not the best voice in the world I love her lyrics and combined with the music it makes for a good show.
Lily appears to be floating on air as she
celebrates her spot on the main stage

Is that Miss Allen sporting Lady Gaga style
face make up. No wait didn't Lady Gaga nick
that off Bowie.....?


The Specials brought back a few memories of the
80's. Happy to report that Terry Hall, the lead
singer, is still as miserable as ever.

The Wino joins the Specials on stage. Rather
odd that whenever she is booked for a concert
she invariably fails to make it. Which makes
me suspect she was either late for last year's
V or early for the next one....


Johnny Borrel takes the Razorlight boys through
anther great performance. One of my highlights
of the day.

The later the artists' slot, the harder it is to get
good photographs. Not only does the light go but
the crowd gets well, "crowdier". I guess a lot of
the people are still comatose in the early part
off the day,resurfacing only as darkness falls.

Fatboy Slim
The worst thing about a big music festival is
when you have a clash of two bands, that you want to see,
appearing at the same time. The big
dilemma of the day for us was, should we see
Fat Boy Slim or The Killers?

Having seen the Killers previously and Mrs B
having a hankering to listen to some of those
Fat Boy sounds, the choice was made.

From my point of view it didn't turn out to be the
best. I loved the light show and the few tracks
that he played off his albums. Unfortunately
the rest of the set appeared to be a moronic
repetitive beat. [Mrs B "But that's what he does!!!"]Still Norman seemed to enjoy

Some of the faces in the crowd
I'm trying to work out if this guy had had too much to
drink or wether he was just sick of the music.

Some enterprising "ladies" decided to
wheel a tea trolley through the crowds.
I'm not sure they sold enough tea to
make it worthwhile…

Why stay in and watch the V festival on TV
when you can bring your living room with you...

This fan truly has stars in his eyes

I suspect Katy Perry might
be missing a shower cap.

Fortunately the Swine Flu symptoms were easy to spot.

Crowd surfing Essex style...

And that was just Saturday, tune in next time for Sunday...


  1. what absolutely marvellous photos, I feel like I was there. Without the sweat.

  2. Skipper Thank you, one try's one's best. I must say we missed the boys this year.....

    It's not just the sweat, there's also the heaps of rubbish and the drunken yobs to contend with. Still worth it though...

  3. Ha! Love the concert fashion. I often wonder how many random photos there are of me out in the world. Whether I was captured in the background of someones photo, or on a drunken night like that guy.

  4. Great pics, I'd love to take a camera like that with me to a festival (if I owned one), but I'd be too worried about it getting nicked or losing it.

    Like Nikki said, I'd love to know if I'm on any random crowd shot photos out there.

    My only claim to fame is that my back/back of my head (I know the back of my head when I see it) was on an infamous shot of some wasted, totally naked, 40yr old doing naughty things to herself next to a bin at Glastonbury in 2003. In the middle of the afternoon too...I didn't even see her at the time either, gutted!

    Ah...those were the days *goes into hazy memory*

  5. Nikki I'm sure there are hundreds of people going through there snaps at this very moment saying "Who's that girl". Some of the more more adventurous people (I.e ones to avoid like the plague) might even be singing it in a Eurythmics style.

  6. CS I feel that as I'm fortunate enough to have the camera I should make use of it. It is insured and since we did not stay over night (lucky to be close enough to drive and besides Mrs B does not do festival camping) I did not have to sleep with it strapped to me. I can assure you it spent 99% of the time attached to me.

    The back of my head once featured on the cover of a single. Since the group was called "Friends Again" and most people have never heard of them it's not a big thing. I did, however, get to see the group "play live" which is more than can be said of you seeing your lady friend.....

  7. I liked the photos too. Saw a few people with massive cameras at the Clapham weekender getting harrassed by drunks, "take my photo please maaaate!"

    I suppose the problem when you see acts like FatboySlim live is that you expect them to reel off the album you loved back in 2000 or whenever, so when they play new stuff it just doesn't feel the same.

  8. PDEWYMO Glad you like the photo's. The ones from the second day, to be published shortly, are in my opinion, a little better. I was prepared to push my way to the front more.

    You are correct and as Mrs B pointed out - repetative beat is what he was aiming for. I think I'm just down becuase I like the killers so much. Still Mrs B puts up with my rubbish and being dragged along every year so it's only right that she gets a vote.....


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