By Anna Sims

DAY: 17th August ‘97

LOCATION: Main stage, Temple Newsam, Leeds

EVENT: Why just the damn biggest festival of last year that’s all!!!  This one knocks
the stuffing outta Glastonbury and makes Reading look like a dodgy children’s
disco!!! What could it be I hear you cry?! (or is it those voices in me head again?! 
Hmm must get that seen to!!!)  Why it was V97 of course!!! (well what else did ya
think it could be?!  Barry Manillow?!)

Picture the scene; lush green grass, thousands of beaming faces and red hot sunshine,
but nough of the perfect scenery and back to reality.

Half way through the day it had started raining, masses flocked for cover under the
various tents and stalls, the frantic rush to get out of the cold.  Luckily I’d just bought
myself a very dodgy V97 T shirt, so I wasn’t as cold as some who’d come with nowt
but skimpy tops and shorts (one of those such people being my big sis’).  The band
playing on the main stage at the time (addict, I think it was) looked a sorry sight,
thrashing their heart out to the handful of crazy people who had braved the cold rain
to watch them. (Mad People! MAD I say!!!).  But the rain didn’t last long and it was
back to the main stage to catch the next act, Linoleum, and quite good they were too.

But by this time I was finding it hard to concentrate on the music,  all I could hear
was the ever growing noise of my grumbling tummy, and decided it would be best to
grab a little snack.  So off we popped, past the burger stand and the hot dogs straight
for the... yep you guessed it... the NOODLES! yum!.., but enough of my eating habits
and back to the music me thinks!

The Supernaturals were the next on the main stage and they put on a pretty damn
good show.  On they stomped, brightly adorned in a lovely shade of orange boiler
suit!!!  (Umm, wonder who their fashion consultant is...) And what a spankingly good
set indeed, with such favourites among the indie peeps as “The day before yesterday’s
man”, “Love has past away” and “Lazy Lover”.  But who could forget the stonkingly
fantastic “Smile”.  “You’d better smile, smile, smile, smile, smile, smile, smile, smile

Er soz about that readers I don’t know what came over me there,  I couldn’t contain it

Any way next on the stage, were Pavement and to tell you the truth I didn’t quite
fancy going to watch a band who’d claimed Blur had nicked half their ideas and lyrics
off them.  So instead we went for a wander and discovered the dance tent.  It was very
dark and hot and sweaty and the music was too loud (ooh Grandma!).  Too much of
that there base and not enough “proper music”.  Nah, give me a couple of good lyrics
and a smashing jingly jangly guitar type tune to bop along to any day!  Gus Gus!?! 
More like get me outta here quick!!!

So we decided to go and check out what the NME stage had to offer;  Silver sun,
hmmm what can I say?  I was getting bored and impatient so decided to have a quick
peek at the time table, and found to my horror that such great bands as The Divine
Comedy were on the NME stage at the same time as Kula Shaker were playing on the
main stage!  and Mansun and Ash were playing the same time as the Chemical
Brothers and Blur!!!!....Who organised the stages then?!  bad enough to have crap on
such as Jimmi Tenor (WHO!?!) and Gus Gus, but you had to make us choose between
some fantastic bands as well! grrrrr! very annoyed!

But of course Kula Shaker and Blur won hands down!!! naturally!  One of my
favourite bands followed by THE BEST BAND EVER! founders of Britpop, who’d
managed to make tank tops and Jack Duckworth style glasses fashionable again with
a little help from Mr. G. Coxon.  And had fought bankruptcy, and lack of interest in
their fourth album, and the “mighty” (spit, spit) Oasis to come back with a splendid
and perhaps the best album of their career, which knocked all the critics dead and
proved they are still the KINGS of INDIE!!! oh yes they are!!!

But hang on a mo’ I’m getting carried away again ain’t I?!  Back to V97.

By the time we’d got to the main stage again Kula Shaker were just about to start
their little bit.  Now I can’t remember all the songs that were played because I got a
tad carried away with the rest of the crowd, (I got carried so far I managed to get right
infront of the stage, if only I had a camera!!!)  But I do recall a rather FAB acoustic
version of Narayan which went down a storm! V. impressed.  But the time was
approaching fast the band we’d all come to see were probably swigging down their
last gulps of beer and finishing of their fags (or lighting them up if your name just
happens to be Alex, yes you know who you are oh floppy fringed one!!)

And as the crowd began to grow impatient some pillock next to me started singing
“You’ve gotta roll with it” (Which believe me did not go down well with the rest of
the crowd who promptly shut him up with icy glares of hate!  Sorry all Oasis fans out
there but it’s not a good idea to come to a Blurry concert unless you intent on loosing
a few tooth and having a months supply of hospital food shoved down your silly
necks!!!) tsk, tsk.

Anyway, the stage suddenly lit up and a load of fireworks went off and on stormed
Blur with the set that simply blew the crowd away, with songs that I think even the
Beatles would’ve been proud of.  The crowd showed their appreciation by shouting
WAHOO after every song whilst Blur played away the best I’ve ever heard.  The
sense of belonging was magic and the atmosphere couldn’t have been better, a whole
field of people joined together to watch the Kings of Indie do their thing.  And at the
end of it all the lovely sense of inner peace, a perfect end to a perfect day (cue Lou
Reed hee, hee!)  If there’s a V98 then you can bet your socks I’ll be there somewhere
pogoing the day away and reminiscing about the best concert of ‘97, bliss.

As some wise person sang “LETS ALL HAVE A DISCO”....

By Anna Sims

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