Sunday and there’s a stench in the air. That’ll be two days’ worth of dried urine that occupies most of the one-way pedestrian system from the Main Stage to the Snickers Stage, not to mention thousands of peoples’ unwashed sweat and body odour (not from us – we’re posh and not camping, remember?).
Having Hatebreed on the Main Stage early is hardly going to help this state of affairs with circle pits springing into life, limbs flailing and gallons of sweat flowing.
Still, Jamey Jasta and crew’s brutal set of fist-pumping, unity-imploring hardcore is an ideal way to shake out any cobwebs and prepare for the long, final day of the festival.
Disappointingly, it seems that Evergrey‘s slot on the Snickers Bowl has been shifted and so, after watching some of the gravity-defying BMX All-Around Finals, it’s back to the Main Stage for the cheese-fest that is Dragonforce.
With his leather trousers, bare chest, long hair that’s been repeatedly molested by curling tongs and operatic vocals, it’s clear that the last 20 years have been but an amnesiac blip in frontman ZP Theart’s non-ironic mind. Furthermore, the undoubted technical guitar wizardry of Herman Li and friends is utterly buried in a shocking sound mix that is all drums… And dustbin lid-sounding ones at that.
Nevertheless, the crowd loves it. Theart, fresh from demonstrating how his microphone could be used as a phallus (did someone mention “cock rock”?), is amazed at their fervour. Dude, you’re not the only one.
In complete contrast, 36 Crazyfists bring things back down to refreshing reality with their heartfelt, chorus-centric metalcore. At The End Of August and The Heart And The Shape are particularly fine though your intrepid correspondent does end their set with a bloody mouth (whack in the face – accidental I assume) and warm, yellow liquid running down his leg (not mine, not accidental – don’t ask).
Onwards and upwards and over at the Snickers Stage, the cavernous tent is beginning to bulge in anticipation of Fightstar. Once Charlie Simpson and his buddies take to the stage, it quickly becomes clear that a small section of the attendees are here to exact revenge on Simpson for his past life with pop muppets Busted, as a continual stream of plastic bottles are lobbed on to the stage during the first few songs.
To his credit, Simpson deals with the anonymous hecklers brilliantly. “There are a lot of good throwers… [Pauses] C**ts!” he shouts, before adding that the band wouldn’t care about being hit if it weren’t for it spoiling the enjoyment of their real fans. The roar that follows indicates who’s in the minority and the bottle-throwing mysteriously ceases. Nice work.“With his leather trousers, bare chest, long hair that’s been repeatedly molested by curling tongs and operatic vocals, it’s clear that the last 20 years have been but an amnesiac blip in Dragonforce frontman ZP Theart’s non-ironic mind.”