Graspop rocked verily

Tower over the info tent
Tower over the info tent

A delay in posting due to spending three days in a field in north Belgium kicking bells out of fellow rockers, plus a day either side traveling to and from London.

Graspop 2009 was probably the strongest overall lineup I’ve seen at the festival, although the headliners were surprisingly weak. Motley Crue were just dreadful, playing guitar-wankery for ages after just the first song. This was followed by a rather tedious and very poorly-performed solo after the third song. Time to head back to the tent.

Slipknot were much better on Saturday, but somehow didn’t capture the magic they once did. This despite a pretty passable fourth album. Perhaps the problem was with the weather which was ridiculously hot all weekend.

 

Awesome mohawk
Awesome mohawk

Marilyn Manson has gone from “God of Fuck” to “God of Fuck Off You’re Rubbish”. He certainly lived up to the bad press he received from his performance at Download a fortnight back. If memory serves, he was five songs through before he said anything at all to the audience and that was only four words: “So this is Belgium?”. Between songs, the stage just went black with the audience left just wondering what was going on. We gave him until “Sweet Dreams” then wandered off as we quite like that song and didn’t want to hear him murder it.

The remaining bands put together a great bill, though. Across various tents I watched All That Remains, Papa Roach, Anthrax (my top band of the weekend), Sacred Reich, W.A.S.P., Disturbed, Hatebreed, Trivium, Pestilence, Down, Dragonforce, Lamb of God… Plus a load more I wasn’t familiar with.

A shame Killswitch Engage didn’t play, but I gather the lead singer’s grandmother passed away. I’m sure nobody holds it against them for him choosing to go home.

Band of the Weekend
Band of the Weekend

Hot sun, cold beer, great music. A shame the local council has clamped down completely on the locals selling food and beer to the festival-goers. A big thumbs down to the mayor of Dessel. I don’t fancy his chances much at the next election.

I’m off to rest my weary body and dress my wounds (I’ve got some impressive cuts this year – weird) before getting up in about 4 hours to catch my flight to Bangkok. What a life, eh?

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Byeeeee (again)

GMM 10th Anniversary Ticket
GMM 10th Anniversary Ticket

Well, folks, this is your lot for a few days. Tomorrow morning, I drive down to Dawn’s and we panic trying to figure out how to split no more than 30kg of camping equipment and strong alcohol between us (silly Ryanair luggage limits). Then, off to Belgium via Holland.

I’ll try to convince her that it’s important I get back in one piece. Mainly because I’ll be the one driving us home from the airport. I’ve been checking the insurance policy and it excludes “claims arising from any activity which requires a degree of skill or involves a greater risk”. Does this include moshing? If anyone asks, I fell down some stairs…

Coursework 1 is almost done. Work’s dead today, so I’ve been pulling together most of the stuff I have to do and, when it’s all in one place, it’s not that much. I’ll panic over the maths when I return.

Gym at 12:00, lunch straight after, head for site at 1:30 and – if I’m lucky – home a little early depending on how things go there. Holiday is so close!

Before any of you ask, no you can’t have a postcard. 1) I’ll be on a campsite. 2) the last time I was on hols and sent postcards, two out of the 18 I posted actually arrived. You can, however, sit in your offices and homes and wish you were there with me. That is allowed.

Clippings

Don’t you hate it when you’ve just clipped your fingernails, they’re all lovely and neat… and then you realise you can’t reach that huge crusty snotter right at the back of your nose? Your finger just seems to glide over the top, pushing it deeper and liquefying is so it either goes down the back way or mushes up and makes a mess of your hanky.

Just me, eh?

Leave them alone!!!

There’s a story on BBC News today about a former prostitute being stripped of her earnings. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ve never used a prostitute, nor do I think I ever will.

However, why on earth can’t they do their job and be left in peace? This girl came over here as a kid, set herself up and bought a flat with nearly a £500,000 deposit. In cash. She went on to set up “escort” services employing at least 45 other women at one time. They reckon she’s got upwards of £1.2 million stashed away that they’re going to try and get back.

Now… why? My only quibble (assuming the girls themselves made a decent living and were safe) is that she might not have paid tax. Thing is, if she did they’d be asking where she got the money from.

Will someone explain why prostitution is such a difficult job to have? As far as I’m aware, being a prostitute in and of itself is not illegal. It’s a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body, and if a man (or another woman) wants to pay to make use of those services then so what?

The thing is, everything surrounding prostitution is illegal. Kerb crawling. Soliciting (i.e. advertising). Living off immoral earnings (so if you’re out of work and your partner earns a living on her back, you can’t live off them or you are in trouble). Running a brothel.

The last one’s ludicrous. A “brothel” is described as any premises where more than one prostitute works. Prostitution is not a safe job, and this stupid rule prevents “safety in numbers”.

When the hell will the UK wake up and realise that a legalised, taxed and certified prostitution business (like that in some continental countries) will reduce drug problems, STDs, violence towards women and have the added bonus of bringing in some income to the treasury and reducing the load on our police and courts?

Bollocks to it. I’m off somewhere foreign. If only for a few days.

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