Bloodstock Open Air - Day 1: Bloodstock II: Electric Boogaloo

Yeah, Gorlock went back to Bloodstock again. Fuck knows why.

I was all set to give Bloodstock a wide berth this year, because for the last year or so, I've realised that I can't really be scuttered with the vast majority of metal. It's largely terrible really isn't it? It's an adolescent, whiny, needlessly confrontational form of music and detrimental to a person's development. And the fans... god, the fans. You're terrible sometimes, comparing your bands like you compare your penii (mine's massively average by the way).

Basically all music is bullshit. Apart from Leonard Cohen and the soundtrack to Super Metroid.

So yeah as I was saying, apart from the odd exception, metal's largely a bit plops. A twitter acquaintance described it as 'the anime of music' and he's not wrong. Reviewing reams of the stuff for the last year and a half has honed my bullshit detector to such a degree that unless I'm listening to the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jack Krauser, it's going in the bin. So Bloodstock didn't register for a while. I was expecting the same slew of power metal bollocks that came last year. If you read my overlong, overwritten piece of shit about the 2009 festival you'll know my feelings on power metal.

But then they announced Devin Townsend didn't they? And Meshuggah. And Fear Factory. And Gojira and Behemoth (who eventually pulled out due to health reasons) and Suffocation and blah blah blah. Basically the line up was assloads better and featured three bands who I'd always wanted to see.

So some hasty begging later I was on my way to Derby again. Not before buying this doozy of a DVD though...

Mercifully, I arrived just in time to miss Snakebite, Black Spiders and Ross The Boss. Last year I'd have at least feigned some knowledge about who they were, but nowadays I'm too jaded and apathetic to bother trying to appear in cahoots with you lot, so I'm going to merrily plead my complete ignorance.

So, as soon as I was there I set my tent up in record time (depressingly I actually practised pitching it before going to the festival. I didn't want a repeat of last year's debacle when a 15 year old girly girl had to to teach me how to erect it. Fnar). By the time I finished the construction of my little fabric fortress (replete with a little torch, CCTV, tripwires and gun turrets) Ensiferum were on. 'Perfect!' I silently gesticulated to myself. 'Time to hit the bar.'

After a pint and some Bull Semen derived energy beverage that was free to me because I'm a hateful media wanker, I cantered to the main stage to watch... Cathedral! Taking the place of poor old Behemoth, Lee Dorrian and his  buddies filled in pretty well. Cathedral's take on Doom is honestly pretty daft, and Dorrian always sounds like he's singing another song (badly), but that's what is fun about them. If Dorrian ever sung in tune it'd ruin them for me. Also his stage mannerisms are amazing. He does this thing where he looks like he's motorboating an invisible woman, and he strikes the most amazing poses on stage. And the Witchfinder General song is still the best song ever.

So what did I do after Cathedral finished their fun set? Did I go and meet with the general community? Did I go backstage and attempt small talk with the bands and PR peeps?

No I did not. I iplayed Peggle on some guy's iPhone (hopefully because I've mentioned an apple product Steve Jobs will send me an iPad, an iPhone and some pies so I can drown in the raging sargasso sea of new media as I hurtle along it's precarious waves on my jet powered segway with a non GM cigar hanging out my mouth) and had a cup of tea.

Gorgoroth were next.

Urgh. You know how some people seem to get cooler as they get older, like David Bowie, Sean Connery and Elizabeth Taylor? Well, I'm afraid that doesn't apply to black metal bands. If you're losing your hair and cultivating a belly, putting on corpse paint and studded wristbands is going to make you look like an even bigger wally than you already are. Again, I really have no idea about Gorgoroth apart from the fact that the name's from Lord Of The Rings or some shit. Anyway I watched a bit of their set and it seemed... well I'm probably the worst person to review a black metal gig aren't I? As with many things nowadays it left me utterly and sexlessly cold. And no, not in a lame, frostbitten way. I watched about 25 minutes out of some weird journalistic duty (to be honest it was probably more like 10, but shhh!) before opting to go and do something more interesting. Like wash my hair. Or have a poo.

Oh, speaking of which, I had access to the VIP toilet which was amazing, so no poopy shenanigans this year. Compared to what I had to put up with last year it was like something out of fucking Battlestar Galactica. It was heavenly, not having to use the mouthbreather toilets. It basically meant I wouldn't walk into a cubicle and run into this again...

OK, next band. By the way, as I write this out I've actually got the line up and stage times in another window, because I've forgotten most of what happened and I was too much of a cretin to actually take notes about any of the bands at the time. I actually saw someone taking notes and silently scoffed at him. Guess he's got the last laugh now or something. Whoever he was I hate him.

It turns out Sonata Arctica were next. I missed them. Oh, and it turns out I missed Rage earlier too. I bet they weren't as good as Rage Against The Machine. NEXT!


Now this is more like it. Meshuggah are what basically sold the festival for me. Well I say sold, I didn't actually buy tickets. Who the hell would pay stupid money to sleep in a cold, cramped tent and listen to shitty bands? That's the beauty of writing for a website. You get shit for free! You should all do it. You'll all be drowning in poontang and blow before you can say 'nervous breakdown.'

Even though they played loads of stuff off ObZen, which by Meshuggah's standard is... well, shit frankly, their set was pretty bitchin'. They played some of the best stuff from Nothing too so I was a happy Gorlock, and the 8 string guitars sounded so good I ejaculated, although I didn't really as only really stupid people or desperate lonely wankers would fire their awful load in the middle of a metal set, and I'm certainly not stupid and I'm only a lonely wanker. Sadface.

After Meshuggah I think I nipped back to my tent for a bit and had a pie. I cannot remember what sort of pie it was because I was drunk. I think it might have been a Tesco's Finest Pork Pie. I normally hate Pork Pies, but every couple of years, like a beast in thrall to some weird snack based lunar cycle I have a craving for a Pork Pie. Maybe I'm pregnant. I hope not. Although in some way I hope I am as I'm all for child labour. Anyway, as far as I can recall it was a nice pie, with a minimum of gristle and a lovely crumbly pastry.

After eating this pie, I traipsed all the way back to the main stage to watch Opeth. I don't get Opeth. It's not even a case of missing the boat with them. I saw the Opeth boat, wasn't too fussed and opted for the dinghy instead. I have bought Opeth albums in the past, mildly enjoyed them and then opted to do something else, like put on a better, more fun album that I got the same day. I remember buying Blackwater Park at the same time as Hot Damn! by Every Time I Die. I could reel off the lyrics to that album off the top of my head. I can barely remember any of the tracks on Blackwater Park. That pretty much says it all.

Basically Opeth are pretty sleepy. They play everything note perfectly, but their music has a soporific effect on me, and not a nice soporific effect, like when you're watching Badgerwatch with Bill Oddie at 3 in the morning and you go all light headed and you just start smiling and you don't know why. It's the kind of soporific effect when you feel all heavy lidded and you just can't be bothered with anything. Opeth do that to me. They're probably amazing, but the cognitive functions of my brain just prolapse whenever I hear them.

I said my goodnights to some of the people I was hanging about with (because quite frankly, I'm royalty now and everyone wants to be seen with Gorlock) and I entered my security code and crossed the moat of piss and hydrochloric acid I had built around my tent and settled into my silk woven sleeping bag that I had crafted by a faction of blind hermaphrodite Tibetan Monks. Learning from last year's awful mistake, I brought my iPod along and listened to some instrumental Nine Inch Nails stuff to keep the terrible metal at bay.

I'll tell you what. Listening to eerie instrumental stuff while you see silhouettes creeping outside your tent is scary as fuck. Seriously. I'm still not used to camping, and I have this paranoid fear that one day one of the silhouettes will carve their way into my tent with a kitchen knife, drool frothing from his mouth like an anti-gravity cappuccino, and bumrape me.

On that note, I'll bid you adieu for now. Part 2 coming up when I can be bothered. It'll basically be me giving Devin Townsend a handjob.