Leeds Festival - Eminem Day - Friday 24th August
It wouldn't be a festival without torrential rain, but today its almost understandable with dismal goth rockers Fear Factory droning on the main stage. Its not that it particularly bad, its just that it never raises above the average. It just seems so fake - all the American rock bullshit of "Fuck You" will change the world - and in truth is little more than a tired cliché. Thank god for Xzibit who with his brand of Dre produced hip hop brings the sunshine out for a while. Crisp beats, intricate melodies and lyrical rhymes collide in way that can only come from the master of hip-hop.
Back over to the Carling Stage where indie poppers Gloss bring some light relief to the proceedings. With all the angst ridden rock music and aggressive hip-hop styles it is under the doctors strict orders that at least once a day we take time out, have a little fun and get our dancing shoes on. Not that Gloss are just another disposable pop band, Gloss are this years essential pop band following on in the footsteps of St. Etienne or The Audience. And if the music doesn't take your fancy then there's a nice bit of eye candy in the form of frontwoman Heidrun - watch her swamp home with the Sexiest Indie babe 2001!!!!
A brief dose of Godhead dampens the spirit with their Marilyn Manson pastiche, but fear not because So Solid Crew liven things up in the first real highlight of the day. The kids love it, the ageing trendies love it in only a way they can. Just 2 of the 30 strong crew up on stage with lyrical banter and a few modern classics thrown in the big up the crowd. It goes to show that a with a human touch, dance music can really touch the masses in the same way rock music has over the years.
On the way to check out Papa Roach, Mark B & Blade give us some hip-hop UK Style. Maybe it would have been wiser to give our UK brothers a little support as the Nu-metallers increasing hit and miss live performances are just getting on my tits. It may be rock & roll and we all like it a little unpredictable but if you're a punter paying hard earned cash you want to spend it on a band giving 100%. A warning from the UK to Coby Dick - you have one more strike and its out!!!
Ultimately the band of the day award goes to none other than Gene. A strange choice I hear you say but when these guys are on form they can blow anyone of stage - "We Could Be Kings", "Fighting Fit", "Olympian" - so many tacky headlines and yet all of them true. One suspects that Martin Rossiter would dearly love to be headlining the mainstage tonight and with several new songs thrown in amongst a plethora of classic singles you can't help but feel that the band may just be on the way up again. To paraphrase old Rozzer "if this doesn't move you, you have no heart".
At a festival Marilyn Manson and Eminem can only disappoint. With none of the thrills of their usual performances (Marilyns total command of the stage / Eminems chainsaw routine). The formers set has become a little too familiar and where at first it amused, tonight its just seemed like one joke stretched to a full one show. Where were the blood hungry christians praying for the devil to be sacrificed? Where were the fans begging to be abused? Where was the controversy? The biggest shock tonight was that Manson just can't shock anymore and that is the time when everyone just walks away.
Much of the problems that hindered Manson are only amplified by Eminem. A limp set with his so-called protégés D12 only go to show just how weak he is as a rapper. His gang may not have the tunes but they sure as hell make him look like a whining little white boy. I came expecting to be entertained - to forget he was a homophobic, sexist ignorant little bit of white trash - and all I got was a half hearted show which revolved around the ego of a half-wit. Whether it be Eminem, Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers this week all he had to was give us a greatest hits set, his chainsaw set-piece and fuck off. Ultimately he made the serious mistake of taking himself to seriously as an artist and decided to play us some of his less obvious material. The sooner everyone realizes that Eminem is just another white boy rapper who can't rap for toffee the better. Now MC Tunes that was a white guy who could rap - whatever did happen to the Dust Junkies anyway.