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TrashPit's Day at Download 2007

For TrashPit Magazine there was only really one day worth going to at this year's DOWNLOAD Festival at Castle Donington and that was the Saturday for sure. With MOTLEY CRUE headlining the second stage and the mighty BOWLING FOR SOUP continuing their Donington domination it was a no-brainer.


I made sure I was there early in time to catch ARMY OF FRESHMEN on the Tuborg Stage. Planet's certainly aligned for the bands performance when normally this early in the day most people would be still nursing hangovers from the previous days festivities, I instead found the whole tent packed and the band cashed in on this big time. Always a high energy band, AOF got in there, did the job and got out - Power Pop Perfection. Sticking to their most infectious tunes such as 'Juliet', '10,000 Years' and 'Get Um Up', they kept the ever growing fanbase happy and got a whole horde of new converts in on the game. Playing yet another ace by getting Jaret from BFS up on stage for 'At The End Of The Day' simply cemented their victory and gave themselves and the crowd a real gig to remember!

With one heck of an act to follow, Boston's DAMONE had a huge mountain to climb being next up on stage and whilst they delivered their slick brand of good time classic rock and roll with style they seemed to struggle connecting with the majority of the crowd. There was certainly a bunch of people who enjoyed their set, myself included, but most of the punters interests seemed elsewhere which was a real shame. DAMONE will certainly begin to gain more and more fans in the UK with more gigs but today for some reason it was real hard work for them.


After an hour or so of aimless wandering around the festival, being surprisingly impressed by what I saw of AIDEN yet less than impressed of 30 SECONDS TO MARS it was time for BOWLING FOR SOUP to kick the party into gear! Two gigantic inflatable sheep adorn each side of the stage and whilst final preparations are made the cameras take in numerous boob flashings from the crowd! BFS open with 'The Bitch Song' followed by 'The Last Rock Show' and whilst today suffering from a dodgy sound they're always going to be onto a winner at Donington. For the good time rock fan, DOWNLOAD ain't really the place to be with it's endless lineup of angst, heaviness and gloom so a band like BFS are the light hearted feel good relief that will always steal the show. The sound improved once they launched into current single 'I'm Gay' only to be dogged again by bass problems soon after - Doh!! I didn't care, even though I have to admit this seemed like a somewhat laid back BFS Rock Show it was a ROCK show all the same and in the afternoon summer sunshine you couldn't go wrong.


It was only a couple of hours wait before it was time for more BFS action at the small Nokia stage. In a packed tent the band took on a Q&A session before Jaret and Erik played a simply awesome (but unfortunately short) acoustic set and made my favourite part of the day. Not wanting to simply play songs they'd played earlier we were treated to 'Belgium', 'Two Seater', 'My Hometown' before ending with 'The Bitch Song'. Oh, did I forget to mention the brief Slayer interlude part way though?! Whilst delivering great one liners and endlessly funny short stories the songs themselves sound stunning and only to be helped along with the necessary Soup ingredient of the occasional beer - Priceless. Now how about some more sets like this on the GET HAPPY TOUR this Autumn - I can arrange a BBQ if you're interested in coming along and playing!!;)

Always being a fan of MARILYN MANSON I have to admit I felt a little deflated by what I saw of his set. Sure the stage was stunning with it's hundreds of candles, great backdrop setting and the band looked cool as fuck but for some reason I was left cold. 'Disposable Teens' is an anthem to end all anthems but even early in the set it kinda failed to get things into gear. Manson has always been equal parts Art and equal parts Rock but in daytime sunlight his mystique is somewhat lost which was a real shame.


Heading over to the Second Stage I get to catch the tail end of SATELLITE PARTY's set. Perry Farrell has assembled one hell of a kick ass band especially by recruiting one of the heroes of my youth in the form of EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. The band are extremely slick and the songs expertly performed as you'd expect. Definitely a band to look out for over the coming months and, with the inclusion of several JANE'S ADDICTION songs in the set, Farrell easily justifies the high billing on the festival line up with such a new band.

I was wondering how many people would turn out to catch MOTLEY CRUE's second stage headlining performance. I know you ain't gonna get a much more legendary band on the line-up but did the DOWNLOAD crowd really care? Too fuckin right they did. The tent was filled to bursting and beyond and once the band launched into opener 'Dr Feelgood', Donington exploded! Playing essentially a Greatest Hits set with the exception of 'Louder Than Hell' to keep the die hards happy, the Crue were untouchable. I'm sure there were a few tapes helping out Vince Neil's vocals which was particularly noticeable on 'Girls, Girls, Girls' but I ain't complaining - this was frickin awesome. Mick Mars is indeed beyond Legend status these days and playing better than ever whilst Nikki Sixx continues to be the epitome of cool. Tommy Lee still rocks his bad dude, home boy image which is just about bearable but I guess the guy is a celebrity these days so I guess he can be excused - maybe? This was a top drawer performance and a great way to end the day. Linkin Who?


It seems that the good time rock is slowly creeping back onto the Donington line up which is great to see. Just a shame sometimes that it's spread over the three days - how would a bill of Motley Crue, Velvet Revolver, Bowling For Soup, Hardcore Superstar (who unfortunately pulled out of Sunday's gig), Damone and Army of Freshmen have been like all on the Main Stage - now that would have been off the chart! Next year maybe?

Review & Damone Pic by Rob Lane

All other kick ass photos by Scott Cole

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