Well how about that. I actually went and achieved my aim of making it out of Punchestown both alive and relatively unscathed. (Save for a smattering of sunburn on my shoulders - I know, SUNBURN at an Irish festival! It's unheard of!) I genuinely wasn't sure if that would be the case after the helpful and terrifying comments on my last post and hearing that Oxegen is the only festival that the security guards are required to wear stab vests at, but we somehow pulled it off.
As I sat by the tent drinking cans with T Cup and her sister, observing the festival attendees passing through the campsite, it felt a bit like a wildlife programme. That is, if David Attenborough wore giant sunglasses and the wildlife in question consisted of drunk, half naked teenagers.
It seems that boys favour walking around with a hand down the front of their pants. Or in one case, BOTH hands. BOTH hands were actually shoved down the front of his pants as he wandered about. What the holy fuck is all that about? The less skangery variety seem to think that everyone wants to hug them, and much of the weekend was spent humouring seventeen year olds with high fives for fear of being called a cunt. The girls inexplicably appear to enjoy writing on each others arms and legs (who brings markers to a festival? WHO?) and wear denim hotpants with the mandatory two inches of ass cheek hanging out. I swear their shorts were wedged so far up their arses they must have been able to taste the frayed denim. All weekend it was wall-to-wall ass on show.
Anyway, aside from just not getting kids today, there was some most enjoyable music to be encountered, at which I found myself:
* Dancing in the Electric Ballroom while Bitches With Wolves were their usual exuberant, sparkly and ferociously fun selves, with their cover of Toca's Miracle sending the crowd into a disco frenzy.
* Catching Weezer play My Name Is Jonas and a cover of Teenage Dirtbag, at which point I sniffily decided that this crowd of kids probably thought they were actually Wheatus.
* Having Joyce Country Céilí Band lodged in my head until Tuesday after seeing The Saw Doctors.
* Coming to the conclusion that The Black Eyed Peas and Foo Fighters are actually the polar opposites of each other in terms of live performances. You see, will.i.am and his motley crew are probably the worst band on the planet, but their live show is actually sort of entertaining, thanks solely to an abundance of lasers and great visuals, even though their songs are criminally awful. Whereas Dave Grohl and the lads crank out hit after tremendous hit with inescapable charisma and enthusiasm and no reliance whatsoever on fancy light shows and as such, rock the pants right off you.
* Squawking along happily at Fight Like Apes and their typically raucous and demented set. May Kay emerged onstage dressed like a version of Morticia Addams that had decided to take up crime-fighting, with the boys in the band wrapped in technicolour morphsuits. Their performance was an obscenely fun mix of whacking giant iron bars together, the title sequence from California Dreams and a trailer for Plan 9 From Outer Space being played on the big screen and May Kay clambering onto a surprised security guard's shoulders from the stage, from where she finished belting out her song.
* Being taken completely by surprise at how much I enjoyed Beyonce. Seriously, when Twitter was set alight during her Glastonbury performance, I didn't even bother changing the channel to see what all the fuss was about, and yet there I was whooping, dancing around and singing along to the Destiny's Child medley, Crazy In Love and Single Ladies, out of my mind with happiness. I have to hand it to her, girlfriend puts on one HELL of a show.
Honourable mention must go to Tinie Tempah, Two Door Cinema Club, Swedish House Mafia, Manic Street Preachers and Coldplay (who were surprisingly fun) as well as the outdoor screening of The Life Of Brian which was exactly what we needed on Sunday morning. But not Arctic Monkeys, seeing was they were shite. So despite the surrounding knackpocalypse and being wary of everyone in the crowd in general, a great weekend was had, and yet...and yet...it's still no Electric Picnic. Which can't come soon enough.
EDIT: Completely forgot to mention that Imelda May was fantastic as ever and Slash & Friends was like watching a quite good cover band. Except for the part where Fergie Ferg joined them onstage, at which point it was more like listening to a bag of cats being swung against a wall.