Too much booze, too much drugs, too much fake tan and way too much fun. Candice Legwarmer reports from Saturday’s dizzying excess at Creamfields 2008.
My mate Sean summed it up perfectly; Creamfields is one big guide to DOS and DON’TS.
Twenty minutes away from the entrance and we’re passing a steady flow of track-suited gorillas urinating along the banks of the A56. Leafy Cheshire has braced itself for the biggest piss-up of 08 by employing security and extra fencing around much of its stately mansions in Halton suburbia.
As the lines of traffic grind to a trickle, there’s the regular sight of souped-up soundsystem bangers, alloys more expensive than chassis, containing a posse of heads bobbing in time to the beat.
There’s a woman in her late 40s dressed like a hedgerow with an accompanying white bonnet staggering after her 4×4 Land Rover – it looks like she’s trying to open the boot but she could be just using it to support her clearly inebriated mind.
As we enter a couple are carrying a Makosi from Big Brother lookalike – she’s yet to make it further than the car-park and has flecks of white spittle dripping down her D&G croptop.
Upon entry we’re greeted to the full colours of the rave rainbow as the greying skies prove no concern to the cyber-wear warriors.
It may only be mid-afternoon but Creamfields 2008 is in full swing. Simian Mobile Disco is blaring in the background from the mainstage but essentials call; over-priced ale and a burger which tastes of stale air.
Making our way to the Chibuku tent, the heavens decide to open, and The Whip are the beneficiaries as the shelter becomes a mass of heat and bodies. For all their energy and frantic clarion calls to dance, the Manchester lot miss the spot; more generic skinny-indie-beat that lacks the panache of their rock forefathers and the vitality of the new breed of dance fusionists ala Holy Fuck, !!! or Cut Copy.
With Beth Ditto‘s shrill Arkansas wailing ringing from the mainstage and the rain refusing to relent we hasten to Subliminal Sessions for a slice of Harry Choo Choo Romero, passing on our way a Kevin attempting to drink his stash of poppers and Mikey (not the blind one) from Big Brother surrounded by a harem of seven-year-olds. He’s engrossed, and loving it that someone still cares.
Exploring, we take in some messy funk in the Hospitality, as Tocadisco works the decks. There’s a guy dressed as an acid face who has collapsed under a table, but save from that it’s relatively sedate as couples om-nom-nom on the tasty looking grub while many folk sit off on the inviting cerise sofas.
Arranging to meet mates proves hellish, but when we do link up it becomes truly nightmarish as we head to the mainstage for 2008’s musical nadir; Pendulum.
Like the holocaust multiplied by 9/11, God’s sickest joke to date, the Perth Norberts combine substandard Linkin Park (yup, that bad) bombast with squelchy substandard Scooter (no, really) electrowaps.
Much of their set is akin to the noise a plunger makes while being thrust into a particularly blocked toilet, as Neds in their scall-military regalia wave Smirnoff Ice in the air.
When they drop Voodoo People, it’s reminiscent of the village DJ whacking on Wonderwall at a wedding reception in an attempt to prove they’re hip. Pendulum are hopelessly awful.
Erol Alkan provides a complete contrast and it’s in the tents that Creamfields truly comes alive. With ample space to dance – this being the 10th Anniversary of the festival and more options, plus camping on offer – the sweaty confines of the tents is far preferable to the largely lifeless sets on the main arenas. Only enormo-dome regular Fatboy Slim proves his skill at both mixing crowd pleasers and sustaining the dance on the main stage.
In fact, much like watching Macca at Glastonbury, you really have to tip your hat at Norman Cook for continuing to look like your daft uncle (though, mine are rarely seen sporting Hawaii beachwear) and yet entertaining the masses with such deft aplomb.
Wide of grin and repeatedly holding aloft his 12″‘s like Olympic golds, it’s clear he enjoys this as much as the thousands below. Rockafeller Skank, Star 69 and a perfectly-timed Love Is In The Air a fitting closer to a winning set.
Earlier, in a shrewd move by organisers, the rock embraced the rave as Ian Brown stormed the Chibuku tent as the revellers bounced as one to the bass-heavy gut punch of Golden Gaze and Sister Rose.
A brief technical halt, served only to build exhilaration as the chants of ‘Eeeeeeeeeean,’ rung around before an incendiary Dolphins Were Monkeys weaved into a blistering Waterfall.
The crowning glory arrived in the shape of F.E.A.R. as the tent joined in unison for the biggest sing-along of the day, a fitting finale indeed.