Hence why my neck and shoulders are stiff, my body aches, and my ears are still buzzing slightly. I just got back from Bloodstock!

For those of you not in the know, Bloodstock Open Air festival is a big heavy metal festival held in Catton Park, near Lichfield, Derbyshire. For one weekend, the quiet tranquility of the English countryside is shattered by the clamour of heavy metal guitars, the thunder of dreams, and the blood, sweat and tears of 10,000 metalheads thrashing their arses off. I was, for the first time, one of them.

From the torrential downpours of Thursday and Friday, to the blistering heat on Sunday, the weather did little to soften the tone of fashion: black. With accents of white or silver, sometimes purple, sometimes deep blue, quite often bright red (hair, usually). And little else. Boots with three-inch soles and an array of glistening steel that quickly became sullied by the stifling quagmire. Assorted tutus, frilly black lace skirts, basques. Bondage pants, skater shorts, Vans and Converse. Several horror-themed fancy dress costumes, a panda, a cow, quite a few lonely girls with signs around the necks advertising “Free Hugs”. Oh yeah, and one mankini. That was just disturbing, though. *shudder*

The moshpit was just a stirring pot of mud, sweat and bodies.

Most tastes of metal were catered for, from the rising symphonic metal of Leaves’ Eyes, through the thrash of my personal favourites Evile, to the prog rock of Stone Circle. The doom metal of Cathedral, the anarchy of Gwar and Cannibal Corpse. Even some good old hardcore rock with Twisted Sister. Afternoon refreshment came in the guise of Finnish folk metal, from Ensiferum and Korpiklaani. Only those too wasted to move were not at the very least tapping their feet to the jiggy sounds of accordion and violin. Who says metallers only listen to some dude grunting his guts out?

The weekend was amazing. I got to (at last) meet all the members of my favourite band, Evile. (I’ve met and talked with drummer Ben several times now, but never had chance to meet the rest of the gang. They are all as down-to-earth and awesome as he is.) I was also right on the barrier for Stone Circle, an as-yet-unsigned band from Brighton who I’ve been supporting for nearly two years now, purely from meeting their bassist online through Twitter. He and I are regularly chatting on there, and it was good to finally meet Rambo in person.

So, I’ve had a weekend of mucky (literally) fun. And now I’m aching for it. But I’d do it all again next weekend. Well, except the camping bit. That wasn’t fun. I’m not a camping kinda person. I seriously need to win the lottery, so I can indulge in a camper van of some sort. Maybe an entire Huymer?

(I’ll be back to my more usual writery-type posts next time. Seeing as how everyone is enjoying their summer breaks, I thought I’d not do anything too strenuous this week.)

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