The Trip to Tipp.
Semple Stadium, Thurles, 24 August 1997.
After 3 years away, the great unwashed descended on a small town in Tipperary
to rock. And to drink as well. The line-up looked good and the drink would
make them all seem better than they were any way.
First shock, no bar in the stadium. No drink at all. Unlike Feile where you
could leave the venue now and again, for this gig there was no readmission.
The fact that most of the crowd had started drinking beforehand and started
to sober up very quickly gave the gig a depressed feel.
Then there were the bands. The first band I saw were the Cardigans. Boring
one-hit wonders. The rest of their stuff is nothing like
"Lovefool", it sounds like a bad mix of the Sundays and the Cranes.
Reef next, and as expected they were a bit of fun. For a while at least. The
fact that all of their songs sound pretty much the same got very tiresome
after around two or three.
The Foo Fighters were a huge disappointment. Apart from the MTV friendly
singles like "Monkey Wrench", the other songs were just a noisy mix
of shouting, distortion and too much bass. Perhaps this was a bad day for
them, but it was a very bad day.
Things could only get better, but then again, next up were Kula Shaker.
People seem to like the jumped up little shit, but I don't understand why.
An inauthentic attempt at 60s acid rock - all guitar solos, bad organ playing
and bullshit lyrics. The sooner Crispin Mills disappears up his own arse,
Then the Manic Street Preachers came on. Thank whatever deity there is. The
Manics are one of the best live acts there are. Yes, we do love you. The
set ran through a selection of their best stuff from all four albums -
"Motorcycle Emptiness", "La Tristessa...",
"Faster" and "Australia" all appeared among others.
During their set the rain started. It was light at first, but the band
showed they have supernatural abilities. The first note of "Raindrops
Keep Falling on my Head" was played and the skies opened. The song
continued and the faithful danced manically in the rain. Unfortunately, the
band were cut short and when they finished, we realised we were cold and
After an hour's wait in wet clothes, the Prodigy came on. Wet clothes can
damp anyone's spirits, but they did get a reaction. However, they are
definitely on the decline. As a live dance band, the Prodigy were the best,
as a techno rock band, they are average. "Smack my Bitch Up",
"Breathe", "Voodoo People", "Poison" and
"Firestarter" were all played, but they all have the same flaw. A
stadium rock band, techno or not, need to have some anthems. None of their
collection of songs really have more than one or two lines repeated over and
over. It does get a bit tiresome.
And then it was over, well almost. As we left through the exit tunnel we
found it was flooded. After wadding through 3 inches of water, we realised
that it wasn't water. The fucking sewers had flooded and the exit tunnel was
now full of piss and whatever else had gone down the toilets.
The perfect end to a fucking perfect day.
by Donnacha DeLong