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Homelands Winchester 2000 with Public Enemy, Leftfield, Moby, Manchild, Richard Fearless etc.

27th May 2000

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Only after hearing a fantastic live set by Manchild on Radio 1 on the Thursday eve before Homelands we decide that we just HAVE TO go to Homelands now. Friday then the shock: completely sold out. ummm, we are told that a 'limited number of tickets' will still be available on the Box Office on the Saturday morning, opening at 9am! After we find out that Manchild will be on very early anyway, we decide to go for it, so get up at 7am, take the train to Winchester, get there about 9.30am. Whoaah, wonderful weather, aren't we just damn lucky? Everything goes just too well, the shuttlebus is already running and after a long walk over a hill we get to the Box Office and we can get some tickets. Its 10.30am and we decide to walk to a nearby pub, to spend the time until the gates open at 1pm. And when we get there it already starts for the first time today to simply poor down. We walk back to the gate before 1pm and there is a huge queue, waiting, in the rain while the security people go with dogs through the whole queue to find 'illegal substances', how sick is that. It starts pissing down again and shortly after 1pm we finally get in, and due to the rain we just head straight away to the home arena where the mighty Manchild are scheduled to appear on 1.30pm.
Manchild live at Homelands Alfie Costa is DJing while Manchild are getting ready. They start their set 20minutes late, if that was intended or not, I don't know.

There's only slightly more people in the tent anyway, most people are standing at the back, look as if they've just come out of bed. Manchild start now, with banging tune 'Rockin' the place'.

You can click on each picture to see it full size

The sound is shite, it just isn't loud enough. By the time they play forthcoming single 'Rehab' I can finally get into it a bit, but it is a bit hard to have a band playing at 1pm on the biggest stage, their dancer hidden behind the DJ desk with not many people actually watching and sound that probably doesn't even reach the back of the tent.

Manchild @ Homelands But Manchild just play, they obviously give their best, it isn't their fault they're on before 2pm, is it. After Rehab now the Kelly Jones collaboration is played and then 'Bring the tune down'. It kinda works now, more and more people come into the tent, start dancing and start to wake up, but, this is already the last tune! Bummer, it just started to be good and now it's already over. Leaves this sort of 'I want more'-feeling behind as they leave the stage.

Anyhow, we decide to wander around a bit now. The 'Slinky' arena is already crowded, Brandon Block is on. My mate Ada is into this kind of stuff, but I am not really, so I continue wandering around on my own. I watch Grooverider in the 'The End' arena, cause everything else is just Trance now. Damn, missed Johnny Moy in the Home arena, now a band called Meeker is on. They're boring, not half as many people are watching them as at Manchild's gig. Reassuring, people still have taste. Back to the Slinky Arena, meet Ada, Brandon Block is still on. I have to get out of here! The rain is on and off, the ground starts to get a bid muddy, as you walk you just try to avoid the muddy places (compared to a few hours later ...)

We head to the Home Arena, it is actually full now,and fuckin hell, BT is on stage. I have never seen this guy before, its just one guy behind his keyboards, jumping up and down on stage, and I find him just great. He gets everybody jumping and also the sound is now much much better. Greeeat, this is actually fun now. We sneak a bit to the front, but now before Moby the Scratch Perverts are on. Boooooring. It seemsas if they're set just doesn't really ever start. Almost falling asleep already. At 5.15pm then our rescue : Moby comes on.

Moby live Moby

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He has a band with drummer, keyboarder bassplayer and enough room for Moby to run around and jump on his keyboards. Many tracks from his last album Play get played but also older one's, for example his James Bond theme. The tent is full, everyone gets into it, I really enjoy this gig, Moby is fantastic.

Now the next DJ comes on, David Holmes, we watch a bit of his set but then, although it's only just 6pm, we're dead tired, need to sit down. hmmm, sit down? It is already muddy everywhere, it is raining and it is crowded now. So we head to the still quite dry Ericsson my7 arena where we later catch Sister Bliss's set. It is raining and you're just happy if you catch a little bit of dry floor to sit on. The guy next to me spills a whole bottle of beer over the floor now, so it isn't dry anymore, great. Outside it stops raining now and we catch 20 Seconds of Ian Brown in the Home Arena, which is already more than enough for me. In other words, he is shite.

Richard Fearless 8pm Richad Fearless is DJing on the Bud Ice Bus, I definitely want to see him, thank God, it's not even raining. He plays some really weird stuff to start off, Ada is heading for some Trance again and I stay there all alone. It's funny how many people start talking to you when you are there alone at this DJ set. Within 15 minutes I get to know at least 10 new persons without even wanting to.
Richard Fearless on the bus Fearless plays Dirge now, I really start to enjoy this event again, the tiredness is gone, dancing in the mud is just suddenly so much fun!

David Holmes now also enters the Bus and all the press runs there to take THAT picture of him shaking hands with Richard Fearless. I end up staying until the very end at 9.30pm of this DJ set which is also the time when Leftfield are supposed to start in the Home arena.

Although I did all my best to avoid him, I still have to watch 5 full minutes of Paul Oakenfold's set. I just can't stand him, it's as simple as that. The home arena is now as full as it can get and it takes me a while to sneak towards the front. Thank God, 'Oakey', as his followers call him, has finished now and Leftfield come on.

Leftfield @ Homelands Leftfield and MC

Leftfield are this kind of band you don't really know what to expect from when they play live. I love their albums, some of my all-time favourites. But if there's just two guys behind keyboards playing some dull sounds in a huge tent to 8000 people then it's a bit hard to make out if this is now entertaining or just boring. You have the cool beats and the MC comes on for a few tracks as well, but there's just no real energy in this show. It's obviously not wanted either. You probably need to be on drugs to really enjoy this. After one hour they leave the stage and shortly after come back to play Phat Planet as encore, definitely the highlight of the show! Looking back to this gig I still don't really know if it was actually good or not?

Armand Van Helden But now already follows Mr. Armand Van Helden and since Leftfield left early he'll have to do a 2 hour set. He brought a guy to warm up the crowd before he comes on and this 'warm up guy' is completely amazing, the whole tent is buzzing. Everyone cheers as Armand comes on, but he just isn't half as good as his 'warm up guy' and every record he plays just sounds the same. It's almost midnight, I decide to leave the home arena for the first time since 4 hours. When I leave the tent I face a mudbath. the rain is pooring down and I just see people everywhere walking through the mud which is at least 10cm (6 inches) high....everywhere.

I'm wearing white trainers by the way. White? Nevermind. Walking around isn't so much fun anymore but I'm wet already anyway, so it doesn't really matter anymore, does it?

I walk through all arenas now, all tents are crowded now and all sorts of Trance are played. I reach 'The End' arena which is, once more, my rescue from all the Trance. I catch a bit of Fabio's set and Hype will be on afterwards. But I already have to find my way back through the mud to the home arena to get ready for the next highlight of this festival : Public Enemy. But first I get to see how bad drugs can be for you. As I enter the home arena Armand is still playing and I notice many people staring to the top of this very big and very high tent (almost as high as the bungee jumping thing). I realize what's going on, a woman has climbed the tent from the inside and is now climbing around up there, on top of everybody! It is really, really scary to watch such a thing, she is sometimes just hanging there with her knee around something, hanging down, it looks as if she would fall down every minute. About 8000 people in this tent now stare at her, securities run into the tent, Armand has to stop his set. She is asked over the speakers to climb down, otherwise the music wouldn't continue. 8000 people now shout : "Come down, come down", and, thank God, she does, and she manages to get down, safely. Armand can continue and plays his own current hit single "koochy".

Publice Enemy

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Public Enemy

Public Enemy will be on soon and somehow I actually manage to get to the front row now.Their gig is simply amazing, THE highlight of the festival. If they only weren't on so late cause after 12 hours at this festival already I just don't feel so fresh anymore. All the classic PE tracks get played and they got a great deal of contact to the audience, Chuck D even jumps on the DJ desk in front of the stage.

Shortly after 2am their set is finished. Gotta find Ada now, she's in the Subterrain arena where Darren Emerson is on. As I go outside it is still pissing down. The whole ground isn't even mud anymore, it's like a brown sauce all over and with every step you make your shoes and feet just sink into this sauce and your shoes get stuck in it. Now the point has come where you just don't care anymore. You have mud all over, mud on your clothes, mud between your toes, in fact, you ARE mud, it just becomes a part of you. You are wet, your clothes are wet and it is freezing, you know you'll have a cold next week, but you don't care either, it's just a part of the game really. Oh yeah, and you've actually paid for this, you have to enjoy it now!

Subterrain arena is a bit warmer, thank God. I am just knackered, just wanna go home. We decide to sit down and even find a place to sit in the Subterrain arena. In the mud, of course, but who cares, it just doesn't matter anymore. At 3am Sven Vth comes on. I'm told he plays an amazing set. Ok. Can I go home?

4.30am we leave cause we want to catch the first train to London at 6am. We walk to the shuttle bus pick-up which is miles away from the exit.The queue isn't even so long, but it's all just organized a bit wrong, so it takes ages. By 5.45am we're at the station. Great, the station isn't open yet, hundreds of people queuing outside, wet, freezing, muddy, knackered. The 6am train is already leaving as they finally open the station, how well organized is that. But now, finally, we get on the 6.30am train and soon arrive safely at home. Main concern now : How will I survive 3 days at Glastonbury?

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