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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Festival postcards: Leeds
Joel Goldman
Thousands of music fans have enjoyed two of the last big events of the summer - the Reading and Leeds music festivals.

The BBC News website asked a festival-goer to share his experiences of the festivals, and he sent daily postcards from the events.

Aspiring music journalist Joel Goldman reported from the Leeds Festival. Iron Maiden topped his must-see list, along with Queens of the Stone Age, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and the Foo Fighters.

I'm Joel, aged 22 and from Leeds. I'd like to get paid to go to gigs and interview bands for a living. Not too much to ask is it?

Can't wait to see Iron Maiden headline. Also looking forward to seeing Queens of the Stone Age, the Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Pixies, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nine Black Alps and DJ Format, amongst others. As AC/DC put it: "For Those About to Rock, We Salute You!"

MONDAY, 1330

The problem with festivals is that they always go too fast. But this festival-goer, ever the optimist, is already looking forward to next year's line-up.

The day started brilliantly as we saw Nine Black Alps on the Radio 1 stage.

The tent was jam-packed and with Razorlight's meet and greet right next to it, you could hardly move. But being packed in like sardines isn't a bad thing when the band plays so well.

By the time Shot down closed the set you could see the steam rising.

Queens of the Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Age were a highlight

Back to the main stage then, and Roots Manuva. The artist formerly known as Rodney Smith put on a good show, with a monumental Colossal Insight to finish. Dinosaur Junior were up next with some real old-school rock which won them some new fans.

Razorlight drew the biggest singalong of the day for Somewhere Else before the Kings of Leon stepped it up a gear.

The Followill clan played a blinding set with Four Kicks stealing the show and Caleb's voice cracked and broken by the end.

For the Foo finale, Dave Grohl seemed intent on destroying his vocal chords, screaming half the lyrics like a wounded animal. All the favourites were thrown in and Taylor Hawkins even stepped up to sing a country song, with Grohl hopping behind the drum kit.

For once there were no fireworks to finish, but the Foos explosive set ended the festival with a bang.

SUNDAY, 1330

After a bit of downtime to recover from the previous night, we headed to see Elbow on the Main Stage.

Their semi- acoustic set was the perfect hangover tonic, sounding great outdoors and Guy Garvey's voice was on top form. The Coral followed them and created a brilliant atmosphere- the combination of booze, bass and brilliant weather got everyone dancing and an undoubted highlight was In the Morning.

Now it was time to head into the thick of the crowd for Queens of The Stone Age.

We'd been waiting for this set for ages and the Queens didn't disappoint. They opened with Go with the flow which was incredible and really got the adrenaline pumping.

From there they just bombarded us with great tune after great tune. They looked like they were enjoying it too with extra jamming on Song for the Dead and Josh's amazing a-capella part on closing tune No-one knows.

Suitably blown away, we wandered to the Radio 1 stage and saw a good set from Black Rebel Motorcycle club, before heading back for the Pixies.

They're legends in their own right and it was great to watch. Where's my mind drew huge cheers and at the end and there wasn't a glum face for miles.

Today's all about Nine Black Alps, Kings of Leon and the Foo Fighters.

Brilliant.

SATURDAY, 1250

It's freezing. So cold, in fact, that my laptop is struggling to wake up too. It's supposed to be summer. Then again, the festival isn't the same without some bad weather.

Just coming to terms with what I saw last night. After a mad dash from work, I arrived at 7pm and just caught Marilyn Manson on stage. He wasn't too great, to be honest. He seemed bored with the whole thing and rushed through the set. My chicken and noodles were far more appealing, even if they did cost a fiver!

The same can't be said for Iron Maiden. An hour and 40 minutes of unbelievable stuff! I'm still buzzing now. They sounded incredible and even people who weren't Iron Maiden fans were getting into it. During Running Free there was a big singalong which was brilliant. I hope I can fly around the stage like them when I'm 130 years old (only joking boys).

The band mascot, Eddie, made his customary appearance, as did a huge devil which rose out of nowhere with giant flames which nearly incinerated singer Bruce Dickinson on the spot!

Should be a good day today. Can't wait for Queens of the Stone Age. They're an amazing band and it'll be the first time I'll get to hear them play their new songs. Lots to keep me going until then. Right, guess I should put some clothes on...

FRIDAY, 1300

It wasn't meant to be like this! I should be at the festival now, not sat behind a desk. I should be watching great bands, drinking copious amounts of beer and dreading this year's first trip to the portable toilets.

Why oh why did I say I'd work overtime today? I really checked my brain in at the door the moment I said yes.

No Turbonegro or NOFX for me, oh no. I'll have to settle for texts from my mate Harv describing every tiny detail about how amazing everyone was (basically, rubbing it in) while I sit here, tapping away on a computer all day. Oh well, at least I've got an excuse for not helping to put the tent up.

I'm going to miss Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Incubus too. I hate myself right now. If I make it out on time, I might just catch the last half of Marilyn Manson.

Still, so long as I see Iron Maiden again it'll all be worthwhile. The thought of them charging to the front of the stage, Steve Harris machine-gunning the crowd with his bass makes the hairs on my neck stand up.

And once I arrive, it's plain sailing, no more work, no more missed bands. Just three days of pure, unadulterated rock'n'roll. Heaven.




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