Well I'm sure all readers of this blog will know the whole story behind this gig but for those who lived under a rock over christmas I'll explain. Normally every xmas in the UK, we always have the X Factor single be the Xmas number one. However last year, two people- Jon and Tracey Morter started what at first was a small facebook campaign to get Rage Against The Machine- Killing in The Name to number one instead, as an alternative to all this predictable x factor nonsense. The campaign grew and grew,and even rage against the machine got behind the campaign and made the promise to play a free gig if they actually made it to number one. everyone kept to their word and(well I'm guessing the majority) stuck to their promise of downloading the single, and shock, horror- it actually made it to the number one spot!
Everyone really wondered if RATM would actually keep their promise of a free gig, and sure enough a few months later they made the announcement, the gig would be on 6th June in finsbury Park but to get tickets you needed first to register on a website including uploading a photo, then about a week later you needed to go to the ticket site from about 8am and put in your request to get tickets using your registration number you were given and then tickets were allocated on a lottery basis. As you can imagine, the website was full of people that day, so me and Mike were both on the website on 2 different computers reloading and reloading, and eventually I managed to get through, luckily you could put two registration numbers so I put them both down, and then the website told me I would have to wait up to two hours to know if we had managed to get tickets. Not that much later, I got confirmation, we had in fact got through- yay!
The tickets didn't arrive until just over a week before the event was on with our photos printed on! We had been planning to get the train down to London, but someone we know let us know he was arranging a mini bus down there, only £20 and would take us home as well so we thought it would be betetr especially as it was on a sunday.
We got on the "party bus" about 2pm with a load of other people and got drunk and listened to classic rock all the way there- not sure what the driver made of us!
The park was open when we got there but we decided to have a drink first at the nearby "worlds end" pub before wandering to the entrance.
I thought it was going to be quite strict, (which was why we had all our alcohol on the bus)! but Mike got stopped to check his bag, and as he was doing it, I just walked through! I heard that lots of people managed to climb over the fence without a ticket and some were even just let in when Rage were on!
There were loads of food and drink stalls and a fairground set up in the park but very ricdiclous pricing- a portion of chips was £5! so fair to say, we didn't spend a lot!
It was a fairly mild day apart from the odd spitting shower so we just sat down most of the time while the support acts were on- first was Gallows- who to be honest sounded pretty awful to me, then Roots Manuva- who we skipped most of as we were wandering around, and Gogol Bordello- all though full of energy and I do like listening to their tracks indiviually, I found that live, it all blurred into one big noise. The best thing was at the end during "start wearing purple" when one of the members of the band threw his drum into the crowd and then he stood on it on top of the crowd and "surfed"!
It seemed like forever the wait between them and Rage Against the Machine. But then, the tv screens had a cartoon image of Simon Cowell introducing the band and the first chords of "Testify" came blaring out, like a call to arms, the crowd of course went mental. Then it was hit after hit including my personal highlight "Bullet in the Head" "Sleep Now in the Fire" and "Bombtrack".
About halfway through they stopped to inttroduce Jon and Tracey Morter to the stage so the crowd gave them a huge cheer and Rage then handed a gigantic cheque to them to give to Shelter (they were also encouraging people who downloaded the single to donate to shelter- and rage donated 100 per cent of their profits of the single)!
After that they did a pretty awesome version of The Clash's White Riot.
Of course the encore could only really be one thing and they did it in style. Before they came back on stage, a little film showed on the screens telling the story of the whole x factor/xmas thing with the x factors single playing, and then the words- YOU MADE HISTORY- before probably one of my most memorable gig moments - Killing in the Name had never sounded as good!
Left, feeling I had seen one of the best gigs I've ever been to. The only annoyance was whilst trying to get back to the bus, the tube station was on the way, and as you can imagine there was thousands of people trying to get out, so there were police on horses stopping people going through so the tube station wouldn't get overcrowded, it made us a bit panicky as we were worried about getting to the bus but we got there in the end- ah good times!