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Castlefield Carnage

Published on August 9th 2004.

Walking down past Dukes towards Saturday’s D-Percussion event, one of the girls I was with had her bum pinched by some scallie walking out of the place. We really should have taken heed of the warning and turned back there and then!
On the hottest day of the year, Castlefield’s annual music event raised the temperature further with crowds of the like not seen since, well, about this time two years ago. Unfortunately, for every normal person who was there, you could count three or four scallies, gypsies or pierced grandmas. It was like Billy Cotton’s circus had come to town, complete with the freak show and the world’s most skinheaded man (x 500).
A packed out Dukes, Canteena and Barca ensured there was plenty to do and listen to with Gordo and his German missus basking in the 30 degree temperatures during the day. In a swift substitution, Gordo left shortly after Mr Scruff’s set (very fitting!) and I took over to do the middle-to-late shift, spending most of the time queuing up for a pint. A decent bunch in Canteena queued up for 45 minutes for a warm Carlsberg, with around the same wait in Dukes, and you couldn’t even get through the doors at Barca unless you wanted to queue up outside just for the privilege of getting inside to queue up at the bar. Maybe we should have taken everyone else’s lead and brought a picnic of vodka and whisky…..
Worth a look was the Key 103 stage which entertained a (yet again) packed out auditorium, before Phil Morse took over in the main pit from Kindergarden to provide the highlight of the night. He gave the mashed up Tangled crowd who’d moved out of their home in the Phoenix on Oxford Road a few reasons to jump around for a bit in front of the setting sun. Well done to Phil for taking time out from promoting his new documentary - Fahrenheit 9/11!
At this point, the camera delivered to me in town a few hours earlier on (and very late!) was trying to crawl back into my pocket on its own just in case it got nicked by the bald and (unbelievably) sweaty chap next to me. Luckily, he carried on dancing on the broken plastic beer glasses.
Trying to get coherent comments on the night’s proceedings was equally daunting. When asked what she thought was the best bit, one girl with more piercings than my Nan’s worn out pin cushion, thought the “bit with the bees” was the highlight (did I miss something? – write in and let us know if there were any bees on stage – email me at tim@2mmedia.com).
With that in mind, I legged it back up towards the more serene atmosphere of Deansgate Locks, although I did manage to bump into some chap with a live iguana on his head (enough!) and eventually managed to reach the starkly chilled out in contrast Comedy Store (although anywhere would have seemed more chilled out at this stage), with all limbs intact and where you could buy a pint within five minutes!
Tim Gough

Gordo’s Footnote
Tim made me do this. It was horrific. He asked me this morning for my notes on the food on offer at D-Percussion (manc speak for Hell). The first part of my response is unprintable, even for me. The second part was ‘I am still alive’.
However, even though I have slated that doppelganger, Canteena, in previous articles (still not talking to me Ross? even though you still have a page available for your response), I am bound to report that it was the only decent place in the event. Music during the afternoon there was cool, Tampopo, who do the grub had Thai offerings of exceptional quality. This food is great grazing with beer, and sitting outside with a choice of shade or sun is a pleasant experience. Full marks to a young (to me) barman. The Hun had asked for a ‘limenshpritzer’, or something like that. With fifty Mancs sweating and screaming behind me, he coolly got a tall beaker, cut a lime in quarters, squeezed them, threw a shed load of ice in, filled it nearly to the top with sparkling water, drizzled some Roses lime juice in, and got 12 out of 10 from her. He got 15 out of 10 from me for charging me just 50p. Good Lad. I tipped him a quid. Canteena goes on my ‘Go’ list.

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