Tuesday, 13 July 2010
This year i embarked on another long arduous journey to Spain for the Bilbao BBK Live festival. This time i swapped friends and took my friend Mark. We set off from Reading around 1pm with a Subway in hand and a couple of Fosters too. Got to Portsmouth and headed to the Trafalgar wetherspoons to continue the drinking while we waited for the ferry boarding time. We then decided to take a walk and unfortunately we walked about 2miles with our backpacks, for which we didn't need to at all. Sat watching the Netherlands game in the ferry terminal while playing shithead. Once boarded we showered, changed and hit the top deck while we left the port. Started drinking and playing shithead while watching the P&O Players perform.
Due to the ferry crossing time we were at sea for a whole day so we just bought a crate of Fosters and sat on the top deck sunning ourselves and listening to music on speakers. Was nice and chilled though i got horrific sunburn on my arms (the burn turned purple at one point). The ferry was pretty much just us drinking and playing cards. We did get a chance this time to see some Dolphins and i got a picture or two of them.
We got to Bilbao at about 8am and made our way into Bilbao. We got to San Mames and waited for the coach which wasn't too bad as the queue was short. We managed to get up to the festival quite easily and went to the second campsite. Last year we camped in the car park as that's all we thought was available. So we opted for the campsite that had trees, giving us a bit of shade from the heat. I was right in that part. However after all my toil and slaving my tent was at a 45 degree angle and the ground felt like cows had been walking over it for months.
Bands didn't start till around 5pm so most of the day was spent in the sun drinking and playing shithead. I won't go into each band but we saw the following over three days:
Bullet for My Valentine
Coheed and Cambria
Alice in Chains
The Soundtrack of our Lives and
Manic Street Preacher
Out of all those bands i think Rammstein where the best due to the show they put on, for me Gogol Bordello were amazing and i dance my arse off. Dropkick Murphys, Los Campesinos and Gomez were bands i hadn't heard before and were amazed by their sets too.
On the Friday me and Mark walked to Bilbao city center to have a look at the Guggenheim museum but was a little too pricey so didn't bother going in. Instead we took pictures of the outside and wandered around Bilbao before heading back to the festival. Most of the nights were relatively problem free but on Friday it got a little worse for wear.
We had spent all day drinking warm beer then polished off half a bottle of Jaegermeister and 1/3 a large bottle of Vodka. This kind of made Gogol Bordello that little better and as i said previous i dance my arse off which i haven't done in a long long time. A fact that was reminded to me when my knee caps and feet started hurting a few hours later. After that we just sat on the hill over looking the festival and drank a few litres of cold San Miguel. Got chatting to some nice Australian girls and around midnight Mark turns to me, fear in his eyes, and says "I've got to go" and after a few questions of safety he proceeded down the hill and that was that. As much as we laughed and wondered why he had done that i said the exact same words about 30Min's later.
We had a conversation about how Spanish people smoke alot of hash. I didn't smell any weed at the festival just hash. As we were talking a Spanish guy overheard and gave us his joint to smoke, so i duly obliged and had a few tokes. This then sent me overboard and I'm reminded of what Heather (Australian Girl) said to me "Grass then beer, your in the clear. Beer then grass, your on your ass" which reminds me of the age old drinking rhyme "Beer then wine, you'll feel fine. Wine then Beer, you'll feel queer" Which has for many years guided me in my drinking. Anyway i digress.
I turned to Heather and said "I've got to go", though as long as i chatted i was fine. When there was a silence the music of Pearl Jam just sent me flying. Couldn't focus on anything and had to focus on something. I eventually said that i was going to toilet and i MAY be back. I walked to the top of the hill and bought a coke to try and 'sober' myself. After a while Heather came to find me and we walked to the second stage for Dropkick Murphys.
I had just about overcome myself and we watched Dropkicks, a band that i have never really heard but they were amazing! Really good and we got rather close, a little too close as my ears were fucked. We walked to the coach line as Heather had to get back to Bilbao but it was 3am and the queue was going to take about 1.5 hours so i offered my tent. The only problem being that having a tent at a 45 degree angle isn't the best for two people to sleep in. So cue a restless sleep trying to stop not only myself from falling down the hill but also her.
Due to the late night from me, and the early departure from Mark (He doesn't remember how or when he got back to the tent) meant that on the last day we took it easy. Don't think we even touched a litre of beer at all that day. We just sat around watching the music from the hill and just resting really. Saw some good bands that day. Met up with Heather briefly on the hill overlooking the festival and chilled. We had to get up stupidly early on the Sunday as our ferry back to Portsmouth so we left before Faith No More played but listened to them at the tents. We missed out on Jet which I'm sure would have been amazing but the early wake up etc meant we didn't.
Woke up early and were waiting at the Ferry port about 2hrs before we were meant to but we just sat and played shithead till boarding. The very [not so] friendly Spanish border polizia officers wouldn't stamp my passport as they only do it for kids. But i like stamps in my passport too. Reminds me that i have so much more of the world to see.
The trip back was quicker for some reason and again we just chilled and drank, watched the P&O players do their thing, watched everyone get way too over excited about the Dolphins. I swear they ran back and forth that much that they rocked the whole ferry. The only exciting thing we saw on the trip back was an American Nuclear Submarine leaving Portsmouth. Was pretty cool.
We got back to Reading about 7pm and made a quick dash to our respective homes then went to the Gym straight after, dedication eh?
All in all Bilbao BBK is a fantastic festival. Great surroundings and somehow a small festival that's only been going 5 years manages to get some amazing bands. The only things i have a problem with is the language barrier as its not entirely Spanish as its in the Basque country. But that's easily overcome. Can't wait to see what happens next year.
Until next time.