2005 was meant to be gig central – we wanted to see as many bands as possible while we had the chance, before schlepping halfway round the world to Dunedin, possibly as far off the gig circuit as it is possible to get, at least in the English-speaking world. Only problem was, there was fuck all that year, a real scarcity of good bands coming to London.
I’m not a fan of U2 by any means – I like Achtung Baby and a few greatest hits type tracks, but not a lot else. They do put on a great show, by all accounts though, so I figured it was worth splurging sixty or seventy notes on what would be, amazingly enough, my first proper stadium gig (i.e. in an actual stadium, Knebworth and cricket grounds don’t really count). Was a bit disappointed to learn that bore-tastic Athlete was the support, so wasn’t in the slightest bit interested in seeing them.
Fuck my luck though, we walk into the very impressive national rugby stadium just in time to see Doves depart the stage. Bugger! Didn’t know they were playing. Anyway, sat through the incredibly tedious and yawn-inducing Athlete and at last U2 were on. Big let down, it has to be said. Great atmosphere, great sound, nice and close to the stage, but it just wasn’t happening, they just didn’t do it for me. Bono is a grade-A bell end, simple as that. At one point he had the whole crowd waving their mobile phones in the name of peace, or the starving rainforest or something like that, which was, as a novelty, quite a spectacle, but it’s the mealy-mouthed sentiment that winds me up.