R.E.M. - 29 July 1995 National Bowl, Milton Keynes, England

As I was supposed to go to the concert in Birmingham in the April of '95 and, for obvious reasons couldn't, I thought to myself that it was damn lucky that I'd already purchased a ticket for Milton Keynes Bowl in July. Everybody wanted to go.

It was probably the hottest day of the year, I was severely burnt. We waited around for ages for the first band Magnapop to arrive on stage. They got us pretty geared up for Belly who were excellent. They got us pretty geared up for Blur who decided to air their new song 'country house' for the first time to a bunch of rem fans - they obviously knew that we are hard to please, and once it was given our approval, then and only then did they decide to release it against Oasis' song (both did battle in an over-publicised no. one position for best song). There set was quite impresive with huge hamburgers above their heads billowing out smoke.

I decided to stay at the side and watch Blur in comfort - this was a great tactic. Once Blur finished their magnificent set I was in there, straight to the front and bang in the middle. It was hot!!!!! A friend who I went with had to leave as she was too hot - I had no sympathy- I was here to stay!

Rem's simple set suddenly came to life about two tiresome sweaty hours after Blurs set. Pete ran onstage, hands in the air. Mike and Bill ambled to their positions. Then the crunching sounds of I took your name rang through my head.........no Stipe!!!!!! Never fear he was just making us sweat. The loudest cheer of the night went up as Michael ambled on stage up to the mic in what appeared to be an American fireman's outfit.

Half way through the song I decided I'd had enough, it was getting to cramped........I was knackered. That was after just one song, What's the frequency kenneth was the next song......I decide then that there was no way that I was leaving my promenant position, although I believe that I had no choice in the matter, it was so cramped

The night went too fast. A huge blown up balloon of the world decided to meander through the crowd, Michael wasn't impressed "your supposed to be concentrating on us", he growled "give me the fucking ball, this isn't a soccer match", this didn't stop him and Peter getting the huge balloon on stage and then both of them running up to it kicking it back in to the heaving crowd - who seemed to be in too much of high spirits.

They went off and the crowd chanted more from the best band in the world. R......E........M R........E......M R......E.....M this was fantastic! 65,000 people chanting this, they had to come back on, they had no choice.

They finished with It's the end of the world.......... just before the song started Michael said to Bill "hey Bill, why don't you do what your best at doing, and I'm not talking about tractors" Berry then thrashed into the familiar beat of the song and the crowd almost went as wild as the band. That was the end of a great day........roll on earls court june '99!!!!!!!!!


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