Stroke of luck for today’s gig, David had won tickets to see Soundgarden at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park and asked me to go along…..wooohooo!!
Due to work commitments we missed the first 3 bands – ‘Kids in Glass Houses‘, ‘Black Stone Cherry‘ and ‘ Cold Chisel‘- which is a real shame but can’t be helped, work does come first! It took ages to queue up, get bags and tickets checked, we got chatting to the couple behind us, James and Selina from Bedford and Luton. They were telling us they got the tickets last minute off a friend because he couldn’t go, they’d never heard of any of the artists, but decided to give it a go anyway, good for them! I’m also glad to see that eight million litres of wood chip had been put down on the water logged Hyde Park, what would the British summer be without rain?
We do however get there just in time for ‘Iggy& The Stooges‘, Hyde Park is packed with people but David manages to get us a couple of rows away from the barriers at stage right. Iggy’s presence is as big as always, at 65 his body may look a bit tired, but he is still every inch a star! Working the stage, using plenty of energy and charisma to interact with the audience, getting the crowd involved clapping and singing, even the dark, rain heavy cloudy sky can’t dampen the mood. We can also spot Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy Page looking on from the side of the stage. As far as I was concerned it was a great’ entertaining show, and who knows how often we will be able to see original punk rockers in the future.
Soundgarden is on stage next, they reunited last year after 14 years and are set to release an album later in the year. I’m curious how they will be, having mentioned them to people the opinion are very much split in the middle. I have never seen them live nor am I too familiar with their music, so I’m ready to be won over.
Chris Cornell is definite eye-candy, that is a step in the right direction! Starting with the song “Searching with my good eye closed”, what can I say? I’m there, I’m loving it! The sound is amazing, I love Chris’s voice and I’m seriously wondering why I haven’t discovered them years ago. Song 4 is the well known “Jesus Christ Pose”, and it feels and sounds like most of the people here are really enjoying this gig! Not even the rain, that yet again started can spoil keen fans clapping and singing along. Young guys have started crowd surfing just to be pulled out over the barriers, one poor girl might have fainted, she gets pulled out and carried away on a stretcher, not enough to drink maybe, trouble is once you’re at the front you really don’t want to be needing the loo and lose your spot. On the barriers in front of me is a couple with their young son, I don’t think they anticipated the pushing from behind, the female does look a little worried. The song ” Black Hole Sun” sounding quite melancholic and a touch ironic with it’s lyrics “….wash away the rain…”, it does all add to the general feel of the night. Chris does a brilliant job as a front man, his haunting voice, the way he uses all of the stage, making sure most people can get a close up glimpse of him, together with his excellent musicians! I’m a fan, bring on the new album!
Towards the end he shouts out: “……for two hours I have now smelled those pizzas, I’m fucking hungry…”, yes, I know how he feels. Plenty of crowd surfing adds to the atmosphere, making it a proper festival experience. Announcing “We’re going to come back in a few months with a new record“, and thanking the London crowd for sticking with them is received with roars and clapping.
They break for a few minutes before coming back for the encore, first up is “Rusty Cage” and finally “Slaves and Bulldozers”, the crowd went wild when Soundgarden bid farewell just before curfew.
Some people may still think the evening was mediocre, but I had a great time, despite the rain and being split up from David due to the crowd pushing…….no matter, I want more of Soundgarden!
On the way out David and I hook up again and had a look at the merchandise, but the t-shirts we liked weren’t available in the sizes we needed :-(, I did buy a cheap one outside though….well, had to be done!!
We made our way to the Tube, which I have to say is a challenge, so many people…..we had parked the car at Northfields station. Once there we popped into one of the late night open shops just across the station, let me tell you, the nicest people work in there, you fancy a late night snack? Go and buy it there!!