Punk Rocks Milton Keynes

green day at milton keynes bowl
green day at milton keynes bowl Image credit:

George Bush has a lot to answer for. For once though you are about to read an article which will not slag off The President Of The United States. Well, not quite. Green Day were once the biggest punk band in the world, knocking out anthems such as Good Riddance Billie Joe and his band had their faces plastered over all the front page music publications. Then they disappeared. Until one man wound them up so much they decided to make a comeback.

It was hot. Saturday 18th July was officially the hottest day in the UK, until Sunday. We are at Milton Keynes, the UK's newest city and also the only city which has the famous roundabout joke. You haven't heard it? Well it goes something like this. When the plans were made to design the city rumor has it the the designer kept putting his coffee mug down in different places on the map. (Boom, boom!) Being the high profile Internet site we are the wristbands wrapped around our arms gave us access to all three hospitality marquees hosted by X Ray Touring, SJM Promoters and Warner Music. We had a dilemma on our hands. The correct procedure for us would be to stand out the blazing hot sun and review the support acts Hard-Fi, Less Than Jake and Simple Plan. Although because of the rush of journalists rushing to the main arena when Hi Fi played their opening number our thoughts turned to you, our dear readers. We felt sorry for you, reading the same reviews in every single music publication. So we thought we would stay backstage and review the marquee hospitality tents serving free food and drinks whilst trying to watch the support bands on plasma TV screens. We hope you appreciate our sacrifice.


The main hospitality area was three times as big as the other two. This was for journalist, hangers on and McFly! Yes, the boy band of the moment, until they follow in the footsteps of their peers and decide to split up only managed to wangle their way into the worse VIP area. The promoters spent little money on their guests and provided a paying bar and paying buffet. The only consolation was that the hot sweaty guests could hang out in the garden area and become even more uncomfortable warm. Inside the marquee itself the profit from the £7 buffet started to total up quite nicely and the smile on the promoters face matched those of the Hard-Fi fans in the main arena's pit outside in the Bowl. The Staines lads have already released their debut single, Hard To Beat and although they opened the concert the fans were rewarded with a short thirty minute set. The album, Stars of CCTV is released in July which will obviously determine how high up the bill the band will be placed at next years festival. So what was best? The SJM overpriced marquee tent or the underrated new rock band? There's no competition really.

Hospitality - 0 Band - 1


X Ray Touring are pretty massive. They are behind a fair few open air concerts this Summer including Eminem in September who incidentally, will also be returning to Milton Keynes Bowl for a second time. Although their hospitality was empty. Maybe the green wristbands got lost, maybe the guests couldn't find the tent (unlikely!) or maybe it was the fact it was just a very exclusive VIP area. We will go for the latter, for the simple reason X Ray are sorting us out for Eminem! Far be it for us to be unbiased or creeps, but the bar, even though it was the same price - the beer seemed colder, the bar staff were more fit and who needed food anyway? The wooden seats did wonders for our backs and the guests were extremely friendly, all seven of them! Simple Plan belted outs hits from their first two albums, but although still relevantly unknown in the UK they have managed to confirm a slot at a Live 8 gig in Canada. That claim will sadly be shortly dampened as news reaches us that the headline act to this particular concert is Bryan Adams! The band can't quite make the cross over to main stream status and left the crowd atmosphere as empty as the hospitality area.

Hospitality - 1 Band - 0


This is more like it. The best hospitality area was arranged by Warner music who probably felt like proud parents seeing their band they have brought up over the years headline one of the biggest open air gigs of the Summer. Inside the plush marquee guests could snuggle into comfy sofas and puffs. We mean the furniture variety, mind you we did see two guys who were quite friendly towards each other, but that's a another story! The free bar and buffet probably made the two other neighboring guests green with envy, but we coped with the jealous faces outside the marquee. As for Less Than Jake we managed to catch a few minutes of their set whilst wiping barbecue sauce off our chops! The band who are continuously found half way down the page on various festival lineups and only reach mid spine level when their name is printed on the back of a shirt displaying the bill running order played tracks from their latest album, 'B is For B Sides'. With publications such as NME predicting a ska revival just around the corner 2005 may take 'Jake into the mainstream, but at the moment this seems as likely as Pete Doherty singing in tune!

Hospitality - 1 Band - 0

So, hospitality wins thanks to free nibbles from Warner Music and a ticket for Eminem drifting through our letterbox early when September Comes, which just so happens to be the title of Green Day's new single. That reminds up, there's still one band to rant on about...


Ever seen these guys live? If we mention the words 'Pink' and 'Bunny' and your face looks like you are solving a Countdown Conundrum (on an old repeat, of course, Richard Whiteley RIP) then chances are that you haven't. If however you know exactly what we are on about and have the image of a guy dressed in a pink bunny outfit prancing around the stage before one of the biggest punk bands rock the crowd then you can quite possibly image the following 80 minutes. Even though Billy Armstrong and co. rarely change their show content there's no need to be critical. As our late Grandad said 'If it works, then don't try to fix it'. Well, we are pretty sure he must had said that at least once in his lifetime. The water pistols were there, the jam was there (when members of the audience are picked to form a band and the guitarist keeps the guitar) and the official Summer anthem, Good Riddance allowed us at least three minutes to recapture those Summer memories we thought had been lost for Eternity. The day was brilliant and Green Day gave us 'the time of our lives'. They would certainly get our vote in a music election and the crown Billy wore at the start of the set wasn't out of place.