(review by Andy Fatman)

After a nightmare journey (roadworks everywhere), booking into The Trafford Travel Inn (nowhere near Old Trafford, it turns out), Mrs Fatman & myself arrive (un)-fashionably late…Recent re-hab routines forgotten, we head to the bar, forgetting, stupidly, the rubbish "beer token/queuing for an age/ shit Carling at the end" equation you have to endure at these corporate run events…

Thus, we thought we’d missed The Bees (I find out later they didn’t play, replaced, in fact, by life long Mozza mate/cohort James Marker) Ho-hum!

My insatiable thirst also rendered the first part of The Ordinary Boys’ set obsolete…what we did see was bloody brilliant. Tired Laddish indie gubbins has given way to a fresh take on the Jam/Specials/2 Tone style that dominated my listening as a wanna-be scooter boy in my early High School days. A couple of covers (The Specials & Eddie Cochran) extend their set and certainly win any doubters in the crowd (made up of essentially seem to be ex- something’s, whether it be Student, Scooter Boy or Baggy). Result No. 1!

The Beta Band, I can take or leave, and what with the price of the ticket, maybe I should have taken, that would have meant missing one of the highlights of the afternoon. Seizing on the opportunity of not having to drive home within half an hour of the final note being hit, Mrs Fatman was determined to match me drink for drink…(The Smirnoff Ice Promotion Girls weren’t shirking on the giveaway measures). Result No. 2!

We relocate in the VH2 tent with 300 like minded souls to be "treated" to a video collection that deems itself to be a soundtrack to our lives…then came "How Soon Is Now?" resulting in a mass sing-a-long. Hairs on neck flattened, tears in eyes wiped away, (Mrs Fatmans, not mine), we weave our way through the 30 something’s to catch New York Dolls.

The N.Y.D’s are here by Morrissey’s’ invitation, (having just played The Meltdown Festival at his request). Morrissey apparently badgered Anthony Wilson to play their stuff on his late 70’s "So It Goes" TV show & even set up a UK fan club to champion their cause. I was expecting ‘something’, but it wasn’t this…. a cabaret act. Sounding like The Rolling Stones’ less fortunate cousins, the spirit of punk was well and truly sunk. Maybe I just missed the point!

Harrowing names check through the murderous/mundane factions of the last few decades introduces the main act…. massive clouds gather above, (how very Morrissey). "Good evening Wetherfield!"

Slipping through a set made up mostly of the latest album, "You Are The Quarry", "I Have Forgiven Jesus", "First Of The Gang", "All The Lazy Dykes", "How Can Anyone Possibly Know How I Feel?" "Let Me Miss You", the Tony ‘Bland’ dedicated, "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores", a track he has written for Nancy Sumatra, (also a guest at Meltdown) "Let Me Kiss You", the classic "Everyday Is Like Sunday", even including The Smiths’ "Shakespeare’s Sister" & "Rubber Ring" and a crowd "sing-a –longa-Mozza" "There Is A Light, That Never Goes Out". Result No. 3!

The mood is up-beat, with Morrissey using his savage wit/wisdom, giving us short history lessons on his life/times in the surrounding area, (mostly derisory – at least his old Headmaster is dead, hopefully and buried), somewhat different to the life he has (had) to live since. As if to prove his detractors wrong, whether it be press, peers, people in general, the bloke looks as if he’s enjoying it.

Save the last laugh for me.

(Or for the robbin’ Black Cabbed git who charged us a Tenner to get us back to somewhere, where we didn’t wanna be, in the first place!)