Monthly Archives: August 2009

V Festival Review

I never thought I’d have the gall, or even the balls to compare myself to a soldier, but lying in a tent, in the freezing cold at 3 in the morning whilst hearing a gaggle of pilled up girls debate whether to ransack your tent for a plate to cut up some cocaine really made me connect with some of the brave boys and girls fighting our corner in the Middle East. Putting up with bullets vs putting up with ‘Bonkers’ being sang literally all night – it’s hard to choose exactly which is worse.

And it all started so well. A quick jaunt over the Essex Riviera from Southend to Chelmsford took a mere thirty minutes. The gang were all in the car, few tunes on the radio – the weather was heroic, all seemed well. But then you get there, you pitch your tent (or in my case, stand around wearing sunglasses whilst everyone else does all the donkey work), and then you realise that it’s 11am on a Friday, with literally 24 hours until the first band comes on.

Luckily, my trusty radio came in hand, and much enjoyment was made listening to the Ashes on the wireless, all the while ignoring various offers for drugs, and alcohol. After somehow making it through the day I fell asleep around 1am. Now, I can’t sleep in silence, I always have a radio on, and so this annoyed some fellow campers surrounding our tent. Some crack addict cunt made a joke that ‘most people can sleep in silence.’ I just stared at the dickhead, should have said ‘most people aren’t forty year old men smoking crack and hanging out with 20 year old girls cos they’ve taken pity on you’, but I was too weak, roasting in the hot summer sun like an Asian design major.

Finally the bands came, opening with Mcfly who stormed the main stage with all their decent tunes. Mcfly get a lot of criticism from people, but I find the folk who lay into them are usually joyless fuckers, wearing far too tight jeans, closing their minds to all but the obtuse of music whilst wanking into their empty beds in the morning wishing they had a girlfriend. Starsailor followed, and they soon realised that this wasn’t 2002. “If you know any of our songs, you’ll know this one”, James Walsh said which isn’t the most confident of approaches.

After that, I can’t really remember – saw a bit of Taylor Swift singing like a mule, before going old skool to watch Dizzee Rascal tear the 4 Music stage up. He’s a one trick pony is Dizzee – rap a 16 bar line before a sampled chorus, but what a one trick. For a guy who has only been seriously gigging for about two years, he had the massive crowd eating out of his hand, and is a good bet to be headlining this time next year.

The Specials – good thirty years ago, antiquated now. Sure, ‘Ghost Town’ is a tune, but getting Amy Winehouse on stage was just torturous, if only for the forty year old woman straining for a few of Winehouse whilst shouting in my ear pure filth. Razorlight followed, and were actually pretty decent although Johnny Borrell has turned into even more of an arrogant prick. I guess the less success his band get, the more odious he becomes. Finally, we fucked the Killers off and went to watch Pete Doherty, who was actually pretty decent.

Struggled with sleep Saturday night, tossed and turned for about five hours waiting for daylight to break whilst listening to a French themed phone in. Finally got up and went to help my brother put his tent down and to find the car we were going home in so we could fuck off straight after Oasis. It took ages – putting down a tent is a lot like putting down a dog, at first you’re gentle, tender and in a positive mood (‘it’s for the best’) but after ten minutes you just get overly emotional. The only thing keeping me sane was the hot summer sun tanning me up like a bronzed chicken.

Getting Snow Patrol to play an extended set is like getting racially abused for ten minutes, before being given the opportunity to then get whipped and beaten for a further two hours.

All that palaver finished, me and my brother enjoyed Ocean Colour Scene rolling back the years. Alas, the cheerful feeling soon oblitarated when a message flagged up on the big screen. ‘Oasis are cancelling tonight due to illness’. I genuinely thought it was a joke – but it wasn’t. The band I’d paid 160 green queens to see had cancelled on me like a particularly cruel mistress. The weirdest thing was, the audience response was more of a muted sigh than anger. Maybe the rumours of the split are true after all.

Rubbish day Sunday, always fucking hated them. Only Seth Lakeman was any good, getting a surprisingly good pop for his folk fiddle. The rest of the day is a blur of despair, anger and about 50 bottles of Sprite. I don’t really know what I was expecting from V, but it was more than sluts pissing in the middle of a crowd, throwing cups up into the air, and the attempted rape made on me by a gallant young men in a stetson.

Overall, I’d only recommend V Festival if you’re a cunt.


Walsall 2, Southend 2

What’s worse, seeing your side concede a late equaliser or having to find out from miles away. Southend correspondant Martin Hines is miserable either way.

I’m sitting on a bus in Central London with a good pal of mine, when I just can’t take it any more.

It’s 4.40 on a Saturday afternoon, and sick of not being able to know the score I ask my mate to check what the Southend score is on his glamorous portable phone. It’s 2-1 to Southend he says with a wicked gleam in his eye, ‘Barnard and Freedman’. I punched the air like Tim Henman after a glorious ground-stroke.

But five minutes later…’Please just check once more! Let me know we’ve wrapped up the points!’ He sighed, and browsed his phone again before the look of panic in his eyes confirmed what he couldn’t emit from his mouth.

We’ve drawn 2-2 with the ten men of Walsall to a Sam Parkin penalty. The air punch was looking like an impotent boxer on steroids, absolutely pathetic.

It just wrapped up a pretty miserable week for me.

Bad week

My last blog on here was met with a barrage of abuse by certain so called ‘fans’ of my wonderful football team, slating my own opinions because they disagreed with their own.

I’m sure most of us are old enough and wise enough to realise that someone not liking another player isn’t tantamount to being say, a Colchester United fan, so we can’t we all just get along? Macca is still rubbish though.

Millwall up next on Friday night, unfortunately for me I will be sitting in a tent in Chelmsford Essex waiting for V Festival to start.

Having lived five minutes away from The Den for the last year I will be hoping we can tame the Lions on our own turf, and continue our undefeated start to the season.

Hopefully by the time The Killers have kicked off their headlining set we will have three more points in the bag, and then we can all look on the Mr. Brightside a little bit more.

Southend United 2, Huddersfield Town 2,24015,16667_5487001,00.html

The 2-2 draw was satisfactory, but the same could not be said of Alan McCormack’s display according toFanzone correspondent Martin Hines…

A pulsating first game of the season clash with moneybags Huddersfield ended in a 2-2 draw in front of 8,000 feverish football supporters at Roots Hall.

Huddersfield, captained by ex-Southend stalwart Peter Clarke started the match brightly in front of an impressive travelling army of fans, before a Lee Barnard penalty in the 14th minute eased the nerves of the Shrimper faithful. Further chances fell for both teams as the first half progressed, but no further dent in the scoreline was made until the second half.

Dirty tactics

Franck Moussa heralded in the ‘year of the Mousse’ by coolly slotting home a placed shot on 56 minutes which led to the stadium erupting akin to Mount Vesuvius’ mightily cascading. Still though, Huddersfield’s dirty tactics were affecting the Blues, who had already seen exciting striker Francis Laurent stretchered off early in the first half from a horror tackle.

The fear hit the defence, as Anthony Pilkinton rifled home on 71 minutes, and an equaliser was obtained via substitute Jordan Rhodes on 79 minutes. Huddersfield’s strong challenges and general bad sportsmanship eventually resulted in a red card for Michael Collins on 82 minutes, but it sadly wasn’t enough to result in a Shrimper fightback.

Still though, plenty of positives to take from the game. John White, a beanpole left back borrowed from rivals Colchester United ran the show from the left side of defence, linking well with the official man of the match Franck Moussa. Matt Heath, another loanee from Colchester, also showed plenty of fight and grit at the back.

Headless chicken

One minor gripe – and I do hate to moan, but Alan McCormack has to be one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in a Southend shirt for quite some time. Ludicrously overrated by certain parts of our support, he can’t pass five yards, let alone the Hollywood balls he frequently fires out of play in an attempt to look cultured. If I wanted someone to run around like a headless chicken, I’d get Dwain Chambers in, or maybe an actual headless chicken – he’d probably be able to nod in the headed effort that ‘Macca’ hit the bar with at 2-1 up.

Even so, 2-2 with Huddersfield isn’t the end of the world – it’s not quite the tonking Norwich or Swindon received, but it’s proof we can mix it with the big boys in a league full of giants.

Southend United preview

I’m lucky enough to be writing about Southend United on the Sky Sports Fanzone website this season, so I’ll just be copying my articles for them on here to ensure that they don’t get lost.,24015,16667_5475157,00.html

League One is a tough league at the best of times, Southend correspondent Martin Hines is hoping that the Shrimpers can overcome obstacles of their own making first.

No money. No transfers. A new ground that has been in the pipeline for what seems like the last twenty years. Five million quid in debt.

And yet we don’t despair. In Steve Tilson we have a local hero as our manager, a man who rescued us from the pitfalls of relegation into the conference one year, to promotion into League One the next year. And then, unbelievably winners of League One the next.

Sure, things haven’t gone great since then, but maybe this is the season for it. With the veteran Dougie Freedman leading from the front, with club captain and Essex boy Adam Barrett shoring things up from defence, and Lee Sawyer, the exciting loanee from Chelsea pulling the strings in midfield.

And let’s not forget it’s the year of the ‘Mousse’. Franck Moussa, the twenty year old Belgian who set shrimper hearts fluttering with the winning goal against arch-rivals and general scum Colchester United in their own ground, in front of the poorest excuse of an audience I’ve seen since Susan Boyle’s bedroom.


League One is a tough tough league to get out of.

You have the teams who were once great but now struggle to come to terms with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom – like Leeds and Southampton.

Then you have the newly minted boys who are looking to buy themselves out of the league – Huddersfield and Swindon, and also the most disgusting group of yokels ever conceived – Colchester United, and their goofy sidekicks Leyton Orient.

Still though, with Southend being the most family friendly club in the league, at least we’ll be the best at painting kids faces and ruffling their hair, which may come in useful considering our ever youthful side.

If it sounds like I’m moaning I’m really not – the joys of supporting a lower league club is second to none. Perhaps this season we’ll have memories to savour like the last minute equaliser against Chelsea last year, or Freddy Eastwood knocking Manchester United out of the league cup in 2006.

Overall, this could be one of the most open seasons of all time. We could go up, we could go down but always they’ll be the buzz, the spirit and the sheer pleasure that comes from supporting Southend United, truly the one team in Essex.