Last night was no different. Loads of familiar faces in the crowd, a human pyramid or two forming throughout the night, lots of dancing and being flung around the mosh pit like a bottle thrown into a rough sea. Actually the sea was less rough than last year - which was a very good thing. Last year I was almost wiped out during the first song I threw myself into my a guy who must have been related to Hagrid. I was on the wrong end of one of his punches which almost floored me and after that one song - and two more encounters with his flailing arms - I retreated to the safety of the crowd.
This year people seemed to be in friendlier spirits and there weren't so many half-ogres not pulling their punches. People were still pretty active but it was nowhere near as painful as some of the previous years.
New Model Army themselves played a very good set - mixing in some of their great classics as well as material from their latest release 'High'. They are one of the very few bands - if not the only band - that I have consistantly seen over the last 17 years that I've not seen a bad gig from. Their music has always inspired me ever since I first heard them back in 1986/7 and their classics haven't lost a thing over the intervening years.
I spent most of the night with gypseymission and Simone (I went to a NMA gig with Simone back in 1994 and haven't seen her for well over 10 years so it was great catching up) but saw so many people. It was great catching up with dredd_bob whom I see way too little of these days and also bumped into another old friend (Fran) whom I knew back in 1993/5 but had lost touch with apart from the occasional random gig or club collision. I don't think I've seen her since 1998 Reading or something? Anyway, emails were exchanged so hopefully we'll actually be able to stay in touch this time round!
Anyway, I loved the gig - not the best NMA gig, but even the 'not the best' are still cracking affairs and better than many other bands by a longshot. I feel slightly battered today and it's taken a few hours for my arm to start feeling fully operational as I think I had a slight collision or two which damaged it last night :p
Roll on the next one and long may they continue.
Tonight is Blood & Velvet, which I've never been to before but sinbadsilk is DJing there, loads of friends are going and it's Christmas next week so what the hell!