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Download festival 2016 – Lawnmower Deth

Not long before Sixx A.M were due to play, along with a few other photographers, I headed to the main stage where we were met by Lawmower Deth and their special guest – Kim Wilde.  We were then escorted onto the stage (to the puzzlement of the crowd) to get photos of the band with Kim Wilde.  Andy Copping even jumped in to get his photo taken with the band and Kim.  The crowd looks big when you’re in the arena, but damn it’s way more impressive looking out from the stage.

A little while later it was time for Lawnmower Deth to perform on the third stage.  Despite the weather being dry (for a change) the tent was absolutely packed in anticipation of the mayhem that normally accompanies a Lawnmower Deth gig.  Things started off with two clowns running on stage (no not members of the band) and spraying the crowd, security staff and photographers with silly string.  Then the band came on and things just kept getting crazier.  With lots of inflatables thrown out into the crowd as they played there were soon dozens of inflatable balls bouncing around the tent.  A sumo rabbit came on as part of their usual antics, and the band were clearly having a great time as were the crowd, but the band did look a little nervous.

Soon they’d played the first four songs of the set and Pete was introducing Kim Wilde to the crowd.  Despite having rehearsed together and knowing it was happening, none of the band looked as though they could quite believe she’d actually come on stage with them – an 80s pop legend on stage with some heavy metal lunatics.  Pete asked the crowd what they wanted to hear, and got the inevitable reply “KIDS IN AMERICA”.  Kim Wilde however shouted “Egg Sandwich”, and that’s what they played.  It was totally surreal, hearing Kim Wilde doing a 30 second grindcore song, but then things got even better and more insane as they did “Watch out grandma” together.  I bet a few months ago, Kim Wilde never imagined she’d be singing lyrics like “Watch out grandma here comes a lawnmower, it’s going to rip your face off”, but she did and looked like she was having fun.  Finally though came the song everyone wanted to hear.  Lawnmower Deth covered her hit “Kids in America” a long time ago and it always goes down well with the crowd, but this was something special as Kim and Pete shared vocal duties on it.  I think it’s safe to say she’s never sung it so fast before in her life, but it’s also safe to say this was a performance that the band, and many of those watching will never forget.  After Kim Wilde left the stage it was back to the usual Lawnmower Deth lunacy.  Matt from Evil Scarecrow was put in a gunge tank for the song “sheep dip”, and that’s just part of the craziness.

I may be wrong but I think Lawnmower Deth have played Download festival more times than any other band – even more than Iron Maiden.  Shocking?  Maybe, but it does show how much faith Andy Copping has in these guys – he knows they’ll always draw a big crowd and put on a fantastic entertaining show.

If you’ve never seen them live make sure you get to their Christmas show – you’re bound to have fun.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.