08. The Smashing Pumpkins, Main Stage on Sunday, 19:10 - 20:20
I still find it hard when Grunge is lumped in with Classic Rock and acts from the early nineties alt rock boom are labeled veterans, as for me they still young upstarts with a new fangled sound that frankly knocked me for six. They may seem now to be fairly standard alternative Rock but at the time, The Smashing Pumpkins were ground breaking as they united lovers of indie and heavy shit like never before. Their sophomore release “Siamese Dream” fused the primal riffage of Aerosmith and AC/DC with the sun drenched dream pop of Big Star. As I trancended from metalhead to indie kid, Billy Corgan gang of geeks and zeros allowed me musically to pretty much have my cake and eat it.
Twenty six years on and plenty of dodgy releases and personnel changes later, the classic The Smashing Pumpkins line up that gave us the wonderfulness of their first four albums is three quarters of the way reunited (bassist D'Arcy Wretzky was either not invited or refused to take part depending on who you listen to). They may be one of the lightest things on offer at this year's Download but you are going to have to go a long frickin way to find another act armed with this many bonafide solid gold tunes, ‘Disarm’, ‘Today’, ‘Cherub Rock’, ‘Zero’, ‘Tonight, Tonight’, ‘Ava Adore’, ‘1979’, ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’.
If we get only half of these, we will still be on for a sing along set of gigantic proportions. So put your too cool for skool hardcore pretensions and I only listen to unknown Swedish bands with indecipherable logos doctrines aside, instead come worship at the feet of the band that made it OK for metalheads to listen to indie.