Wakey wakey, Wes!

Every aspiring rock band in the world knows of the Donington Download Festival and dreams of receiving an invitation to play there. Whilst no one can blame Download debutants Puddle of Mudd for jumping at the chance, one can't help but wish they had negotiated another time of day to make their first impression.

Sporting a bright orange beanie hat and thick black sunglasses, it appeared that frontman Wes Scantlin found it far too early in the day to perform, equally reflected by his inability to convincingly hit many of his vocal notes, particularly in his higher register. This obviously affected any attempted vocal harmonies; the remainder of the band unable to salvage an increasingly disappointing set. 'Drift & Die' should have been a moving addition to this short, six song set, but instead it became awkwardly unsettling to listen to.

One of the drawbacks of mid-card festival performances is that once your time is up, you have to vacate the stage. 'She Hates Me' acted as a fantastic conclusion, but the realisation that the band was not going to play 'Blurry' came as a bitter disappointment to all. Surely the band's highest placing song in the UK charts takes priority over yet another cover of AC/DC's 'T.N.T.'?

Despite this substandard performance, Puddle of Mudd will surely be welcomed back to Download any time, should they wish to return. However, if Scantlin is to have any luck with his vocal intonation, the band need to be placed on a smaller stage so that they can be allocated a longer slot (to fit all of their songs in) and at a later time in the day.