Did I have a good Glastonbury?
So did I have a good Glastonbury? Well, I saw the Earlies, Super Furry Animals, the Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, and Bjork, and that was just on the Friday. I then managed to cram in CSS, the Waterboys, Eat Static, the Manic Street Preachers, Billy Bragg, and Circulus, along with a bit of John Fogerty, Tinariwen, Amy Winehouse, Piney Gir, a mini-Brakes set, and the Chemical Brothers over the three days. And saw comedian Andrew Maxwell’s set too, along with some fire-jugglers, stilt-walkers, petitioners, a human beatboxer, a gong bath, and all the other traditional Glastonbury Fayre. We even got to wander about in hospitality, which as Charlie Brooker rightly notes is really only worth it for the shortcut through the centre of the site, but useful all the same. In fact we only saw journos there, though Lily Allen and Bragg were both spotted out and about. And while you might live like a serf there, you can eat like a king – not just the obligatory veggie curry and cakes at Manic Organic and the Tiny Tea Tent respectively, but all the food (and some great real ale and apple brandy, though I will not be mixing them again in future).
So while on Sunday I was ready to weep in my cold, wet and muddy rags, as those memories fade the highlights become more important. So yes, I did have a good Glastonbury. Would I go again? I don’t know – I’ve been four times in ten years and it’s always been really wet. Maybe Eavis should pay me to stay away. In fact I think I was quite lucky – I might have fallen wallowing in the mud at one point but I didn’t twist my ankle like our friend Al, who took seven hours (all night) to get from first aid to his tent on the crutches they gave him. That was on Thursday, before the music and rain and crowds. He was still smiling on the Sunday – just about.
Two days after getting back I still feel as if I left an important part of myself somewhere in a field in Somerset, so I’ll keep this brief… the Friday was the highlight for me, so many great bands and the best weather. The Earlies were fantastic and we were quite near the front at the Pyramid stage; even a freezing cold downpour couldn’t get us to stop dancing. They looked pretty chuffed with it too. But what happened to ‘Rainbow Connection’ as a set-closer? Has Kermit withdrawn his permission? The Super Furries were also on great form, in fact the perfect festival band for a warm summer’s afternoon, which it was at that point. And then the Hold Steady completed my trio of Glastonbury moments with a performance that looked and sounded like an advert for endorphins. I was worried they would be a bit cheesy and/or talky but I’m now incredibly excited about seeing them next Monday – it’s going to be rammed and it’s going to be something special. So that’s it for now – bands I’ve blogged about before, on the whole, but Friday was all about great bands doing more than just turning up and playing. I need to lie down now…
Wayward Song (live) – The Earlies
Atomik Lust – Super Furry Animals
Chips Ahoy – The Hold Steady