Who didn’t I see on Saturday at Glastonbury?
Actually I didn’t really see anyone on Saturday at Glastonbury. Killers? No. Kooks? Nope. Klaxons? Kno. In fact I’m not really sure what I did that day; from the beginning it looked like the weakest day, music-wise. But it was still a great day all the same…
I think the BBC coverage clearly shows how up for it CSS were… they had us dancing and grinning even in a continual downpour, wearing three layers of plastic, knee-deep in a charming mix of slurry, dead plastic camping chairs and tofu. If CSS count as nu rave then I’m glad to see it’s not all public school goons in crap 80s clothes.
And the other band I actually spent time with was… actually, before I name them, I should mention the fantastic comedian Andrew Maxwell and his Glastonbury-friendly sex ‘n’ drugs set. I liked the gag about how when Ireland was a poor, priest-ridden country, people were scared of meeting the Devil at the crossroads; now that it’s a country on the up, they have roundabouts like everyone else and don’t give a damn.
Anyway, after an evening spent wrestling with sucking mud we ended up in the acoustic tent watching… the Waterboys. Not such a bad thing, you might thing, after all Fisherman’s Blues and This Is The Sea should give them an hour’s worth of material, notwithstanding all the other stuff Mike Scott has done since… but they were pretty awful. Not musically, because they’re all very skilled musiczzzzzns, but lyrically the new stuff was pure Tap. My favourite was aimed at Tracey Emin, which contained the absolutely priceless couplet ‘my mind is banal/like a stagnant canal’. I laughed until I thought I would fall over. Yes, there were some great moments there, but Mike Scott is essentially a clueless old fart.
Thankfully we then caught Brakes in the Leftfield, who did a very late, slightly sozzled acoustic mini-set. Basically two men having a laugh and making me smile. God bless this British Sea Power offshoot, they kind of saved the day.
And who did I miss who I wished I’d seen? Well, Bat for Lashes, but more importantly Iggy and the Stooges. But apart from being able to tick the Iggy box in my ‘I Spy Rock Icons’ book (20 points, frequent visitor to British shores), my main reason for catching the Stooges was to see the mighty Mike Watt, one-time Minutemen and fIREHOSE mainman, who’s now an honorary Stooge. Some raddled posho borrowed my lighter on Sunday and returned it with the words “you’re a legend”. Mike Watt is a legend, you vocabulary-challenged dullard, and it’s been fifteen years or so since I last saw him play in the UK. So that was a shame. But I felt slightly better about it when I realised that I’d seen quite a bit of John Fogerty’s set. As someone said to me, who was that old man? Well, he was Creedence Clearwater Revival, beloved of the Dude, and writer of classics like Bad Moon Rising, Vietnam protest song Fortunate Son (which took on a new salience when it emerged G W Bush had somehow missed Vietnam) and Have You Ever Seen The Rain? And he wrote Rockin’ All Over The World too (Status Quo hang your heads). And the Minutemen were huge Creedence fans and covered several of their songs. So that was nice. And these songs seem relevant:
Alcohol – CSS
Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Minutemen