Saturday, June 30, 2007

Glastonbury...some music stuff...and a few more reflections

S'funny really. I've spent the last week chatting to people about Glasto. "Will you go again?" they all asked. "Possibly not" I've replied. "Ahhhhh, that's 'cos you're getting old" they all say. Cobblers. It's got bugger all to do with that. A few things happened this year to cast a doubt over Glasto 2008. The weather was one of them (coming after years of mud, another one was just taking the piss really). But the weather I can cope with. Second was the increase in the number of people on site. It made the shuffling around just that bit slower and the crowds for the 'big acts' just that bit bigger. Who knows, will next year see the capacity rise to 200,000? Where will it all end? Will it take over the whole of Somerset one day? There was the mind melting array of acts and stages on offer too. We all like a bit of choice, but hell, it took three days to trawl through the programme. You can easily spend a few hours just spinning around in a mire of indecision (wearing Kylie...I'd look good in hotpants you know...I have the ass for it...). Finally, and this really hit me on the Sunday evening, if you do choose to go and see one of the 'big' acts (which I wouldn't normally go and see, but because they, and I, are there, I will do at Glasto) unless you get into position a good hour or so early, or try to shoehorn yourself into the crowd, you end up watching most of the action on a giant screen. Hmmmm. I could do that at home and spend my £200 on going to see bands 'in the flesh' instead. Anyway, for what it's worth, those are my thoughts on Glasto 2007 as an 'event'.

Time to talk about the music. Rather than bore you with a 10,000 word dissertation on The Hair of Amy Winehouse and the Decline of Western Civilisation I'll just briefly focus on a few highlights. Musically speaking (or listening) my best bits probably took place in the Leftfield Tent on Thursday night. They had CUD, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Glen Tilbrook on (all of whom were ace). Best of all though was Kid Harpoon. His voice kind of sounds like a teenage boy who's just discovered bourbon and wild, wild women. There's real ooomph behind his live performance that perhaps doesn't come across on some of his recorded stuff. There's a strong folky / sea shanty kind of feel to the music that makes it all sound timeless, there are echoes of laughing Lenny Cohen on some tracks (indeed he covers Len's First We Take Manhattan...and makes it his own). He has this curious dancing thing too where he sort of recoils from his mic stand like it's about to lamp him one. Brilliant...and worth the price of the Glastonbury ticket on his own.

Friday kicked off with a Guilty Pleasures set (hosted by 'DJ' Sean Rowley). This was basically a house band fronted by a different vocalist for each track (all covers of golden oldies that some would consider 'guilty pleasures' ...clever eh?). The crowd was fairly thin, so we got right to the front to see The Magic Numbers, Tim Burgess, Les (from The Bay City Rollers) and Suggs (pictured above) amongst others. Great fun.

Another unexpected highlight was the lovely Lily Allen. In between swearing like a trooper and chatting about big cocks, she introduced Lynville Golding (ex The Specials) as her special guest. I love The Specials and pondered aloud how great ot would be to see Terry Hall up there too. Then, as if by magic, Lily, in a Jim'll Fix It stylee, introduced Mr Hall too for a blistering version of Gangsters (which you can see here!)

Finally (like I say, these are just the edited highlights) I was blessed to see !!! (the band...I've not gone to sleep and leant on the ! key...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...sorry, I did then). They're a lot 'camper' in real life than I was expecting but the music is pure 'art disco' (what do you mean there's no such genre). If you want to know what makes them so great just listen to Must Be The Moon...a tribute to the Who's late drummer...probably...(I spotted, well he was standing right next to me so it wasn't hard, politicomic god Mark Thomas jigging to the !!! vibe too - good taste fella).

Right, that's it. Gotta dash. Off to another festival. Rootsvile this time. They're promising shelter from the predicted 2-3 inches of rain that's predicted today. Gawd bless 'em. Eavis, are you listening?

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