Sunday, July 17, 2005

A late glastonbury reveiw

(Hi I ment to post this as soon as i came back, but my wife desided i had something more important to do, as they do, and i only just got around to finishing it..)

Well that’s me returned from a field in summerset, and what a good week that was.
We arrived on the Wednesday morning, after driving all night from Scotland, to bask in blazing sunshine and get hammered on Pear cider.
I then went back to my campervan, donned my white dinner jacket (with black shirt, black trousers, white bow tie and white winkle pickers) and loaded up with gin to dance the night away at the pirate stage and Lost Vagueness.

Naked Ruby:A Brixton based Voodoo-billy band with a powerfully Joplinesque lead singer, who later helped demolish our supply of gin and tonics Lovely people.

Around about four on the Friday I noticed flashes in the sky, Fireworks I thought, then the biggest drop of rain hit me. Oh I thought its about to rain, better retire to my lovely dry camper and listen to the sound of the rain hit the roof, while I’m snugly and warm.
During that night a months worth of rain fell, huge apocalyptical strikes of lightening struck the stages, the mobile telephone towers and one unlucky girls umbrella. The rain fell on hard sun baked ground and rushed downhill in great torrents flooding tents, knocking over porta-loos and then forming huge lakes swamping low-lying camping areas.
I slept through this oblivious to the chaos all around, woke up to the huge lakes and thanks to the many feet of the festivalgoers the ground rapidly turned to a quagmire of mud.
Despite this I managed to go and see three bands:

The Zutons: who played standard Indie rock, until their last track witch had prog style freak-outs and Sativa drummer style massed drumming, which heartily impressed me.

Alabama 3: A wonderful set by the ‘bama, with a talented wee lassie singing with them, a few new songs but all the classics, “Mao Tse Tung Said” filled the field with clenched fist socialist salutes, of and they were introduced by Howard Marks and I think I saw Brian Wilson standing at the back of the stage miming shooting up during “Hypo full of Love”.

White Stripes: The field in front of the Pyramid Stage was reminiscent of the mud at the battle of the Somme, a deep sucking swamp, but the band played great, loved their version of Dolly’s Jolene.

Saturday arrived after another night of drinking, more pear cider was had for breakfast and an attempt to upgrade my very wet and mud covered trainers for some boots or wellies but not wanting to join the riot in front of the “Joe bananas stall”, I opted for drying my feet, applying some socks then jury rigging waterproofing with plastic bags and gaffer tape. With my feet now better equipped I stomped of to watch a band.

The Levellers: A crusty-hood dream to see them at Glastonbury, they were good played all their big songs, good big crowd and they offered to let my friend Rarg join the band afterwards.

The weather was overcast on Saturday and seemed to threaten more rain but as another friend said “Play stops Rain”, so on went my dinner jacked for an evening of carousing and on the way I saw..

Hayseed Dixie: I’ve seen them play at Studio24 a couple of times now but since I’m working behind the bar I never get a chance to enjoy myself, so it was a right treat to finally get to dance along and bloody hell they are talented.
When the introduced their song “Blind Beggar Breakdown” and rambled on about the blind beggar (a local Edinburgh biker pub), my darling wife phoned the beggars manager to inform him of the mobs of hippies that may be descending on the bar in the coming months.

The Proclaimers: Well they were on after the ‘Dixies and they played “Letter from America” first, we slinked of to the rock’n’roll diner at Vagueness for some dinner and came back to hear them play “I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)” as their final track.
It was good to see them live rather than stare at the back of one of the Proclaimers head’s as he takes the number 23 bus up to Morningside.

Sunday started hot and stayed that way all day, the mud started to dry and where their had been quagmires now their was dust, it defiantly perked me up, so straight into more cider. I find on weekend bender if you stop drinking that’s when your troubles start.

The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain: They were the best band at Glastonbury, in sheer talent and musicianship and comedy, just amazing, I would crawl on broken glass to play the Ukulele as well as them. Anybody that missed them wasted their entrance money.

By Sunday evening I was getting a bit lethargic so spent the evening around a campfire enjoying the company of friends, I find that so many people go a little nuts on the Sunday because their going home the next day and start to panic. I just like to relax and let the final night wash over me, in perpetration for the Monday Tat-fest.

Monday starts with my trainers splitting open, the wet, mud and heavy use on gravel roads have finally gotten the better of them, but as luck would have it its Tat-fest Monday. I wonder if it’s a sad reflection on the consumer society at the amount of stuff that gets left behind at Glastonbury (Wellie boots that could have been sold at £70 on the wet days are left by the bins, whole tents, camping mats and every year a kitchen sink are all up for grabs on Tat-fest Monday) or is more about the long march home and a desire to lighten your bulging backpack.
Within ten feet of the front gate I upgrade my broken trainers to a newly abandoned pair of Dr Martins unfortunately they are a size 10, one size too small, but they’ll do until I find a lovely pair of German paratrooper boots which do fit, then seconds later a pair of British army boots which I take for Sunday best.
By the time I’m finished tatting I score, 2 complete sets of waterproofs, 2 camping mats, a new frying pan, 3 pairs of boots, a lovely pair of rugby socks, a rucksack to carry it all in and huge blue parasol cover made of raffia that will make a good monster costume for later in the year.

And so we depart later that evening leaving the field of Glastonbury for another two years.

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