Glastonbury 2016

26 Bands, 25 Hours without sleep – my Glastonbury in a nutshell

Before I forget in the excitement of everything after the EU Referendum, some thoughts on this year’s Glastonbury Festival, which I’d hoped would be a nice distraction after a seemingly interminable and often depressing campaign. Unfortunately, that’s not how it turned out and instead, the Referendum hung over the festival like a miasma. First thing on Friday morning all you could hear were groups of dazed people sitting outside their tents debating what exactly had happened and I’ve never been to a more political Glastonbury. And I didn’t even get a chance to heckle Jeremy Corbyn as he somehow decided that even he couldn’t justify talking to a few hundred people in a tent in the middle of nowhere the day after the result. Anyway…

Michael Eavis (pictured doing a regal inspection of the site) has said that this year’s festival was the muddiest ever. I haven’t been to all of them, but the mud was much more of an issue than any other year I’ve been. This is probably because unlike other “wet” Glastonburys there had been a lot of rain over the preceding couple of weeks so that the whole site was already pretty saturated even before the car parks were opened. Thankfully the group I drove down didn’t get particularly delayed going in, but another of our party took 17 hours to arrive from Manchester.

Thursday

Thursday at Glastonbury is mainly for wandering around to get your bearings as they always seem to move things around a little bit and to spend the evening drinking beer at the Avalon Inn. Because more and more people each year aim to turn up as soon as the gates open, there are a few bands on, including “secret” unannounced sets in the Williams Green tent. Unfortunately, this year’s secret acts were not inspiring (why would anyone want to see the comeback of Travis?) and nobody really believed that they’d include the rumoured Radiohead set (why would they bother playing a secret gig when headlining the Pyramid is only ever a phonecall away?). So the only act I saw was…

The Smyths- a nearly note-perfect Smiths tribute. Except the singer was trying too hard to sing the songs as Morrissey and wasn’t very good at sounding like Morrissey. Which is a shame because, as Johnny Marr demonstrates in his solo gigs, the songs are good enough to be enjoyed without the distraction of Morrissey’s idiosyncracies.

Friday

Friday morning had the air of a wake, with these obituary posters for Britain in the EU all around.

So, it was high time to lift the mood by letting the festival begin properly. In the rain.

James- were first on the Other Stage (I’ve just about got used to not calling it the NME Stage, helped by the fact that the NME is now completely dire, rather than just patchily so). Their start was delayed by 50 minutes as the area in front of the stage was waterlogged and needed to be covered in wood chippings. Which was bad enough as it meant that the usual meticulous planning of which bands to see through the day was also disrupted, but was made worse by being forced to listen to the entire Athlete album over the PA. We were also treated to our first artist comment on the Referendum, concluding with “fuck em” followed by a spirited rendition of the optimistic Tomorrow.

Blossoms- weren’t really on my list of bands to see but followed James on the Other Stage and my companions, who mainly live in Stockport wanted to stay to watch this local band. Also, there wasn’t really much else on that would have inspired, even if a day and a half on site made me reluctant to trudge quite as far as I have in previous years (a steady 9 miles or so each day rather than the 20 I’ve done on days with better line ups). Blossoms are a sunny synth rock group and very young. So young that it took a little while to realise that their prettily androgynous singer was just too young to shave (and other band members had only rudimentary facial hair, mainly, I think, to show that they were able to grow some at all). And the sun came out

Gringo Ska- ska ozric tentacles. It’s the flute. Probably wouldn’t have got the “tick” (3 songs or 20 minutes) had it not been such a trudge through the Glade on the way to the Cabaret Tent in anticipation of rain (which came in bucket loads once we were safely sat down inside).

DJ Ivan Brackenbury (comedy) – hospital radio act, literally. Jokes with apt songs- 5 organ transplant from crashed netball coach= mambo no 5. An unrepeatable play on the words Country Tracks. Puerile but cumulatively funny just by the sheer weight and pace of weak jokes.

Jeremy Hardy – I’m not a big fan of Jeremy Hardy. I think the News Quiz is substantially funnier when he’s not on it. However, in the context of heavy rain and the likely fertile comedy potential for a professional curmudgeon of the Referendum he was worth seeing. And, although my northern chums did find his implicit “blame thick northerners” approach unfunny, I thought he was pretty good because he was actually angry rather than just a bit tired of it all. I liked his suggestion of going to the Green Fields and telling the hippies they’ve got their work cut out dispelling negative energy. And his full Trump as Cartman worked a lot better than the hint at it he’d done a couple of weeks previously on the News Quiz.

Shappi Khorsandi- OK, fluffed a few gags. Had an unusual explanation for why there are so few women comedians – that it is because women are used to people being supportive if things don’t turn out how they want whereas men are brought up to expect no sympathy, get mocked for it and to try again in front of the people who mocked them.

Lumineers- sun and sunshine. First proper good band of the day.

ZZ Top- beards and hits. “Let’s stay here all night long and make some barbecue “. They looked like they were having fun. Enough to be able to discern a smile through the trademark beards (apart from the drummer whose surname is Beard but doesn’t wear one).

Explosions in the Sky- introduced themselves by saying they’ve been going 16 years and had been told they should play Glasto and here they are. 4 guitars. Feedback. Mogwai from Texas. Liked them from 15 seconds in. Very tight. I’ve just listened to their latest album and it’s a bit more like Storm in Heaven era Verve (without the fag packet lyrics) but quite heavy live. They were on at the John Peel tent which had been relocated about 100 yards up a slope from its previous position and the tent is now much better (last year much of the floor was awash with water) as well as having a decent area to sit outside and a convenient bar.

Savages- a bit like Siouxsie and the Banshees but not as good. Better on record as less waily and more intelligible. Didn’t make the £5 deposit for the much touted steel pint glasses from the Bimble Inn (which initially seemed to have bargain prices with pints a pound cheaper than elsewhere on site) any more bearable. Particularly as there was only only Water Aid kiosk which would give refunds for the “deposit” and that was located back up the top of the Park Stage which I couldn’t be bothered to slog up.

Underworld- meh. Some dance acts (notably Orbital or Hot Chip who were surprisingly good in the same slot at West Holts last year) are excellent live. Others are single-paced and dreary unless you’re in the middle of the main crowd doing what passes for dancing when your wellies are glued into the mud and perhaps chemically enhanced. Underworld are the latter.

Blackberry Smoke- country rock as an unobjectionable backdrop to a pint at the Avalon Inn. One of this year’s welcome innovations is that the tented Avalon, John Peel and Acoustic stages have had most of their sides left open so that you can hear the music and see the performers from outside the tents.

Saturday

Squeeze- meh. Coincidentally got the “tick” while crossing Pyramid field.

Hardwicke Circus- 60s straight rock. Again, not intentionally watched but happened to be on in the Acoustic tent while we sampled the Real Ale bar and its particularly welcome seating (the toilets in this field are also usually the least unpleasant in the whole festival).

Ozric tentacles- did what they do much as they’ve done it for 30 years. Psychedelic space synth rock. Never trust anyone who can identify individual tracks by their titles. Although you’d probably work that out by the way their pupils are hazy and pointing in different directions and the smell of patchouli.

Jagwa Ma- the Australian regular fries but more upbeat because they’re Aussies. Then went a bit orbital which makes them great. First time all festival that the crowd really got going. Although that is perhaps more a function of my choice of acts!

Madness- couldn’t hear well from edge of Pyramid field but they played the hits. Cover of Bowie’s Kooks after band’s children and grandchildren had come on stage. It was a nice cover of a good song from a great album, but I’m not sure many in the crowd knew it so it only got polite applause.

Ralph mctell- got the tick but have no recollection as was wolfing down Mac and Cheese at the time. I don’t think he played “Streets of London”.

Paul Carrack- like a really good wedding band. Fronted by George Galloway.

Tame Impala- meh

Adele- brilliant, potty mouthed, made a little girl’s day by having her up on stage, hits hits hits (so many that she’d done all the ones I knew 45 minutes in and so didn’t feel bad about heading off on the long walk up to hear Philip Glass’s Heroes Symphony at the Park in tribute to David Bowie (I didn’t have my steel pint glasses with me for a refund)).

New Order- walked past on the way to The Park. Bernard Sumner doesn’t have the best voice in the world but seemed this time to be singing in a Vic Reeves club style.

Glass Heroes Symphony- This was excellent. I don’t think many in the audience had heard Philip Glass’s piece which was inspired by Bowie’s Heroes album (I have it on CD having bought it when seeing the premiere of his Low Symphony some years back) and if you hadn’t  you’d need to be very familiar with the more obscure instrumental tracks on that album to appreciate the link. Unfortunately we were stood next to the biggest twat in the world who spent the first three movements loudly complaining that it was shit, that the musicians shouldn’t have sheet music because they should “know the words” and that being a conductor was a complete waste of time because the musicians could just play. I’m not normally one for a confrontation but had to quietly tell him that he didn’t have to stay if he didn’t like it, or could at least keep his opinions down a little. Unfortunately, that rather escalated to “Fuck off or shut the fuck up”. I left it at the point I could see him and his guffawing acolytes slowly formulating the idea of whether to kick my head in. Thankfully they didn’t and instead got bored and left after discussing whether they should set fire to my hat for entertainment (but luckily decided it was too much bother).

– I’m pretty sure Flock of Seagulls weren’t meant to be in the line up

Sunday

Caravan Palace- French electro swing. Doop. Impressive to get people on a muddy field at noon doing a dancercise class.

Bear’s Den- they’re quite hairy but ok over lunch

Mitch Benn- “after 20 years of not quite being funny enough for the Comedy Stage now I’m not quite good enough a musician for the Avalon. Hope you like my new direction”. Was both funny and musical. Highlight was probably his description of how the Beatles recorded Tomorrow Never Knows using improvised technology (like tearing apart a Hammond organ to feed the vocal mic through its revolving speaker) and then proceeded to recreate it by recording the whole thing on his iPhone and playing it live.

ELO- really needed blue skies but got rain. It didn’t make any difference, still sounded as fresh as it did 40 years ago. And Jeff Lynne looks still just like I remember him on Top of the Pops back in the 70s!

Anoushka Shankar- a welcome sitar chill out then she rocked out. The continuing rain and forecast that it wouldn’t let up until the early hours meant we decided to go and pack up so we could leave after the headliners rather than wait until morning. Particularly as one of our friends had just texted to say that it had taken 8 hours to get out of the car park that morning.

PJ Harvey – was wearing a funereal midnight blue dress. Mainly played songs from the current album and the Mercury Prize-winning Let England Shake. These are serious and weighty songs about serious issues, played with serious expressions. Yet somehow in this live setting they were uplifting and even danceable. Also played a couple of oldies in Bring you my love and  50ft Queenie. PJ read out Donne’s “no man an island” as the most eloquent comment on the Referendum from the stage all weekend. And even exited the stage barely able to suppress a smile. One of the highlights of the festival for me, followed  up by another.

LCD Soundsystem – brilliant, even if the set was shortened by 15 minutes (I think in order to ensure that the Other Stage had cleared by the time Coldplay finished on the Pyramid Stage) and didn’t play North American Scum (which wouldn’t have fitted the tone of the set anyway). James Murphy had the look and intensity of a Baptist Preacher. A great end to what was not, in all honesty, a vintage Glastonbury.

All that remained was to leave for the long walk back to the car, an hour or so waiting for the traffic to move and then 250 miles on the road back to Leeds and the welcome of a hot shower and a clean bed.

Glastonbury 2015

A Glastonbury with minimal unwelcome rain at last! Just a couple of heavy showers on the Friday and rain through Saturday morning making having a lie-in more pleasant than it would have been on a sunny day! Only 31 acts seen this year, but for the first time nobody who was really bad. My theory for this is that at Glastonbury it is difficult to have a bad set if you look like you are enjoying playing and being there. Sometimes this can be hard, if the weather is truly grim or if there are technical problems, and of course there are some curmudgeonly groups who thrive off not giving any sign of enjoyment.

As usual, I travelled down with friends from the Heatons early on the Wednesday morning. Thankfully the proposal that I wouldn’t be listened to unless I ended every sentence with 88 in honour of having inadvertently added these digits to the end of my registration number, making our first attempt at getting tickets fail, petered out quickly when it was discovered that there were better banter victims. Namely the driver of one of the other cars in our group who had delayed setting off by 4 hours because he’d decided that morning to saw his luggage trolley in half and was welding it back together by the time we’d started on our way. In any event, our journey was quick enough not to rely on the list of local road closure orders Bob had printed out to find short cuts. Indeed we got to the car park early enough that our walk to our camping spot (pretty much the same place as last year) was just over a mile and a gentle stroll as Bob and I would be sharing a tent being brought down by another of the group, Anthony, later that evening so didn’t have to carry one. And, that tent was definitely not going to be the monstrously impractical one in the shape of an old VW camper van that Anthony brought last year. Oh no.

After setting up camp, Wednesday is a day for wandering around and drinking beer. Confusingly, they’d moved the Avalon Inn to the other side of the Avalon field, but somehow we managed to find it and at least this year the roof wasn’t so low that taller members of the group continually bashed their head against beams. Late on, Bob disappeared to help Anthony pitch (who’d finally arrived after zooming down from Oxford where he’d won a prize for being unfeasibly clever). When the rest of us went back we were just discussing how much easier it was to find our camping area last year because of the Camper Van tent when suddenly, lo and behold- a Camper Van tent! Which was very confusing because Anthony was bringing a proper tent and Bob had categorically stated that there was no way he’d sleep in the Camper Van tent ever again. But, hang on, what’s this, another tent? And those ones there by the Camper Van definitely look like ours. And there’s Anthony. Looking a little shamefaced. As Bob finishes putting up the new tent that he had immediately turned on his heel to go and buy when he saw that the Camper Van had returned. So he could keep to his word and not sleep in it.

Thursday

As so many people now come on Wednesday (back in the day I’d turn up after work on Thursday evening), Thursday’s programme has grown so that there is a lot on the smaller stages and the site gets pretty much into full swing.

That said, on a sunny afternoon, there’s not much better to do than go up the hill and enjoy the view. Particularly if, like Anthony you were going to drive off in the early hours of Friday morning to spend the next day and a half sailing around the Isle of Wight. If ever anyone was needed to show that Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter stories was a bit of a lightweight for needing a time turner, Anthony would win the gig.

Drenge were one of the “To Be Announced” surprise bands on the Williams Green stage. Thankfully they kicked off with their current, excellent single, Running Wild. The next song sounded a bit like Bauhaus. I wandered off after handful as they got a bit dreary. I blame Tom Watson for his recommendation of them in the sign off to his resignation letter to Ed Miliband where he did an impression of Rufus from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. To be honest, I can’t quite see Ed Miliband having any appetite for Drenge.

Goodnight Lenin- anthemic Rock. Ok for Avalon stage

Cerrone – Ibiza-ish French DJ, in the wacky environs of Block 9. Something wrong with the PA so far too quiet.

Friday

Charlatans – did what they do and ended with 10 minute Sprowston Green. Despite having a ludicrous lampshade of peroxided hair, Tim Burgess looked far better wearing white jeans and a black anorak than anyone ought to be able to get away with.

Leon Bridges – nice, 1950s crooning. Radio 2.

Lonelady- the youth outside Asda who you’re not sure whether they’re collecting trolleys or mugging you for the quid that gets released when you park it up. 80s synth sounds but didn’t quite work

Stornaway – best act so far. The right side of twee. Played a cover of Yazz’s The only way is up, which showed why it was a good enough song to have got to Number 1 in the days when that sort of meant something. The set coincided with the first of the short downpours and the singer seemed touchingly pleased when the Acoustic stage tent didn’t empty when the rain stopped.

  – Bob looking less pleased with himself than usual after falling into the mud in his enthusiasm to be near the front for Ace of Spades

Motörhead – fantastic, winners of the 2015 Skrillex prize for act I thought I wouldn’t normally listen to or enjoy but did. Best drum solo ever! Followed by guitarist reappearing wearing “I fucking hate drummers” t shirt rather than a bass solo, thankfully. A good example of my theory about looking and sounding like you’re enjoying what you’re doing even if it isn’t your usual environment (where you wouldn’t get only a smattering of hands going up when you asked if people would be buying your new album).

 Django django- played three times, here at a very hot Williams Green, and then a quiet acoustic set at the Crows Nest (which was too rammed to get close enough to see them) and finally on the John Peel Stage (which clashed with something else). Great set where the similarity between the songs on their two albums didn’t matter as it meant that they all went together.

Hot chip- surprisingly good as having seen them previously at a festival I thought their music too tinny to work at a large outdoor venue. They took the brave decision of playing Over and Over only half a dozen songs in but didn’t run out of recognisable “hits” to play and finished with a cover of Springsteen.

Lamb- lovely jazzy voice over Drum and Bass provided by an over-enthusiastic idiot (who then touchingly gave a shout out to his mum who came to her first Glastonbury when they first played here and was now at her 17th). It’s 1998 all over again.

Saturday

Courtney Barnett – Aussie Courtney Love on the Pyramid Stage. Sounded better (and lyrics unbowdlerised) on the Williams Green later on.

Coasts- anthemic uninteresting

Slaves- the sound of the home fans at a Millwall game talking about their lives. What your electrician is thinking while you ask him to fit some lights because you’re too useless to and haven’t got the time or energy after commuting to London to earn the money to pay him. Because you’re DEAD ALREADY! Highlight was a tremendous circular conga line in the crowd with someone crowdsurfing along the top in the opposite direction to the conga.

Sleaford Mods- anger and observation of the non-aspirational. The people who don’t have the get up and go of the characters in Slaves songs because their choice is between JSA and an 8 hour shift measuring the temperature of chicken breasts (19.2- top, 18.4- middle, 18.6- top) as described in Jobseeker. “Hope you enjoyed our support act”- in reference to their rivalry with Slaves who had cheekily been put on before them at the John Peel.

Gaz Coombes – meh

Kate Tempest- the voice of the girlfriends of the protagonists of Slaves songs.

Luke Wright poet- fackin lions! (in reference to the embarrassment for an Essex boy of the mistaken identification of a pet car as a lion in a Clacton holiday park)

John Cooper Clarke- legendary.

Spiritualised – epic delicate fragile loudness, Come Together finale. Could only have been improved for me by playing Cop Shoot Cop. A very different environment from when I saw them at their height of fame playing Ladies and Gentlement We Are Floating in Space at the Royal Albert Hall with full orchestra and gospel choir. I wonder how they’ll pare things down to fit into the Brudenell Social Club later in the year.

Public service broadcasting- better even than last year. Making technology and the adventure of scientific progress emotionally charged. Roygbiv (ostensibly about the advent of colour television) as gay anthem. Songs from the new album made far more sense with the film clips as they’re a lot less loaded with spoken word samples than the first album’s songs. Unique.

Sunday

Gengahr- good jangly ethereal falsetto guy

Keston Cobblers Club- Mumford and Sons folk. Quite likely that they actually are members of a club for cobblers in a village called Keston.

Patti Smith- a legend but losing her voice at end of tour and not my thing so didn’t stay long enough to see the Dalai Lama.

DJ Yoda and the Breakfast of Champions- fun, doowap,strings, reggae, bluegrass, ukulele Hebrew songs (complete with film of dancing rabbis). As they said, could this be more eclectic?

Lionel Ritchie – played the hits to massive singalong crowd. Which didn’t include me for very long.

Alt-J – music for darkened rooms translated perfectly to a sunny pyramid stage Sunday afternoon

Belle & Sebastian- not as twee as they used to be or I’m getting old and soppy

The Fall- are on early wtf?! Mark E Smith looks like a Stephen hawking. Tightly shambolic, meaningfully incomprehensible. As ever.

 

The Who – I’d missed them when they played a few years back, opting then to go and see the Chemical Brothers (who coincidentally were also up against them on the Other Stage this year again). Considering that they had played Hyde Park the day before and have a combined age approaching 500 an amazingly lively and energetic performance. I was surprised at how many of the “hits” they played in the 45 minutes I stayed for before slogging up the hill to the Park Stage for Ryan Adams. I was also surprised at how many people left after the previous act, Paul Weller, finished as I’d have expected them to have appealed to his fans (although I suppose there may have been a lot of people who liked Weller’s newer stuff which is not so closely descended from The Who).

Ryan Adams- Mrs B and I saw him play in Leeds earlier in the year where he’d put on a great performance which bucked my rule of needing the act to enjoy themselves (he got very angry at people using camera flashes despite numerous posters politely requesting they didn’t and him having asked nicely once after explaining that it played havoc with his epilepsy). He seemed much more cheerful at Glastonbury and played another great set, only marred a little by the competing noise of the sound system of the Stonebridge Bar opposite the Park Stage during the acoustic encore of Wonderwall.

  – before the lights went out on it all

Glastonbury 2014

More than a fortnight late I know but here’s a collection of miscellaneous thoughts from the Glastonbury Festival, mainly to remind me of the 34 bands/acts I saw over 4 days based on the sketchy notes I managed to jot on my phone with my thumb while in a muddy field.

This was the first time I’d been to Glasto since 2007 and the highlight was getting to hang out with my two best mates from Uni, Rob & Martin, who I hadn’t seen together since then.

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– Camp struck in blazing sunshine lunchtime on the Wednesday.

We arrived much earlier than I’d ever got to Glasto in the past which meant that we had a good chance to choose our camping area with care and the ability to save space for later arrivals in the group. Even then, there were a lot of people already in by the time we pitched early on Wednesday afternoon. Listening to the radio at 5.30am that morning (I had to drive from Leeds to Manchester to rendezvous with Rob and the rest of the “Heaton Massive” I was travelling with) I was concerned to hear of people phoning in saying they were in the queue already. I draw the line at arriving the night before the gates open and sleeping in the car park.

Annoyingly I had to do an online psychometric test for a job I was applying for while in my tent (which I then didn’t get, although not, I am assured because of the psychometric test’s results) but then the rest of Wednesday was all about getting our bearings. And drinking rather too much…

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– Like walking through muddy soup

Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as wet as 2007 when it rained pretty consistently through the whole festival or 2005 when a month’s worth of rain fell on the Thursday night, causing the toilets to overflow and many hapless campers’ tents to be carried away on a tide of raw sewage. Instead, there were periodic short downpours Thursday-Saturday punctuated by bright sunshine. One shower was heavy enough to overcome the water resistance of my coat (just before the rather good Parquet Courts) but otherwise having a folding stool, wellies and waterproof overtrousers avoided the potential for misery.

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– Polythene Death Trousers

Food has improved a lot at festivals in the 20 years I’ve been going. Benicassim in Spain surprisingly has the least variety of food available, but at least there is the option of walking into the town and going to a nice restaurant. As a non-pescatarian I didn’t sample it myself by the rest of my group swore by the Goan Fish Curry stall. The pro-veggie propaganda lorry didn’t win me over though.

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-Banksy “Don’t eat us” Lorry

And so, onto the music! The rules to determine whether I could count having seen an act were:

1. I actually could see the band – excluding just overhearing an act while coincidentally being nearby

2. Listening for either 3 songs or 45 minutes (the latter to cover acts that only played a couple of long songs – eg Jonny Greenwood and the London Sinfonietta who played 2 pieces in over an hour on stage)

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– Flags flying at The Other Stage

Thursday

The main stages aren’t open on the Thursday but since the move to opening the gates on Wednesday the smaller stages have a pretty full schedule on Thursday.

India Electric Company- folk duo doing Springsteen covers
New York Brass- brass band covers of modern hits, like Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. They’re from Yorkshire not New York. A bit of fun in the first big downpour, particularly when they got hijacked by another roving brass band.

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– JJ Rosa

JJ Rosa- Stockport’s Amy Winehouse but looking much more like she was a happy person. Last Night a DJ Saved my Life, Ready or Not, Kiss/Billie Jean/Get Lucky
1975- first of two “surprise acts” in the Williams Green tent stage. More mid 80s U2 (in a good way) than 1975 but a lot better than they sound on their album.
Metronomy- ace! Songs from nights out and Love Letters make more sense live. Too many people singing along to the keyboard riffs though. Although I’ve never heard that happen before.

Friday

Jonny Greenwood & London Sinfonietta- back at the tents we thought this was probably going to be some of Greenwood’s post/ex-Radiohead film soundtrack work but were pleased to discover that instead they were going to play a couple of Steve Reich pieces. Many years back, Martin and I had been to see Reich being performed at the Proms and to hear the man himself interviewed beforehand. I remember him being rather dismissive of acts like The Orb who had sampled extensively from his classical pieces on the basis that most of them couldn’t even read music. Greenwood played “Electric Counterpoint”  (Sampled in The Orb’s first album), and LS played music for 18. A nice start to the day.
Hobo Jones- shit skiffle played irritatingly close to the Avalon Inn and its enticing beers.
The Stepkids- pedestrian funky west coast pop with falsetto oohs, bass solo and noodling, drum solo! Cheesy Shadows steps. Get Lucky cover for third time so far. Much more their musical territory!
Deltron 3030- Gorillaz without being albarn’s art project. Deltron is our hero if he can’t do it nobody can? But the problem is that there’s not much point in copying conceptual art. Unsurprisingly their best song was their version of Gorillaz’s Clint Eastwood
Haim- were Haim. Despite having listened to their album about a million times as Mrs B likes them, I still can’t quite work out the words to their songs. The Bangles’ greatest hits played by Vic Reeves in a club style?

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-Herd of onesies by the tripod in Arcadia

DJ Scruff- quite fun. My only stop at Arcadia, lengthened due to need to shelter at the bar during a downpour.

Parquet Courts- rockabilly/Fall/Wire neat, less bearded than expected. Surprisingly ended up with long feedback Sonic Youth jam. Which was nice.
Bowjangles- string quartet playing while Russian dancing. Not easy for a cellist!
Timariwen- Mali world music, sounds a bit like slow bass driven acoustic Ian Brown. Or so my note at the time says. I think they left their weaponry at home.

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– Arcade Fireworks

Arcade Fire- massive. Look like Starship. Dancey! There’s millions of them it’s not 2007 again for sure (when they were dreadful on the Other Stage, plagued by technical problems and with a church organ on stage, nevertheless being the Guardian’s pick of the festival, but they’re always wrong). But the old stuff is now done shouty rather than as harmonic, whimsical and delicate melancholy. Which spoils it a bit I think.
Skrillex – has a very squeaky voice, Danny DeVito-ish. I went on the way to seeing Metronomy again from Arcade Fire and hadn’t intended to stay, but he was pretty good. Realistically I’m never going to listen to anything else of his or go to see him live so it was worth staying for the experience. Set looked and sounded like he was playing a lurid video game. One of those fiendishly difficult late 2D scrolling shootemups or piloting a mecha. And he’s taunting your noob ass over the headset. 21st century Tommy.

Saturday
The Black Tambourines- driving indie guitar rock, I’d have really liked them 20 years ago. When they were toddlers.
Coves- Martin says, a flange pedal away from driving indie guitar rock. Girl singer and ethereal but driving…
Warpaint- more ethereal stuff- Enya x 3 rocking. Cocteau twins. Although I think they think they rock.
Lana del Rey- like an orphanage that has just been told Santa doesn’t exist? Sun was out so who cares?
BBC Radiophonic workshop- West Country daleks! Mainly new stuff from the now elderly sound boffins who invented most of the weirdy telly music that we grew up with in the pre-internet era and inspired much of British electronic music of the early 90s either in sound (Orbital) or in the ethos of “if it doesn’t exist we’ll make our own instruments to do it” (Aphex Twin). A bit of Hitchhikers Guide and an extended deconstructed version of the iconic Dr Who theme tune which came off well without clashing with memories of Orbital using it as a staple of its live sets in Glastonburys past.
ESG- percussion, bass, shouting
Manic Street Preachers- shit. And it does count even though I couldn’t see them because it’s all I could hear walking back to tent due to an acoustic quirk. Bastards. Actually they were still going as I walked back from tent, up to the park and after 3 songs from Anna Calvi back to the other stage. Ultimate ignominy was some bloke trying to hug me and make me sing along with him for their set closer.
Anna Calvi- waily, woooo-oooh. Meh
Pixies- did most of the hits. Didn’t do monkey gone to heaven. Had an extended wig out before where is my mind, which is uncharacteristic. Singalong. Probably don’t need to see them again
Mogwai- more electronica than I remember. Fantastic mogwai fear satan penultimate song, the quiet noodly bit before loud bit caught most of the younger crowd out. Feedback going on after they’d walked off seemed to be at resonant frequency of my polythene death trousers. Which was nice.

Sunday
Thunderbirds are go- indeed they are. Sunny sitting down with beer and nostalgia
Juana Molina- probably should have stuck to the stand up comedy career. Low rent stereo lab. Martin might have liked if he weren’t being contrary somewhere else. Actually I’m being unfair she became pretty neat when she warmed up. But, it didn’t really matter as we were still sitting and drinking in The Park.

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Drinking in The Park

Public Service Broadcasting – kraftwerk in tweed with humour. Matt Smith (Dr Who) on banjo, my friend Jeremy on drums (not really). PSB films of the unimaginable recent past- air raids, night mail. “Glastonbury festival is the perfect setting for a song about ice skating in Dutch”. My highlight of the festival and as a bonus, on at the same time as Dolly Parton, who I had no desire to see. If you went round to a barbecue at someone’s house and they put Dolly’s greatest hits album on at full volume would you be impressed? You might have a little postmodern chuckle at 9 to 5 or Jolene but then wonder if your friend had lost their mind for the remaining 45 minutes before it ended.
The Horrors- now Duran Duran now Gary numan now early simple minds. Meh.
Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band- anti fracking primal scream therapy then Rawk! Backing band members of yo la tengo
The Brian Jonestown Massacre- if Jarvis cocker lived under a bridge for a year and formed a band playing driving indie guitar rock with 4 guitarists a bass and a mutton chopped tambourinist… Then dropped to funereal pace. Argh, then primal scream then monkees.
The Beat- 1983 headliners, with his son. Still got it.
Kasabian- have become genuine a stadium band
Suzanne Vega- mesmeric

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It’s all over now