Day3: Festival Day 1
It feels like we’ve been here for ages already. I fail to rouse anyone else, so trudge down in the mud (in my wellies) on my own to the opening act – Kate Nash playing the Pyramid Stage.
She comes across very cute, with her wacky chatty lyrics and octopus skirt that she’s keen to show off!
She actually cameo’d on the Park Stage here last year, and is now headline! Very impressive rise to fame.
Up at the Park Stage, I catch Eugene McGuinness solo,
who Introducing launched last year, then the gorgeous Langley Sisters on the Introducing Stage,
with the three sisters singing in harmony a la thirties.
Charge back down through the crowds
To Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. on Pyramid. The gang has woken up now, and the way to find them is to look for the flag!
Yes, they have an enormous orange Transformers flag! Makes the group easy to keep track of, though I’m not sure what people standing behind make of it all!
Get Cape explained how last time he played at Glasto it was to 150 people on the Park Stage!
Sarah and Pete
Skipping KT Tunstall, I leg it round to the Other Stage for Vampire Weekend, who are apparently scratchy funky indie pop! The Pyramid – Other run is one I’d be getting to know very well in the next three days!
Then I finally manage to meet up with the very lovely Farah,
whom I met in Ethiopia, in Gondor, aka the African Camelot. Despite her youthfulness she is a Glasto veteran, and was going to take me under her wings until I found out Mike and Pete would be about. Somehow this five minute chat was the only time we saw each other the whole festival, despite numerous texts and calls and even being at the same gig several times. It’s a big place.
Ben Folds, as in the bloke behind Ben Folds Five (his name is actually Ben Folds) is clearly very talented, but also brings on a rather screechy sounding girl he’s producing during his set, which seems slightly naughty.
Rain starts up briefly
Next up, a long trek across to Jazz World, another of the bigger stages, where Candi Staton, the Southern soul legend, is playing her first ever Glastonbury.
The Jazz World stage has some great stuff on, but it doesn’t have auxiliary screens at the side, so if you’ve got a big flag somewhere near the front it can be really annoying.
Right, no time to waste.. the gang are going to see the Ting Tings, a long trek back past Other, through Dance Village to the John Peel Stage. I pass the Hoosiers on the way and stop to watch a bit of that – their song Worried about Ray is good.
Some interesting costumes
As I approach the end of Dance Village, it becomes apparent that I will not be watching the Ting Tings. The crowd is absolutely mad, and backed right up the hill into Dance Village. This is what happened with hyped up bands.
Chances of making the tent.. not good
So I give up and head back to Jazz World. Time for a spot of food, and a Goan Fish curry, with Cornish line-caught fish just the ticket!
I listen to the end of Lupe Fiasco’s set as I eat.
He implores us all to go see Jay Z tomorrow night. This is the controversy of this year’s festival. Jay Z is one of the main headline acts for Saturday night, and this has provoked anger amongst those who see Glasto as an Indie guitar festival. Of course this viewpoint is crazy for so many reasons – Glasto embraces all kinds of music and has grown bigger to accommodate different styles – the guitar lot are all here in force this year – who can complain when one has Levellers, Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon, Fratellis, Editors, Ting Tings, the Verve and countless others here?
For me, I’ll be at Jay Z for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s almost turning into a race issue, and I want to support the act. Secondly there’s a chance Beyonce might come up on stage. Mmmm! Thirdly it’s straight after Amy Winehouse, so I don’t need to move (am planning to spend the whole evening at Pyramid rather than try to get back and forth). And fourthly, well, I don’t really know his music but it’s supposed to be pretty damn good!
So I’m in position early at Jazz World now because I’m expecting the next act to be rammed. Pick it up y’all for the FUN LOVING CRIMINALS!! Yes, that’s the kind of place Glasto is, where Fun Lovin’ Criminals are relegated to a third or fourth stage!
They’re great on stage, and really funny. “Stick your hands in the air! Now empty your pockets, and pass any weed up to the stage!”. I get a text from Elaine who is apparently listening to the song “Running around, filling banks, all whacked on scooby snacks”. It’s the censored version maybe!
Fun Lovin’ Criminals
Right, hike time again. Tom has tipped Reverend and the Makers, and they’re playing at John Peel. Nightmare.. I get trudging. My feet are killing me by this stage. Each time I need to do this walk it’s about 25 minutes brisk walk!
Reverend is wicked, good tip, and great stage presence. Although I do have the suspicion I’m watching a Northern version of Jim Robinson!
Taking time out from Data Centres, Jim took to rock
And after that.. back to Jazz World! Groan! But the legendary Jimmy Cliff is on, and I want to be there.
“Hello Glastonbury London England” yells Jimmy Cliff as he comes on stage!
He works his way through an amazing uplifting set, but surely he’s not responsible for all these songs, is he? I’m going to have to do some research when I get home. He wraps up, and the main music has finished, it’s about half-midnight now. The night is young! The others are miles away, so I head into Trash City to have a look around.
Trash City is described in the guide as “an apocalyptic dream-world straight out of the pages of a 2000AD comic. It’s an intergalactic red-light district, where space pirates, bootleggers, illegal aliens and all the scum of the universe can come to party the night away”. Good description!
The DJ box.. and seconds later..
It’s hard to explain just how cool it is, but think Bladerunner movie set turned into an outdoor club. Dark metallic structures everywhere, flames roaring into the night sky periodically, and fab music.
In addition to the outdoor bits, it has a indoor Drag Strip stage usually hosting punky bands and also some rather raunchy displays as we were to discover the following day, a New York 90s Gay Bar and another smaller live music venue at the bottom.
This being Glasto, this is not even the main night area.. that goes to (well, ignoring Dance Village miles away) Shangri La, what used to be called Lost Vagueness, which is full of venue after venue pumping out music live and DJ’ed through till dawn and on.
We had a look around then headed into Tilted Disco, which had been tipped by many as the place to go to party.
They give you (well alright Sarah bought, thanks Sarah) a pair of funky holographic glasses as you go in which make all the lights go mad.
It’s tilted because the dancefloor is on a slope, as well as other stuff designed to disorient you (as if the glasses weren’t enough!). Sofas on the ceiling for instance!
Time to call it a night.. we headed home as it became light…
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