Eleanor Blair (lnr) wrote,
Eleanor Blair

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Glastonbury 2004

Having done some tidying up I've unearthed the notebook I sometimes use as a diary while away, so here rather belatedly is what I wrote about Glasto:

Here I am again.

Thursday we arrived safely by train, found the kitten camp and space to put up our tent and eventually managed to do so. I was pretty windy, which didn't help. But the sun was out and had dried up almost all of the wet from Wednesday.

After setting up camp we went to drink dangerous perry (£10 per 2 litre bottle) in the Jazz World field. The wind made the flags look impressive and sound extremely loud. doop, Juliet and Pete were around, and I think I saw a Rick as well as Sarah and Toby. Mike and Ned came to join us along with Ned's brother Ben who had a lovely set of poi. Duncan and Matt had found us again (we got separated at Paddington) and ADW wandered along briefly before a large group went off to watch the football (I've no idea what the result was, but there was a lot of cheering over the evening). As Duncan and Matt wandered off to potter round the site we joined MBM with Art and Faye and a couple of their friends for a while, and I tried a bit of shopping - at least I could find earrings to fit if nothing else.

Rjk and I wandered off fairly early to bed, into a rather lovely golden sunset which inspired rjk towards haiku writing attempts, especially when I pointed out the graun's 'ode to glastonbury' competition. We would have slept better if the field were quieter and if I hadn't drunk quite so much - it's all too easy to set off my acid stomach these days and with that much booze it sometimes leads to being ill. Oh well.

Friday dawned suny and before long the tent was a furnace. Tempted me to get up and go fetch breakfast. Stayed lovely all day (burnt leg - ouch).

Spent the rest of the morning pottering up through the Green Fields, taking pics of lots of sculptures and then just sitting in the sacred space looking down on the site.

Wandered down for Wilco on the Pyramid stage.

Wilco: I really enjoyed this, though I didn't get up and dance or get close. Great to hear them live, and some lovely tracks, even if only one or two were familiar. Their melodic stuff is wonderful, and they're good enough musically to lapse into discordancy and lose the beat quite well from time to time opretty effectively, but I preferred it when they didn't go right through into white noise cacophany

I think it was the sunshine here that did the damage and also left me feeling headachy and zogged, so we headed back up to the tent. Sat mostly in the shade of the nearby hedge. Had intended to go see Elbow but seemed wiser to stay here in the end. Where in fact we could hear them quite well, but it was sad to miss ADW. Not much I can say.

Elbow: nice melodic background to reading my book and talking to Duncan. Was reminded by a few tracks just why I like them and ought to play them more often.

After that we emerged into the slight cooler sunshine and chatted to Marna and rjk some more. She may well be right when she says she thinks hers is the best colour around, it's certainly fab. Then we headed down to the Other Stage and found that the rest of the universe had also decided that Franz Ferdinand was a good bet. Even if it did mean missing PJ Harvey, which was a shame. I remember seeing her in pink jump suit in '95 back when she last played, and I know her music better these days. It was worth it though.

Franz Ferdinand: The huge crowd made for an excellent atmosphere, and it was busy and jumping even back where we were, behind the path across the back of the sound stage. They realy belted out a whole bunch of pop songs and made me have to get up and dance and sing along to the better known ones, wishing I could play guitar. They sounded a little samey in places, though I think that was partly just me recogniding so many intros and thinking "I've heard that one". It was absolutely excellent fun.

After they finished the crush of people trying to move away was incredible and it was terribly hard to stay in place, but we were staying for the next act so did our best rock-in-mid-stream impression until it calmed down. And then fortuitously managed to find the kitten hanging out spot in time to say hi before Goldfrapp.

Goldfrapp: What can I say? Wow! I saw them a few years back on Later when their frist album was out and knew this was something I should keep an eye out for but foolishly didn't buy any, and boy did I miss out. This was the most fabulous mix of styles and overall the amazing voice of their eponymous singer. She had a very impressive outfit but the music out-shone it by far. I really am going shopping when I get home, and only hoping they work as well on record.

We had to dash away before the end which was a shame, but otherwise we'd have missed the beginning of the next band, and it's easier to get out mid-set than it is to get in. Did get my first chance to bump into Kitty and Jan and August though, which was good. Kitty was looking very blond and the other two very hippy! Anyway we dashed off to the new tent for The Bees.

The Bees: Double Wow. Another band I barely know which we went to see on the strength of one track on Jonathan Woss, and it was well worth it. They're a 6 or 7 piece band who can really play guitar, drums, bass, synth and bress, all together making a great combo. And they're very versatile, which did lead to some long gaps between tracks as they changed instruments. The music was all tow-tapping stuff, with obvious rock and roll and strong blues influences, along with a bit of hillbilly country on the live favourite Chicken Payback. There was a fabulous instrumental track called 'for the Russian' I think, which is hard to do live and go down well. And the last track was pure blues through and through, with womderful use of temp change for verse and chorus and with an old-fashioned break to introduce the band before the last chorus. The crowd loved them, and despite a minimum of patter they were obviously having a whale of a time. Recommended. And their other album will be joining the one already on order from Amazon.

Caught some of the Chemical Brothers set after that, which was enjoyable with plenty of well-known bits, good beats, nice mixes from track to track and a great light show. Not really what I usually loook for in a live band but it was good, even if tiredness won out in the end. We headed to bed and slept well, waking to Saturday's rain.


Oh boy was it wet. And muddy. Didn't emerge from the tent until after 1pm when there was a break in the showers. The tent was a cosy saef dry littel cave. Went to join ADW to watch the Scissor Sisters. The heavens opened again while we were there so we bopped along in the rain with the mud sucking at our boots.

Scissor Sisters: I wasn't quite sure what to expec here, since until they played the track that wa srecent CUR's single of the week I didn't know any of their music. I did like the rest of what I heard. Their cover of Comfortably Numb is almost recognisable and probably considered sacriligious by some but was very entertaining. That seemed to be their watchword. They were constantly prancing around the stage as they sang, in wonderfully colourful outfits, and had a great line in (rather rude) patter and a wonderful optimism about the weather.

After they were done Andrew and I went for a wander. Eventually found some lunch (the wonderful crepes rjk brought to the tent for breakfast having kept me going thus far). Then we headed up to the circus tent for a sit down out of the mud. A rather odd fire-baesd mime-like double-act to start with followed by some rope climbing acrobatics, a brilliant diablo performer who left us open-mouthed, and finally Tallulah, whose act borrowed four men from the audience and mostly consisted of entertaining lewd patter and some climbing on shoulders to juggle fire. the men involved were really good sports and she really had great timing and a good rapport with the audience - well worth seeing. Met up with Richard afterwards and then made it uup to Avalon to watch Show of Hands. They didn't play much from the album we have, but they did do the Galway Farmer, and a few others that were good to sing along to by the second chorus. Definitely a great performance and the best between-track patter so far. Lovely voices, great guitar, mandolin and fiddle, and a good line in sarcasm.

Mike joined us for the last couple of tracks but didn't seem particularly impressed.

This is where I ran out of time for writing. And to be honest apart from a lovely wander round with Mike that afternoon (which was remarkably platonic compared to last year - amusingly so in retrospect), some brief sunshine while we watched the Opera the next morning and seeing the BMRC on my own some time later Sunday afternoon I don't really remember much detail. Richard was feeling fed up and blistered. We were both a bit tired of the mud. But I did still mostly enjoy the rest of the weekend, even if I listened to much of it from up in the tent. A great weekend. Hope to get tickets for next year. In the meantime Reading next weekend here I come.

Glastonbury pics are here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/ucgi/~eleanorb/gallery/pics/glasto2004?


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