Friday, 4 July 2008

Here Comes That Artist Again - Glastonbury 2008

Well hello Mothers.

Sorry for the delay again, been at work and it's been quite busy really. Anyway, it is time for the annual Glastonbury review. Fucking excellent. Sunshine, great music, and plenty of etc. I think this review always gets rose tinted by the fact that I write it once I am back in the humdrum of reality and am pining for the surreal bubble of existence that is Worthy Farm on the last weekend in June.

First off, the music this year that I saw was excellent. I am not condoning Kate Nash's or the Feeling's sets, but the stuff I watched was brilliant. Friday included Alabama 3 and Candi Staton as well as a storming set from the legend that is John Cale on the Park Stage. Absolutely ace. I got myself right down the front, as you can see by the photo I took! He kicked off with the full on version of the satanic 'Heartbreak Hotel' cover that he does. Other highlights included 'Fear Is a Man's Best Friend' and the excellent rendition of 'Pablo Picasso' that went on forever.

I very wisely chose to see Jimmy Cliff on Friday night, who was unbelievably good. Played all the hits, a great cover of 'Hakuna Matata' no less, exceptional energy and fantastic vibe with everyone singing along. Wonderful place, beautiful gig. I've heard mixed reports about Kings of Leon, and don't know anybody who saw Panic(ex-!) at the Disco.

Saturday was all about one thing. The big man, Jay-z. Before him, I'd seen some good stuff, particularly Holy Fuck, Eric Bibb and Buddy Guy, who were all excellent. However, Jay stole the show. The much talked about 'Wonderwall' intro worked a treat, and showed Noel up to be so out of touch it's ridiculous. Jay-z totally won the crowd over, and 'Hard Knock Life' was the singalong of the weekend. An absolute Glastonbury moment that I feel privileged to have witnessed.

Sunday I started off with a more than welcome dose of Anton Newcombe's Brian Jonestown Massacre, complete with Joel, who, apart from taking 2 minutes to start each song, were pretty damn good. It's 1969 again baby. Caught a smidgen of Black Lips, who looked hugely disappointing. Watched the mesmerising Leonard Cohen, and ate dinner whilst enjoying The Verve. 'Bittersweet Symphony' was epic, but my favourite tune was 'The Rolling People'. It's 1997 again baby.

I saw some quality other stuff as well. On Friday, I spent a lot of my time in the circus tent and saw many weird and wonderful things, the highlight of which were the Black Angels, an acrobatic African Dance Limbo troop, who were so much fun and put on a great show. The crowd were lapping it up, especially when they limboed under a stick of burning fire about 8 inches off the ground. Mentalists. Friday night I saw a stripper of questionable gender in Trash City. On Saturday night, I spent about an hour transfixed by the Dukes Box in Shangri-La. If you haven't heard of these boys, basically it's a band in a dukebox. Brilliant fun. Also on Sunday, I saw the excellent Stompin' Dave tear down the Avalon Cafe with his speedy banjo and fiddle. He also played it behind his head. Mental. See picture for proof.
Overall, a brilliant weekend, preceded by a brilliant week. See you all again next year.

Currently listening to the radio. BBC 6. At work, remember?

Sonic Sam

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