Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Glastonbury 2008

Glastonbury is back again but with one difference, it’s not sold out! This is the no second time in the festival’s history that this has happened (the first time in 1993). However, it still remains as the Daddy of all music festivals.
The headline act on Friday was Kings of Leon whose set consisted of all the hits from all 3 albums, including a new song! Songs like ‘Charmer’, ‘Molly’s Chamber’ and ‘The Bucket’ have the screeching, singing and dancing in that order. Despite putting on an amazing performance I’m still not entirely convinced Kings of Leon are headline material for a festival the size of Glastonbury. The reason being is I don’t they have the stage presence to command a crowd of that size. The sound was great, the songs were as tight as they are on the record but Kings of Leon just fell a little too short.
Once you survived the first nights activities at Glastonbury the next thing to do is wander round your new surroundings, admiring the views with all the other festival casualties (some of whom are still conscious).
Saturday at Glastonbury has more of a danceable feel to with acts like Black Kids, The Wombats and Hot Chip playing the Other Stage and Manu Chao on the Pyramid Stage providing the crowd with some Latin grooves to help the crowd recover from the previous nights debauchery. Crowded House gave the crowd some sunny afternoon entertainment in the form of whole crowd Mexican waves, bating the security team by calling them by their numbers and, of course, massive sing-alongs. Never has the song ‘Always take the Weather With You’ seemed so relevant in the burning sunshine.
Later on in the day it was turn of Amy Winehouse to prove to the Glastonbury crowd that the tabloids are wrong about her. She didn’t help matters by punching an audience member in the head but still managed to wail her way through all the big hits with the help of her backing singers. That being it certainly wasn’t the most painful act I’d seen that weekend, or so I say I wasn’t the one being punched.
Poor Jay-Z got blamed for the lack of ticket sales at this years festival but turned to be one the best performances of the weekend. Coming out to ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis and miming the word into a microphone, mocking Noel Gallagher’s comments about how hip-hop has no place at Glastonbury, well Noel its got it foot in the door now. Opening his set with ’99 Problems’ and kept the crowd entertained not only by playing his own hits like ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, ‘Big Pimpin’’, and ‘ Hard Knock Life’ but by throwing in other songs to the mix everything from The Prodigy to U2 which makes for top notch set in anyone’s book.
Its now down to the last day time for the retro 60’s sounds of 90’s band The Brian Jonestown Massacre who managed to suppress their reputation enough to not have a fight with themselves or the audience and put a perfectly pleasant set to start the final day. I would like to write more about them given they are one of my favourite bands however there is not much to write about them, they came on, played songs, Anton rambled about something and showed off his new Welsh wife (he’s really proud she’s Welsh, apparently) and they walked off.
Goldfrapp played more of a mellow set with loads of tracks from the new album featuring new song ‘Happiness’ with had the crowd having dance but the big reactions came when they played the electro-glam tracks like ‘Train’ and ‘Ooh La La’ but they can be forgiving for not playing a particularly high energy because any band that has people dressed as various pieces of wildlife from trees to animals.
Bringing the weekend to a close is this year’s comeback kids The Verve opening their set with ‘This Is Music’ from Northern Soul except in this version Richard Ashcroft has changed the lyrics from ‘Jesus never saved me/He’ll never save you too’ to ‘He’s gonna save you to’ could this be an indication of Ashcroft’s new found peaceful attitude.
Their set contained the usual hits, all from their Urban Hymns and Northern Soul, including ‘History’, ‘Sonnet’, ‘Lucky Man’ and ‘Drugs Don’t Work’. Their set also includes 2 new songs ‘Sit and Wonder’ which bares a strong similarity to the song ‘Life’s an Ocean’ (which they also played) but that’s not necessarily a bad. They ended the show which the anthemic ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ which lead straight into the new song ‘Love Is Noise’ so the crowd were treated to rock and roll extravaganza of a closing day.

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