Glastonbury 2014

Worthy Farm, Pilton

28th June

Part Two of Keith Goldhanger’s Glastonbury 2014 review.

Friday… so the secret “Other stage” opening performers are the KAISER CHIEFS and not Prince, Klaxons or pretty much any other favourite band of anyone ever (or Sting) apart from those who already have them ear-marked down to see at the PEEL stage later on this evening. No doubt this lot will also be subject to countless appearances on Breakfast TV, Mid Morning TV, The Dinner Time News, Countdown and the Early Evening Drive-time Show with that bloke who rides around on a motorbike catching cowboy builders. Speaking of whom I met last night in the silent disco and referred directly to him as “The bloke off the telly” whilst he ignored my accusations aired towards him suspecting him of about to stitch up the DJ for being a DJ whilst claiming disability benefits and criticising the stage structure from which he was plying his trade on.

By mid-afternoon on the official first day of the festival – having also braved BLONDIE (playing a few greatest hits and a couple of impressive new tunes) and witnessed EAST INDIA YOUTH repair any internal damage he may have administered the night before – we’re up to our old trick of going to see a band we’ve seen many times already this year. It’s those cider selling psych kids from the Midlands (Move over Wurzles) …TEMPLES (see photo below © Simon Sarin). Big hair, glittery eyes and tunes that we all love now that make them perhaps just one more album (Or alcoholic refreshment advert) away from joining the big guys in the pyramid field in a few years time.

We stay (or rather pop back to the tent to scoff some oranges, brush teeth and administer bigger boots) for CRYSTAL FIGHTERS who we decide are best described as Eurovison done well. If you read my little rant recently regarding the BBC giving me the job of finding an act that will help the UK regain the cherished music accolade in Eurovision then this is my choice:

 
….are you watching Guy Freeman, BBC man (I Googled it) who is given money that I need more than you do for choosing who represents us ? I’m offering you what you want. Give me some of your dosh mister, a blue plaque and one of those old Blankety Blank check books if there’s any still lying around when the UK win and I’ll leave it alone ok ?

Then it rained.

A lot.

And apparently whilst the sun then came out so the wet clothes could be hung up and dried we had a power cut which gave us enough time to look down and spot some mud, walk around a puddle or two before getting our cameras out to take a snapshot of a rainbow and realising that the electricity was back on and WILD BEASTS had been on for a short while.

OK, so some of us just stood at the back talking about the weather (again) and missed most of the gig but we weren’t too late to hear the glorious one that goes “whooahh ooooh whooaah ooooh ba ba da whoooah ooohhh ……ask me! ask me!” in a very high voice (love that one).

We’re off now into walking around for the sake of it, splashing through puddles, eating chips and drinking ale and therefore going the long way around the site via a twenty minute dance in some puddles to the fabulous EATS EVERYTHING who throw us some superb house beats with samples appearing from everywhere as we look around and observe people all around us simply not giving a damn about the water, mud and worsening ground conditions. A glimpse of pink costumed, Lily Allen playing in front of a dozen giant plastic babies milk bottles and a big crowd made up of 75% females (we did a survey) who were all under thirteen years old and with their parents had us swooning as she tore everyone apart with her cool sarcastic sweary pop tunes that need the sunshine and get the deserved sunshine just on queue.

And if that’s not brilliant enough we then get the Pyramid DJ playing Jimmy Cliff’s “I can see clearly” just before the arrival of Glastonbury favourites ELBOW.

Like Lily Allen (although we surprisingly learn that she hasn’t been here for a few years before today), Elbow feel like a regular fixture now, playing all our favourites from this years “The take off and landing of everything”. We feel this is what we’ve been waiting all year for. Apart from the new tracks this is a very similar performance from last year. Same stage, same time and because its Elbow we even get the sunshine and sunset to go with the waving arms that this band will continue to receive in response for many years still to come.

“New York Morning” is ace.

It seems like we’ve waited for this tune since the album came out. We came we saw we waved our arms in the air and we lost everyone we had been standing next to somehow…

 
OK we’re beginning to go all soppy now so it’s off to MIA who pull a big glow stick waving crowd. There’s a gold suit and a stage full of people wearing t-shirts supporting Tamil immigrants, which was enough for the BBC to apparently pull the plug on this set and settle for ….well probably Arcade Fire who “aren’t as political” we presume. MIA’s set was gloriously messy, intense, and in your face. Not since the glory days of those anarcho Crass gigs (or even Slits gigs, but I’m going back a bit too far really) have we punched the air so much whilst simultaneously trying to decipher what the fuck she’s on about. It doesn’t matter, it’s great, we know she’s not screaming about a scorned lover running away with her pet puppy. Thumbs up, fists in the air and a crowd full of big flashing glow stick wielding revellers all celebrating in unison their shared decision to be here instead of anywhere else on the 900 acre site (actually, we didn’t put our thumbs up, only McCartney does that and to my knowledge he wasn’t around this year).

A few days after this show the BBC were reporting that they knew nothing of the censorship issue that they were accused of and said that the performance actually was broadcast. Therefore someone was being silly and as I was nowhere near a TV at the time I will just bumble on regardless.

The one repeated response when discussing ARCADE FIRE for the past few months has been…

“Ten minutes”

“….that’s all” …

“Wake Up!”….

“…saw this band at Reading about ten years ago….”

“The best thing EVER but they couldn’t keep it up”.

Some of us would not risk two hours waiting for this ending therefore once arriving back to the pyramid stage were rather happy to join in on the arm waving lung busting sing along that would surely highlight the weekend.

But we knew that already didn’t we, surely the best things are usually surprises ? Some of us got the ten minutes we wanted without the use of a stop watch and a pre arranged timed walk between the two fields we went from and too. Some of us are far too organised and can get a little smug when this happens but it’s taken over 25 years of slipping around these fields to achieve such results.

Catching the end of SKRILLEX was a delightful thing to witness too. Skrillex appears to be doing the stadium routines with his big bombastic in your face electronic sounds that have us latecomers noticing an audience that look absolutely exhausted. We conclude that even though only a short ten minutes was witnessed that this may have been a cracker of a set tonight.

Which means that some of us still have the energy for what one individual has already decided could be one of the festival highlights …if everything goes to plan.

It did.

 
You may or may not have heard GLITCHES. They were written about on this site in January. The first great band of 2014 (probably).

They were up high on the hill in “The Rabbit Hole” and appeared only a couple of minutes late for their allotted 02.00 hrs stage time.

You like to dance, they like to dance and we all like to dance and therefore with more waving arms than a sinking ship we go through forty minutes of cool (very fuckin’ cool if you ask me) ’80s inspired synth based pop that remind us of “Talk Talk” but with better tunes that not too many bands can boast of so early in their young existence.

So time for bed then, another successful day in t’fields ….?

…Not on your Nelly…a brisk walk down what we hear someone refer to as a “slippery slope” (yep! gets my vote) we bump into the back of a huge crowd in a biggish tent all going ape for those blokes that camped next to me once at Bestival.

 
TOO MANY T’S (catch phrase “How many T’s?” – audience response …”Too many…” well you’ve got it, ok ?) The power goes off about five times which allows some of us to get to the front for a shot sharp (and then regrettable) high five but it was the only time we were going to bump into them. It says so on the schedule around our necks……

Two days left then and we’ve finally all stopped talking about how we got our tickets and all stopped caring about ANYTHING.

Then again I was yet to fall over and I didn’t actually chat to anyone that did and I didn’t actually hear anyone moaning.

That behaviour is so 1998.

Part 3 to follow….

Glastonbury website is here: glastonburyfestivals.co.uk. It’s also on Facebook and it Tweets as @GlastoFest.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. Temples photo © Simon Sarin. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on SoundCloud here, Facebook here and tweets as @HideousWheeelInv.

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