Friday, 26 June 2015

Glastonbury 2015 - Friday


So happy birthday to the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts which is 45 this year and here we are.


Actually trying to review Glastonbury would be futile. Glastonbury offers so much than any other festival that I’ve been to. We aren’t just talking a hand full of stages here because Glastonbury is like a small town. You could come for the music or you could spend five days immersed in other things and not see a band at all. Yes, five days. I didn’t realise that the festival opens its gates on Wednesday morning and builds rapidly until Thursday evening by which time most of its 170,000 attendees are here.

First up, it’s always a tough decision on what t-shirts to take to events like this. My choice of a 1990 vintage Ride t-shirt goes down well. Everyone asks me if I know if the recently reformed band will be playing a secret set and if so where will it be. Well there are three lots of ‘special guests’ on the line-up on Friday and the rumours seem to have intensified since we arrived on Wednesday. Though I can’t help feeling I inadvertently started them.

Still, if Ride are going to be playing a sneaky set here obviously we’re going to have to find it.

So day one of live bands at Glastonbury sees us heading down into the festival to catch the ‘special guests’ who are opening the Other Stage at 11am. This is unlikely to be the much talked about secret set by Ride unless Tim Burgess has simply been winding everyone up by Tweeting pictures of his wellies implying that it could be the Charlatans opening up the festival.

Well, it is the Charlatans, surprise surprise. The classic festival band but sadly not a terribly exciting one. Never mind, we in an open mind mood and anyway we want to see the Cribs who are up next. From the opening ‘Mirror Kisses’ to the closing ‘Pink Snow’ The Cribs are excellent but then I’m biased.


The Cribs Setlist Glastonbury Festival 2015 2015, For All My Sisters

After which we head off to the next lot of ‘special guests’ in the far too small tent on William's Green. It becomes my life’s ambition to actually get inside this tent at some point and this is obviously where Ride are going to play their secret set or not. There’s no chance of seeing inside the place now though, as another much leaked guest appearance is playing. This time it’s Bastille. So no, not Ride.

Having heard weird things about the Michael Clark Company who opened things up today on the main Pyramid stage with a dance route to numerous Bowie tunes, we head off to catch them in the Astrolade Theatre. Dancing in Usain Bolt skinsuits to well know fare like ‘Heroes’ and ‘Jean Genie’ but also to lesser known ‘Aladdin Sane’, ‘Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family’ and ‘After All’ it’s a set for the Bowie fanatic, the dance fanatic and the Lycra skinsuit fanatic.


Having discovered the excellent Cockmill Bar with its range of local ales we’re been hanging around there a fair bit. It’s a handy place to be when we get the first rain of the festival as well, as we pile into the nearby Acoustic tent. Entertainment is supplied by Stornoway, who are no doubt pleased to pull such a big crowd by accident.

Once the rain has stopped we do another site tour and find the Rabbit Hole stage, where we take a look at Jake Isaac before we visit Wolf Alice on the Park Stage.

Now it’s dilemma time. Does one see Motorhead up on the Pyramid, Lulu in Avalon or the Vaccines up on Other. Despite the fact it is now raining again the Vaccines win and a good choice that is too as they put in one of the performances of the festival including a perfect ‘Wetsuit’ performance.

The Vaccines Setlist Glastonbury Festival 2015 2015, English Graffiti

There’s still time to catch a bit of Lulu who is really giving it some in Avalon, we settle into the wooden shack next door, the Avalon Inn, for a few beers and a listen. The Avalon tent itself is rammed.

Then it’s off for our first visit to the Pyramid stage for more ‘special guests’. Ride? I doubt they’d be up on Pyramid and recent rumours seem to be about to be confirmed that the Libertines have been flown in by helicopter.

Tonight the Libertines simply prove they are not a main stage festival band. They are a small venue band where their shambling songs come over as charming and endearing. Up on Pyramid they just look and sound sloppy. I've seen enough of Doherty live to know it’s a well engrained trait. Carl Barat though knows better but probably needs the money. To be fair to the band, the crowd are pretty sloppy too and everyone near us talks through their set. Don't you just hate that?

For some time now, several years in fact, I’ve had this image in my head of Pete Doherty at 50 playing a gig of his finest moments of which, let’s be clear, there have been many. Only he plays them all in tune and error free using the experience that comes with age. It would be awesome. Let's hope he's around to do it and I'm around to see it.

Still, I’m glad I've seen them at long last and the middle section of ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ and ‘What Katie Did’ was more charming than shambling.

The Libertines Setlist Glastonbury Festival 2015, Summer 2015

By now we’re missed the Courteeners (who I like but have seen loads of times), TOY and the Proclaimers (which may have been quite jolly). Shall we also skip Florence, yes I think so.

So it’s Enter Shikari or Lamb then? Or back into the pub. I think the latter wins, tomorrows another day.

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