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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Black tar rivers
Glastonbury Festival, 24-26 June 2005

Having been cast in the role of guru and guide for addedentry's first Glastonbury, I was determined to make sure he got a good taste of the Glastonbury experience. To be fair, I was more thinking of the music, cider, happenings and random hippy shit than the knee-deep mud, but I guess it's all part of the rich tapestry of the... no, wait. Time for some debunking:
"It wouldn't be Glastonbury without the mud!" == NOT ACTUALLY TRUE.

"It's all part of the fun!" == ALSO NOT ACTUALLY TRUE.

Fortunately we arrived on Wednesday afternoon, so we had a day and a half to wander around the site in the glorious heatwave, resist the temptation to buy silly hats, and drink perry with other LiveJournallers. Then came Friday morning... well, I'm not going to go on about the six-hour thunderstorm, the 8-foot-deep lake, the 400+ tents submerged, or the 3m litres of water pumped off the site: you've all seen the news reports and blogs. Suffice to say that the weather, after one morning of TAKING THE PISS, returned us to our scheduled heatwave (it is entirely my own fault that in addition to a muddy lower half I ended up with a badly-sunburned top half).

The main problem with the mud is that it renders it impossible to dash from stage to stage (as you have to do for maximum gig potential). In fact, in some cases, it made it impossible to get to the stage, as when we watched Rilo Kiley from the other side of the John Peel Lake. In one case, it went one stage further and stopped them building the stage in time: we missed Polly Paulusma because the Avalon Stage wasn't finished in time for her set. In more clement conditions we'd have done more, but that's not to say we didn't do anything; 20 bands (and that's not counting the interesting snippets overheard as we walked past other stages) is a pretty action-packed weekend by my reckoning. We saw (or at least heard): Tori Amos (who played two pianos at once and did a lovely cover of "Feelin' Groovy"); The Beautiful South; Billy Bragg; The Broken Family Band (who namechecked the Arbury and helped some people get engaged); Elvis Costello; Fatboy Slim; The Futureheads ("Hounds of Love" with audience participation!); Garbage; The Go! Team; Headland; Interpol; Jem; The Levellers (THERE'S ONLY ONE! WAY! OF LIFE! AND THAT'S! YEROWN!); K. T. Tunstall; The Magic Numbers (who nearly lived up to some of the hype); Rilo Kiley; Solar Fields; Sons & Daughters (alt-country goth metal -- yes please); Martha Wainwright; Yeovil Town Band (non-ironically good, every time); and The Zutons (who may have only been included so that hacks could say "from Athlete to the Zutons", but were still great).

I'm not going to do full-length reviews of them all -- ask me about a particular one if you like, but there are some reviews on the official website which will tell you roughly what happened; addedentry will cover the music better than I do. What he doesn't have, though, is access to a copy of Photoshop at work; so, cashing in on my sole advantage, I give you:

Glastonbury 2005 in road signs

Chances of
good weather

Good news for
water diviners

"Cheers, God"




Indecision ahead

I'm sure this is
the way we came!

I know where
we're going!

No holding hands

Jesus Army ahead

That's not JUST mud.

And finally...

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From: fluffymormegil Date: June 29th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
"alt-country goth metal" - Nick Cave with added guitar solos? :)
j4 From: j4 Date: June 30th, 2005 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
The NME review on S&D's website says "think Nick Cave throwing knives at Johnny Cash". They're more on the jump-up-and-down side of metal than the big-guitar-solo side, if you see what I mean. Good stuff, though. [Listen here]
From: minnesattva Date: June 29th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Polly Paulusma

Thank you! I heard her do an interview/few live solo acoustic songs on the radio just before I left the US and couldn't remember her name later, but now that I've seen it again I know what it is ... and how to spell it and everything.

I like your road signs, too.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 30th, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
and how to spell it and everything

And how to pronounce it! :-) Wish I'd bought the t-shirt featuring her name in IPA when I saw it. (I saw her live at the Cambridge Folk Festival a couple of years ago, and she was great.)
From: minnesattva Date: July 1st, 2005 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to love someone whose website includes phonetics of her name. Good thing she's a good singer and fun to listen to, as well!
emperor From: emperor Date: June 29th, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeovil town band?
j4 From: j4 Date: June 30th, 2005 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're a local concert band, and they play the first set on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday morning. They do the standard concert-band kind of music -- show tunes, brass band stuff, etc. Great stuff! Usually there's only a small crowd of stoned/hungover people & ironic studenty types :-) but I really enjoy it.
addedentry From: addedentry Date: June 29th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
*giggles helplessly*

It's like Glastonbury, on drugs.
bluedevi From: bluedevi Date: June 29th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tautology, surely.
From: besskeloid Date: June 29th, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is well off the topic, but I saw this:
and thought of you.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 30th, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hurrah! Badger discount! I will have to try that next time I'm shopping. :)
venta From: venta Date: June 29th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glastonbury 2005 in road signs

<extremely loud applause>

That's lovely.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 30th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ta. :-) And I liked your writeup! It's always good to find out what actually happened at Glastonbury. ;-)
barnacle From: barnacle Date: June 30th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Please disregard this notice

We got your mummummurss, incidentally, but the photo only made sense to our itchy, flakey eyes when we'd got it onto a bigger screen. By which point, well, l'esprit d'escalier (Givenchy) and all that.

And we're still off to Cornbury next weekend. I bet Glasto didn't have Bonnie Tyler, but then she only starts touring in July, I think. Like I know. Did you ever hear the story about how she got her characteristic growl?
addedentry From: addedentry Date: July 22nd, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did you ever hear the story about how she got her characteristic growl?

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