30 June 2008


...tiny cidersplash sparkles are already decorating my clothes - Owlwoman made a return, for those in the know - by tea-time on Friday and the mud is threatening, preparing for mayhem, for a recreation of some Chapmanesque Hell... Jimmy Cliff is on the Jazz World stage, belting classics to a crowd of people who all previously thought they were too old to come (later, they might be right): they suck in pear cider, close their eyes and sing along to I Can See Clearly Now

(The Rain Has Gone)- yes, blown away, the Sun will be scorching everything by daybreak

and Vietnam and You Can Get It If You Really Want and, especially Wild World, which pleases the Skins-frazzled teenagers who have been brought along by their parents with the express direction that they must LOVE Jimmy CLiff before going off to get mashed on Ketamine at The Glade....

"You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do
And it's breakin' my heart in two
Because I never wanna see you a sad girl
Don't be a bad girl
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad and beware"

Jimmy Cliff is about as transcendent as a 60 year old man with a backwards cap on can be - no mean feat.

then off on the usual 9 mile hike to find whatever's still noisy... with people's sense of vision already impaired and their sense of smell switched off at the cortex through necessity and mouth-breathing it's sound that drags everyone onwards, towards morning... people attracted up endless Auschwitz style leafy lanes towards the dull thud of dance music, which takes over everything by nightfall and just spins off in different directions... accordian house, dubstep, disco, bagpipe Style, eastern mangling techno, Buddhabeats, fuzzed out takes on old Anita Harris tunes in abandoned Diners...

Sleep is almost there but then the Sun is coming up and there's just enough time for a three foot long hot dog...

Saturday and the Sun has put its hat on, hip hip hip hooray

Well K is dead in the (no) water in the morning so ended up watching deranged mini Moby singing for Autokratz and then The Teenagers, those Parisian pottymouths who try maybe a little too hard to win over the non-teenagers in the crowd (who know all the filthy words and would jump to car alarms ) - the sound isn't really loud enough until the middle of the set by which time they've already invited a bunch of teenage girls to invade the stage and belt out the lyrics to Homecoming, an act that more or less saved The Teenagers from drowning in canvas...

people are high-fiving all over the place, Glastonbury is a beating heart of slightly soiled palms...

...The Imagined Village collective are on , Billy Bragg seems to be everywhere, along with various McCarthy's and Sheila Chandra and some Afro-Celts... over to The Park next for MGMT (underwhelming, as expected) and then descending into the 20 min Battles take on Atlas... they noodle their way into it and then back out but Atlas itself is a crazed nitrous oxide shock to the system (the guys with NO2 balloons are sucking everything in, even the warmth), forcing a few at the front into some speculative Cosack dancing...

"This is so weird
Am I sleeping? Is this a dream? ... No!
Am I a Mouse?
Am I an elephant?
And I had just sliced your tongue

So tell me he-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-hey:
Do you wanna drink some alcohol?
I'm just a boy (girl) but I have a very strong punch
And I had just broken your nose..."

a guy with an LCD for a face can't stop winking

CSS come on and blast out the hits, silver wigs, balloons...music becomes their hot hot sex... their enthusiasm infects everything, even the slower numbers are played with such joy, even the crap numbers... everything is slightly smaller than real life, more child-like, ecstatic, immature in all the right ways... they'll play better and louder but it's the playful kick in the pants that's needed before

... the trek to Shangri-La begins all over again and the Diner erupts into old soul disco classics, The Prodigy, The Clapping Song and, er, The Police's Roxanne

(you have to wonder why people don't always Rave to Roxanne - maybe they do)

"3, 6, 9, The goose drank wine
The monkey chew tobacco on the streetcar line
The line broke, the monkey got choked
And they all went to
heaven in
a little rowboat"

ever-presents Babyhead next in a packed tent, masquerading as a Freak Show... it's basically Madness, downdated (no bad thing), with a lead singer who looks like a compressed member of King Kurt, dressed for an interview at the bank and bounces around the stage, wrestling with his clothes and the outsize Trombone guy (the guy, not the trombone) like an oddly quiffed Machine Elf...

people happy themselves awake...

It's 3.30 AM but people are still everywhere... can't face the Titled Disco or the lunatic stylings of the Drag Queen house in Trash City...

tea, yes, tea... God, yes.

Sunday begins slow, The Cave Singers lamenting some awful past, documenting the slow coming of the final acts...

(or else being unneccesarily cognicent of the hell that is leaving this place)

I'm intending to try and catch Leonard Cohen but know I never will, it's not really the place to see things, unless by accident - you always end up where you need to be, rather than where you'd intended...

saw an old friend from Yeovil, JF, looking blonde and pink and well and with a tatoo of Neubauten that matches mine (and Henry Rollins) ... time lines converging, JF is working as security, yelling out


to the travelling hordes of weekend refugees.

It occurs to me that almost no one here knows where they're going at any given time...

somehow we make a slow, lysergic past Goldfrapp (wish you were here, Kek!) on the main stage towards Crystal Castles who suffer a little from the John Peel Stage's soft sound but try hard to break through regardless, with Alice Glass attempting to climb to the top of the lighting rig and nearly getting the show stopped by anxious Health and Safety executives.... they play at most 5 songs and then implode in static: good, but you sense this was a little big for their intimate 8bit take on showdown power-electronics...

to end, old timers Tristan and Eat Static at The Glade... must have seen Eat Static about 20 times over the years but they just fit so well at Glastonbury:

aliens landing? whatever.

Plants mushrooming up through the cracks in the floor? whatever.

people raise the roof, stumble over themselves, find a million little grooves to wind themselves into... the DJ looks like one of the futurekind from Doctor Who, snarlingly beneficent, shaggily ecstatic... Eat Static are the comfy shoe you can slip into and wave your hands in the air like you just don't care...

you will care later, at work on Monday, with your knees busted at the seams and your legs feeling like they've been subject to a 24hr Charity deadlegging and your arms a good 20 cms longer than they should be...

I'm pleased to announce that after my fairly anaemic last visit, back in 2004 or something, Glastonbury gained Sun and a new, chaotic heart...

the man i saw became a bird....

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