Thanks to everyone who came over and said hello to me at Glastonbury. It was a strange experience playing on a Thursday evening, there were so many people about because the main stages and their fields were still cordoned off and empty. Going on after a sing-a-long Kinks and Simon and Garfunkel duo was not ideal for me, my second song has the word ‘c***’ in it, apparently. Sorry I didn’t play any six.byseven songs, it’s not that I was being a churl and didn’t want to, I just didn’t get around to it.
My favorite memory of Glastonbury this year was arriving and leaving and the journey itself. I recently had a conversation with my wife whilst driving back from her brothers wedding in Hampshire (which was nice) about what it must have been like in the old days when the fastest way to travel was on horseback. We imagined what it would have been like for someone like Lord Byron to make the decision to go from Nottingham to London on a horse. I guess the world was different then and it certainly would have looked different sitting on top of horse traveling along through fields on bridle-ways! The journey must have been planned from one inn to another and taken at least 3 or 4 days to complete. Well, now that I have abandoned mobile phones and cars from my life, I decided to travel down to Glastonbury on my trusty Iron horse, the Suzuki Van Van, which is only a 125 by the way.
As I headed off at 9am on Thursday morning, I realized that I would be doing most of this journey at a top speed of 50-55 MPH. Well, that’s a lot faster than a horse so there’s progress. I had to get on the M1 for a short stint to get to the A42 where my journey would really begin. I was dreading going so slow on a motorway but to my surprise it wasn’t bad at all as the bike got sucked in behind a lorry and I hit a respectable 60MPH. I ended up staying on the motorway all the way down to Glastonbury ( I was slightly worried about not making it to the gig on time). It only took me 4 hours. I had to stop every 50 miles to fuel up and walk around like John Wayne for a bit. Well, ‘at least it’s not a horse’ I kept saying to myself.
Following my rapturous performance at the Avalon I wondered around the festival aimlessly trying to get drunk but somehow not managing it. I hooked up with my old friend Nigel and then hit the sack at about 1am. It got really cold in the tent but at least I slept pretty well as I had the foresight to take industrial strength ear plugs with me. I woke up at 7 the next morning and got out of the tent and packed it down, after brushing my teeth of course. I only realized the incomprehensible severity of what I was doing after the 3rd acid / ecstasy coming down casualtu came up to me and asked if everything was alright. “Hey man, It’s like Friday morning dude, the festival is just about to start and you’re packing up and leaving, is everything cool man, has something upset you?” “No,” I said positively, “there are two types of people that come to festivals, those that want to be entertained and those that entertain, I am the latter and my work is done, there is no need for me to stay here.” I was actually secretly thinking, ‘there’s world cup on mate and I can watch this shit on the telly with a better view’
No seriously, I’ve never been a festival goer and with Glastonbury being the biggest and best, for me it quickly becomes the maddest and worst. Anyway, this time I was going to take the scenic route home and there was a match on at 3, I needed to get a move on, fuck knows how long this journey would take. I have to say, walking across almost the entire festival site from the Glade to get to the motorcycle compound stone cold sober at 7.30 on a Friday morning was a first for me. There were a few efficient campers walking around getting water and such, litter pickers and traders opening their stalls but mainly there was casualties coming down off drugs. Little groups or couples sitting there with deadly serious and confused looks on their faces or the odd wandering lost soul, all thinking the same thing, ‘what can I do now to make myself feel better?’ Find your tent and sleep probably. However, at Glastonbury getting sleep can be a very tricky thing. Over to my left there was a guy blowing a vu vu zela full blast from inside his tent in the middle of a huge area of tents. It’s the first time I have heard one in the flesh so to speak and they are LOUD! It was blasting out with the same amount of decibels as an air horn! I could hear death threats being shouted at him from nearby tents and others screaming and pleading with him to stop. I eventually got back to the motorcycle compound and handed over my raffle ticket to get my bike back. “Why are you going now?” asked the security guard woman in a bemused manner, “To watch it on the telly” I replied. “Good idea” she said.
I headed back on my bike in glorious sunshine, riding through the cotswolds at 10 in the morning and stopping at a little chef in Cirencester for omelet and chips. I only got lost twice but not for long. I checked all the speed limits along the A and B roads and slowed down to 30 mph when told to by the flashing signs with camera symbols. I headed up the The Fosse Way to Leicester and made the last stint of the journey up the M1 to Nottingham. It took me 6 and three quarter hours with stops and I got home in time for the football at 3. It was quite wierd sitting down to watch the BBC Glastonbury TV coverage of Gorillaz at home that night knowing I had already been down there played a gig and come home. What a shame then that I got a speeding fine of £60 and 3 points being caught by a sneaky mobile police unit at the top of Derby Road, literally 3 minutes from my house, after all that riding. Just a little reminder that the bastards always get you in the end.