This Friday today can only mean two (dreaded?) things:
1. The World Cup has reached that terrible day where there is no game on for a whole day. What’s the point in living if you have nothing to look forward to? I feel a primal urge to bite someone.
2. Glastonbury Festival kicks off
Glastonbury is having one of it’s rest years this year, that’s right, the festival needs a break from me and one of my assorted musical acts. Last year Six By Seven opened the festival late on Thursday night from the ever brilliant Glade Stage and since the late ninetees I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve bellowed out of a PA from some corner of those fields.
One year it was so bad and muddy and horror amongst horror I didn’t have a plectrum. I went into a tent and watched Aziz from The Stone Roses play an acoustic set and as soon as he finished I asked him for his plectrum. I could see his eyes glowing with pride at this fan asking for this priceless memento but nothing could have been further from the truth, I thought he was kack and I just needed his plectrum to strum my own guitar a couple of hours later with six by seven on the Avalon stage.
Over the last years it’s been pretty much in and out for me with Stalag Eavis. The festival has changed so much since I started going (I’ve never been as a punter, it was always work work work), and so it should, it belongs to a different generation now. I feel out of touch with it, they should ban mobile phones for starters. (Hey kids, imagine Glastonbury without a mobile phone!)
My kids have had enough too: “Fancy Glasto this year kids, Dad’s playing?” They run for cover, twice was enough for them as kids and they were rainy years when we took them. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s a hell hole when it pisses it down in Pilton, the water just rises up because it’s got nowhere to go, it’s like Holland-reclaimed land. When the rain stops the mud turns to glue and it takes half an hour to walk 20 yards. Don’t even get me started on the bogs, and ‘backstage’ is just as bad.
Four years ago I went down there on a 125cc motorbike, in the sunshine, right down the Fosse way, it was great, like going on horseback! I played an acoustic solo set at 6PM on Thursday night, was in my tent asleep by 10PM and up and leaving the site by 8PM the next morning. I made it back to Nottingham to watch the football at 3PM and by the time me and the wife sat down to watch it starting on the BBC telly that evening, it was a weird feeling knowing I’d already been there and done it. Classy. (there’s a blog about my trip on here if you look in the archives)
For me it’s always better to watch Glasto on the telly now, I love the atmosphere. Call me a stick-in-the-mud but, you know, you can actually see the bands and pop over to the fridge and get a cold lager and go to bed without a soundsystem next to you pumping drum and bass into your head at 140dB.
Having said that, the BBC coverage is getting just an incy wincy bit ueber-gushing-sycophantic-over-the-top year by year. I’ve only been up since 7.30AM this morning and already I’m feeling Glastonbury overload. (If you are feeling the same apologies for this blog)
(I can just hear them talking about an ‘amazing huge structure with big metal arms’ on the radio behind me in the kitchen)
If I hadn’t stopped drinking I could play a game this weekend that would involve me necking a shot of tequila everytime I heard someone say “What does Glastonbury mean to you?” and then ambulanced to ‘ospital by, ooh, Saturday 4PM? I reckon.
Is it just me or is it all going a bit commercial? I wonder if that band ‘Haim’ will be doing some roving reporting for 6music or playing on an acoustic tent in a BBC studio or perhaps appearing here and there on stage? I bet they do! Do you know them? They’re really good, a bit like a crap Bangles. Nice girls, sisters I believe. You’ll see.
Have a nice weekend.