Archive for June 2011
I wanted to write this the moment I bundled through the flat door, it had priority over showering and changing the knickers I’d been wearing for days. However if I had followed through on this I fear it would have been the ramblings of a woman embarking on a self-inflicted, sleep deprived breakdown, ending with my tears plopping over my Macbook.
I’ve been thinking about what I would write about Glastonbury. How do you avoid sounding annoying to those who missed out or a bore to people who just don’t care? How do you sum up a festival that is going to be so uniquely different to each person who was there. Glastonbury, when embraced, becomes quite a personal experience.
I could tell you how seeing Metronomy on the Pyramid Stage on the Friday was emotional, hearing an album based on an area where I grew up on that historic stage was spine tingling for me. I could tell you I laughed until I cried at my friend’s behaviour (we decided it isn’t twitter safe so it’s definitely not blog safe to reveal details either). That Darwin Deez danced to Enya, The Spice Girls & Willow Smith (but you wouldn’t believe me right?). That despite my hesitations U2 were a festival highlight, that when I didn’t think I could dance anymore The Go! Team got me back up on my feet. That a pizza, lemonade and boy saved me from a bad hangover. That I had my wallet stolen but didn’t care as I was having such an amazing time. That in choosing to see Beyoncé I feel like I witnessed one of those historic musical performances. I could tell you that although the memories are drunkenly hazy I know I smiled like there was no tomorrow, no time constraints, no real life.
None of this really matters except to me, and those who were at my side… 170,000 of you.
We were there. ♥
NB: I was recently criticised for tweeting during a gig, but that led to contributing to The Guardian’s Glastonbury coverage. Tweeting didn’t detract from my experience at all & I just want to say thanks to the staff who gave me the opportunity to do so. Great fun!
Once upon a time I walked in Woolworth’s in Paignton and picked up Kings of Leon Youth & Young Manhood based on the cover alone. Keith Richards had once said that every music lover should do that, make a blind decision and see what you discover. I’m not sure it’s so possible to do this now we’re in the age of the internet. We sometimes know too much. I still remember the first time I played it, vividly.
Last night they played an amazing set list, in spite of Caleb insisting he “sounds like a frog” and was suffering from flu (he sounded perfect). My Dad even went so far to claim that Caleb could eventually rival Springsteen as a frontman. Even though I know all their albums inside out I was still a bit stunned by their back catalogue. 25 tracks were played in total! I’m always loathe to use term ‘the band sounded so tight’. Afterall it’s their job, if they didn’t it would be like me turning up to work and not knowing how to use a computer. However, they truly did.
I went with my parents and brother. My parents are responsible for my love of music, and in their 60’s seemed to be getting a lot of attention and respect from the crowds (either that of everyone thought they were Larry Lamb & Alison Steadman who they strongly resemble). I can’t tell you how happy and proud I was to be sharing the gig with them, highlighted by people around us repeatedly telling me how amazing they both were, that they wanted to be adopted.
My only worry was when Dad disappeared for a long time. When he came back turns out he’d run into someone he had been expelled from school with 53 years ago. How they recognised one another after so many years I don’t know, but my Dad is not someone you’d forget!Me: What did you get expelled for? Dad: Shoplifting Me: Did he get expelled for the same thing? Dad: No, that idiot took a shit in the Thames. Told him not to
What can I say, both parents had very working class upbringings in London.
Tickets were going as little as £5 outside, perhaps Glastonbury has affected the touts business (good!) so if you’re not heading to Pilton Farm tonight and it’s easy for you to get to London it’s worth the risk even if you’re without ticket. I’m off to Glastonbury now, where I plan on little sleep, a lot of music. Very excited to contributing to The Guardian via Twitter during the festival as well. Here’s to blue skies. ♥
Kings of Leon played: Four Kicks ● Taper Jean Girl ● Pistol of Fire ● My Party ● The Immortals ● Fans ● Arizona ● Back Down South ● On Call ● McFearless ● Crawl ● The Charmer ● The Bucket ● Notion ● Closer ● Mary ● No Money ● Pyro ● California Waiting ● Molly’s Chambers ● Knocked up ● Sex On Fire ● Radioactive ● Use Somebody ● Black Thumbnail
I’ve been reading various guides over the past week, increasingly as the festival to outshine all festivals draws closer. Some have offered great advice, some have offered nothing of substance whatsoever and I suspect villagers have loaned out their idiots to the media.
Below are tips that have been gleaned from personal experience or advice that’s been passed down the line from many experienced or organised festival goers. They’re all practical, if a little gross at times, and you wouldn’t have read them in the papers. Please also check out my previous blog on Festival Fashion. ♥
- For when you need the toilet in the middle of the night invest in a head torch. You’ll appreciate having both hands free, trust me
- When you’re drunk, merry and don’t want the night to end but find yourself heading back to the tent anyway now is the time to run down and fill your water bottles so you don’t waste hours in the rush during the mornings
- Men have the luxury of peeing in a bottle, us ladies get the raw deal? Wrong! An ordinary funnel used for cookery over an empty bottle makes a homemade ShePee for those of you not wanting to expose your bum to all and sundry. Great use for the middle of the night in your tent and it can be disposed of simply after
- Don’t accept medication off strangers, even a friendly nurse could be giving you LSD instead of antihistamines
- For those of you with weak stomachs suck on extra strong mints as you head in to the toilets, all you’ll smell is minty freshness even if you feel like you’re sucking on chalky grit
- Don’t underestimate the £1 shops for camping supplies. Great for batteries, ground mats, billy cans, torches.
- Attempting to remain hygienic, lots of companies will give you samples if you’re friendly enough and it saves a lot of space on packing. Kiehls have been especially generous this year
- Get a First Aid kit together, while it’s true you can buy pretty much all supplies at Festivals, basic paracetamol and plasters will cost four times the price you’ll buy in a local chemist. While hopefully everyone remains injury free hangovers and blisters are inevitable
- For those of you wanting to get some sleep (we all try to fight it but it will need to happen at some point) invest in some decent earplugs
- Line your backpack in the ultra thick bin liners you can pick up in supermarkets (the garden refuse ones are best) to help keep things waterproof. When you leave your tent chuck your sleeping bag in one of them and tie it up tightly. This was a lifesaver at Bestival one year as it was the only thing left dry in my tent after it flooded
- Take moist toilet tissue with you, closer thing to a shower I get at festivals
- A lot of emphasis is placed on taking spare batteries and solar chargers for your phone but don’t forget your cameras! You’ll want to look back at the memories you make
In an effort not to eternally procrastinate I posted Glastonbury One’s To Watch earlier. Had I given it too much thought I would have been still deciding in twenty years time, reminiscing about Glastonbury 2011. Except artists seemed to send me subliminal messages throughout the day via iPod shuffle saying “Err… you forgot about ME!”
I felt like I had to honour them and post a further 5 but I promise I will zip it after I hit publish! ♥
6. Adorable Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. I am so envious when youngsters have such an outstanding talent, this band make manufactured youth artists look like the frauds they are. Hard to think ones so young can have such an authentic vintage sound. In awe.
7. Forgive me for not remembering the name of the 6 Music DJ who said “This is the record I’ve been waiting for Patrick Wolf to make”. I’ve been sold on him since day 1 and have seen him twice. Once with a full orchestra behind him which moved me tears, more recently at The Bloomsbury Ballroom where he showcased songs from Lupercalia in ripped trousers, beating any blues he’s suffered from in the past.
8. Adorable hangover music, Caitlin Rose. I’ve been slow on the uptake here, I hold my hands up that I only recently discovered her but it was perfectly timed. Newest girl crush playing The Park this year.
9. His past two albums have proved he is still as talented as he was when he was sat next to Art. This song is one of my guilty pleasures, oh how my fingers are crossed! Paul Simon has such a huge back catalogue to choose from that spans decades.
10. I think Wild Beasts will potentially provide such magic as they play past midnight, so if you fancy an emotional moment while at Glastonbury I’d suggest seeing them, then head up to the stone circle after to contemplate life.
IT’S THIS WEEK! We can say that now. All us smug, lucky folk that got tickets. Wet wipes, wellies and moonshine at the ready. I’ve already blogged about Festival Fashion and Musical Snobbery, I’m stretching out the topic of my favourite festival in excitement and anticipation.
The Guardian published a great article, musicians who are playing have recommended who they think are the ones to watch. so I thought seeing as I will be contributing to The Guardians Glastonbury section via Twitter during the course of the festival I’d also throw in my pennies worth.
Of course Clashfinder is genius, and I’m quite envious of people who go with a rigid plan and stick to it. However that’s not the case with me, I appear with the best intentions but find it’s easier not to plan and see where you find yourself. If I was one of those people then these are the 5 acts I would see and nothing would stand in my way.
For those of you going have an amazing time, for music lovers that aren’t please keep an eye out for me in The Guardian. First one that spots me gets a CD compilation! ♥
1. Metronomy have been heralded across the industry and in the press as THE band of the moment, strange to think they’re on album number 3 and have suddenly been catapulted into the limelight. I’ve caught them twice this year and come hell or high water I will be at The Pyramid Stage on Friday, perfect start to the Friday.
2. Lykke Li is such a little fire cracker, adored her first album but even more in love with the second. Start to finish it’s perfect and I wonder if she realises how much her lyrics sum up a million emotions women feel, listen to Sadness Is A Blessing to sum up that still waters run deep.
3. Emmy The Great makes a perfectly timed return, I’ve been listening to the album at unhealthy times in the mornings (I have cultivated an inconvenient 5am body clock recently). I can’t picture a better song to be sat on a bin liner, cider in hand, sunglasses on, sighing in contentment. I love the lyric “If you’re an Island, I will find some meaning in the waves for you”.
4. Nothing, and I literally mean nothing, makes me happier than dancing in a field spilling drink onto my own feet. Friendly Fires are the type of band you just know will bring the sun out, like a movie moment. I think some people have found their second album less accessible than the first so in that respect I hope they play a few old favourites, like Skeleton Boy and Paris. Either way their energy will captivate, of that I am certain.
5. I recently told someone on Twitter I’d give them the price of their Anna Calvi ticket if they weren’t taken with seeing her live, I’m that confident after seeing her in Camden a few weeks back. I think she’s a rare talent, if I was in my golden years I’m sure I’d be whittling on about how they don’t make them like Dusty anymore. She’s in that vein of female artists, something aged and raw about her.
It’s not Bob, Mick, Keith, Scott, James or Ray who is the man most influential in my love for music. From the moment I plopped onto this planet with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, screaming blue murder, my Dad has been playing music to me. As a baby, when my mum would go out, the 8 tracks or LP’s would come out and with the volume up as loud as it would go my Dad would dance around with me, swinging me in his arms. I know all this because it was a constant battle between my parents, my mum thought it would damage my tiny eardrums. My ears are fine, but this early introduction to music is responsible for what is essentially the great love of my life.
It seems only right that I handed over the reigns to him for this weeks mix tape seeing as it’s Fathers Day. I asked him for a few tracks he thinks everyone should listen to as a music lover, he took it very seriously and found it nearly impossible whittling it down. Mum claimed my Dad is massively sexist for not having any female artists in his final list. Click on Spotify or the links in the blog to hear this ‘guest’ mix-tape.
Happy Fathers Day Dad – a man who has raised me to be considerate, kind, patient, interested in others and to always have a soundtrack in my life. ♥
- Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind
- The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
- Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come
- The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work
- Abraham, Martin & John – Marvin Gaye
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreak – I Won’t Back Down
- Neil Young – Rockin’ In The Free World
- James Taylor – You’ve Got A Friend
- The Who – Substitute
- The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
- The Animals – House Of The Rising Sun
- Van Morrisson – Brown Eyed Girl
- Bob Seger – We’ve Got Tonight
- Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
Glastonbury excitement has truly kicked in the past 24 hours, not just because I found a load of Berocca left over from last year so I can make morning Verocca (the liquid element being vodka), and not even because of a very exciting reason I will reveal nearer the time (mysterious moi).
The uncontrollable, hyper, catch your breath excitement kicked in when a *friend, who will be turning 40 at Glastonbury this year, emailed me. I’m paraphrasing, but the basic message was how there wasn’t that many bands he was dying to see so this year was going to be his DJ year. That he was really looking forward to it all no matter who was on and his excitement, as always, shone through.
That, my friends, is the spirit!
One thing that’s truly grated me was the kick against the headliners at Glastonbury this year, the amount of people on social networking sites alone ranting about the line up seemed at an all time high. Here is the deal, you buy a ticket not knowing who the line up is. You have the opportunity to give up your ticket through the deposit scheme once some acts are announced if you’re dead set against them. If you willingly take the risk of paying the balance and you’re then disappointed with the overall line up then there really is only one choice as I see it.
That choice being commit to a ticket, commit to FUN BAGS!!
Musical snobbery is a sad and woeful thing, we should all be able to embrace whatever tickles our ear buds. Equally we should be able to express disgust and disappointment as well, but if you’ve paid up then joy up!!
Honestly, the headliners don’t particularly get me breathless but no one is forcing me to see them. We have free will my friends, and there is more than one field at Glastonbury to express that. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, even with over sixty stages it seems! ♥
*Said friend is Irish and even he’s not bothered by U2 it seems. I have however deliberately chosen this clip from Glastonbury because I suspect a lot of people moaning about U2 were present at this moment last year and will remember it always. I’m not a U2 fan either but don’t tell me you didn’t sing along.