So, news in from the front line, well, maybe not the front line, more like from the paper shufflers miles behind the supply lines, but still, Glastonbury appears to have been another success.
As cows reclaim fields and shade beneath trees festooned with balloons, flags and Indian headdresses, London is full of sighing campers requiring help from tourists to negotiate escalators and oyster cards; most are regretting having filled their tent with the remains of their belongings and strapping it to their back. They can look back at having seen some bands, even if they can’t recall which ones, and having spent more time waiting to meet friends at the Bagel Dude van than they’d care to admit.
From iplayer it’s still possible to piece together what you missed while spending 4 hours looking for your tent in the wrong camping field entirely.
Suede found their spiritual home on the John Peel stage, rejuvenated and loud enough to drown out the sound of bands arriving by helicopter. Beautiful Ones and Animal Nitrate impossibly fresh.
It’s a shame Future islands are best known for their dancing, even if Samuel T. Herring persists with it, like the uncle no one knows refusing to leave the wedding reception dance floor. He’s the epitome of ‘dancing like no one’s watching, and it’s impossible not to grin. There’s no finer synth rock band out there, as they follow their own New Wave trial blazed by the Cure, and Joy Division.
Their songs from North Carolina slot perfectly with Somerset, and A Song for Our Grandfathers feels likes Worthy Farm’s own anthem, as Herring proclaims. “There’s nothing you get out of this fucking world unless you work hard. I tried to tell my parents they were wrong, but they were fucking right.” It’s heart-felt stuff, as he underlines each line with a thump to the chest.
Kanye West demonstrated the benefit of a mute button, as he hoped his ego might carry him through a barrage of tuneless skits. Solo, beneath the lowered lighting rig at the start was genius though.
Years and years interview showed why most bands prefer the music to do the talking, and a band has never made me feel so old; they weren’t even born during their musical influences. Their tunes are more accessible than a Stannah stair-lift, and had the crowd eating from they hands with the eagerness more familiar to petting zoos.
Lionel Ritchie appears to be drinking from the same fountain of youth as Pharrell, and sang through a grin that easily enveloped the front of the crowd, even those stuck there since the morning, trapped by bonhomie and having abandoned hope of ever having a piss again. From Running with the night the soundtrack of John Hughes movies, 80s guitar solos and the timeless sound of a man running with a saxophone, deservedly garnered the biggest crowd of the weekend. A demonstration of how comfortable a man can be with his own fame.