by / July 3rd, 2009 /

Glastonbury 2009 Diary – Part One

Somewhere between stepping onto the grounds of Worthy Farm and three hours into the future, our State representative managed to lose his belongings at the festival. Armed with a hazy memory, a wallet and a phone he recounts his time at Glastonbury 2009.

Thursday 28-Jun-2009

Now the first stop for any seasoned Glasto punter is the Stone Circle, for many reasons but the only printable one is that it’s elevated position looks over the entire festival. This is where you can gather and lose your bearings. Looking over the countless tent tops, various structures and swirling lights; routes and maps are planned for the upcoming few days. Then quickly forgotten.

The one good thing about losing all your earthly possessions within hours of arriving at Glastonbury means that you’ve that job out of the way, now you just have yourself to lose.

Friday 29-Jun-2009

The fun from the night before certainly impeded on the morning after. Following a false start and second attempt of sleeping in extreme heat, an effort to get gigging was made.

N.E.R.D. were late taking to the Pyramid Stage due to technical reasons. After 20 minutes of yo’ing and promising the best show ever, the heat and the crowd got too much and State admitted defeat. We had started too big and required a gentler intro to the festival.

Over on the Park Stage one of the many secrets slots of the weekend was filled by The Hot Rats. A super covers band in the form of Supergrass members with super-producer Nigel Godrich. Gaz Coombes was sporting theatrical top hat and matching black and white flares; like a rock n’ roll Cat in a Hat he stormed through a series of Britpop hits. Sunshine and cider, this is what its all about.

5.00 pm
After some medical pints and a 40-minute trek to the other side of the site the jock was shaken off for the magical tones of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble in Dance East. Dressed in various pieces of black and red Puma gear the boys dazzle with soothing funky brass soul and choreographed ‘how low can you go’ moves. Pretty special and perfect for sunny evening.

6.30. pm
As the sun was blasting a large crowd gathers around the Other Stage for the Friendly Fires. The St. Albans trio played the John Peel stage in 2008 but this year the boys played hit after hit to thousands of dancing, flag bearing fans and we couldn’t get enough. It was actually quite surprising how many hits these guys have and front man Ed MacFarlane has some pretty sharp moves. Particular highlights came in the form -Jump in the Pool’ and last years -Paris’.

7.30 pm
Back to Dance East it was quite an opposite story. For State, Amanda Blank was a, if not, the, must-see of the weekend. Attracting barely 20 people Ms. Blank stormed on stage to give an expectedly raunchy show but without the numbers, there wasn’t so much excitement as trying to avoid eye-contact. To add to it, she just doesn’t have the tunes. It was pretty difficult to pick out her single ‘Loose’ from the rest of the tracks. In short, the show fell flat, but this in no reflection of the lady herself. Her delivery was energetic and she has presence. Maybe after the album is released we’ll be singing a different tune. Let’s reserve judgement.

8.30 pm (ish)
Back tracking to the Park Stage again we passed the largest crowd of the day, giving it socks to ‘¦ Lady GaGa. We weren’t having it. Miming her way through her tunes, Lady G piped up to ask if we liked her wellies, she’s as charismatic as a boot that one. As she launched into -Pokerface’ there wasn’t a smidgeon of curiosity, we turned our backs as the chorus started. She reportedly played a bar in Sangri-La later that night and had the place rocking. However any reports from 4am in Glastonbury are to taken with a pinch of (naughty) salt, particularly coming from mates of State.

8.45 pm
So from raunchy to trampish to just plain sound, Annie Mac was hosting the BBC Introducing Stage. Before going live Annie got the crowd going with some obvious but refreshing club anthems. She counted us down to -On Air’ and the place erupted. Its lucky this was a radio show. Annie was introducing Erol Alkin, Skream and Benga. Not feeling the dubstep, State left in search of the Queen’s Head.

10.30 pm
Way, way, way over the other side of the festival, just beyond the Jazz World the Queen’s Head pub was found. In the distance on a big screen a wiry-haired Canadian was rocking in a free world. Meanwhile, as if perfectly timed the tent filled up with hipsters, including Alex Kapronos, for one of the buzz bands of the weekend. Taking shoegaze, Jesus and Mary Chain guitars and electronica, then turning it on its head The Big Pink entrance the crowd from a smoke filled stage. They have as much style as substance. Founder Robbie Furze is statuesque in centre-stage while co-founder Milo Cordell is left of centre busy behind his desk. But its backing singer Valentine Fillol-Cordier that proves most enigmatic. She is dressed in a baggy whites with her hands in her pockets. Her hair covers her face and she has a not-wanting-to-be-there attitude, she is the embodiment of coolness. -Velvet’ was the only recognisable single, but everything else they played was as loud, thrilling and just as epic. A truly jaw dropping show.

11.20 pm
Buzzing with excitement we stumbled across the mellow, blissful vibes of Q-Tip rocking the Jazz World. Playing as much De La Soul as his own material along with some new tunes Q had the crowd swaying from side to side accompanied by DJ Scratch and a well-seasoned live band. Q was the first act to reference and thusly confirm the death of Mr. Michael Jackson.

Part 2 to follow on Monday.

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