Oh my goodness me; I cannot believe it has been a whole week and a day since the last day of Glastonbury Festival! I must crack on and do my review before I completely forget everything! I’ve written loads, so I’ll split it into two parts….
So traditionally Wednesday is shopping day for me, and this year was no exception. The winner of the stall where most of my items were purchased goes to one called Festivalania. Sorry – not the best name in the world, but very cool clothes including the brand Raggamuffin Swagger at bargain prices. I still love Rosa Bloom and the State of Disarray, but hugely disappointed at the disappearance of Bohemia as I had been planning on purchasing most of my wardrobe from there. I’ll be posting a You Tube video soon with my Glastonbury haul if you’re interested.
In the evening we joined most of the 150,000 people on site, crammed into the sacred space, and met up with loads of friends to watch the opening ceremony bonfire and fireworks. Here’s a tip for future Glastonbury-goers: Go to the loo in the cabaret field at about 8:30pm and hope it’s the last time you need to go. Soon after, the queue at the ones in the sacred space are about 30 minutes long and the crowds too dense to get down to the next nearest by the railway line. Also, bring all the cider you want for the evening with you. If you offer to get some for everyone, you won’t be seen for at least an hour. The atmosphere up there is well worth the effort though – everyone is simply buzzing with excitement for the start of the festival.
Thursday, although not really one of the main days of the festival, had my worst band clashes of the weekend! We watched The Drystones – sort-of friends of my daughter’s and played at her 18th birthday party. I have to say I think they did a better job then 2 years ago, than seeing them this time at the Avalon Cafe. There was too much up and downs – they’d get the crowd going and then slow it right down again half a minute later. You didn’t know whether to sit down or get up and dance – most frustrating! Due to not being bothered to move (it was very hot) we watched Tell Tale Tusk who happened to be on next. Definitely the best accidental band I saw all festival and one of the best bands full stop. Electric folk pirate stuff with beautiful vocals and great songs. The power blew about 3 songs before their set was due to finish, but they taught the audience the words and carried on, after a rowdy rendition of ‘You are very good at sex’, led by the lads at the front who I think rather fancied the girls of the band. Afterwards we grabbed a sticker and bought ourselves an online download code for their songs. Highly recommend them.
Then it was over to the Greenpeace field for a swing dance lesson. This was really good fun and the group continued to do demonstrations and lessons even though they obviously hadn’t been booked to do so. The temperature was starting to be a bit cooler and it was beautiful wondering around the Green Fields getting some photos. After a while is was over to the Croissant Neuf bandstand for Mad Dog McRea who were awesome and had a crowd far too big for the stage. We had to be behind them to get anywhere close, so only heard, rather than watched the performance. I’ll definitely try to catch that band again. Later in the evening we walked through Shangri-La looking for the Rocket Lounge. It’s changed quite a bit from the year-before-last. When I last walked through this area it was like a massive sex dungeon with rather rude art installations everywhere. Disappointingly, this has all gone and been replaced with political puns and slogans. Dull. Anyway, eventually we found the place and waited for The Men that will not be blamed for nothing. Based on the You Tube video of Isambard Kingdom Brunel – we wanted to see this band, but the stage was a small tent that was full. We were too knackered already to push our way in and watch the whole set; so we just listened to a few songs from outside the tent and as it was a bit too heavy metally for us, we left to go home; getting distracted along the way by a very good aerial display in the circus field.
So Friday came, along with the rain. The first act to see was the Stephen Frost Improv all-stars at the Astrolabe tent. All performers were on top form and it was nice to see Marcus Brigstocke join Phil Jupitus and the other regulars. We see them every year and as usual I was crying with laughter. My only criticism is it’s Phil’s opinion that accents are racist, which causes one or two sketches to end awkwardly as he refuses to do them. Also, I’m sure the same people in the audience are calling out the same ideas for improvisation every year, so next time I need to turn up prepared with something original!
Then it was Wolf Alice at the Park. Why is the Park so far away?! And it really chucked it down – we got soaked. Good job the music was worth it. We watched Wolf Alice at the John Peel stage last year and were brilliant then too. I didn’t see anyone leave due to the weather, so I think everyone agreed with me. A little bit of old-fashioned crowd-surfing finished the set off nicely.
Then to the Cabaret tent to watch the most awful comedian ever! Chris caught her set last year and would have left if it wasn’t for the rain. How did she get invited back? No-one was laughing at all. The rain stopped and I caught the and of Lulu at the Avalon stage. The re-jig of that field is really good in the fact that the cafe stage has the space it deserves and the actual main stage I think is higher, so I could see her really well even though the tent was full and I was right back by the bar. They also turned the volume up so the sound was good too (though I don’t know if that affected the act on in the cafe). Back to Cabaret for a bit. Then back to Avalon later in the evening for Molotov Jukebox. Most of these bands I’d never heard of before, but found through recommendations of the genre ‘Gypsy Punk’ on the E-festivals forums. Molotov Jukebox don’t quite fit into this category, but I’m not sure exactly which genre it would come under. I spotted a mention in the Electric Swing message board as well. There is a brass band, guitars, violin, drums and fronted by Natalia Tena (recognisable from Game of Thrones and as Tonks in Harry Potter) singing with a surprisingly high voice and playing the accordion. It’s very much a Mexican, carnival vibe going on, so lots of dancing and fun. Thoroughly enjoyable and discovered another band I definitely want to see more of.
On the way back we came by the Pyramid stage and watched the last few songs of Florence and the Machine. She was putting on an amazing show and I felt quite sorry for her as I’d never seen that field so empty for a headlining act – I think everyone went to see Rudimental. It is a shame Foo Fighters cancelled (particularly as they managed the 4th July gig). It was the main band I’d been looking forward to.