It’s Sunday morning and raining unapologetically. Four days of festivallunacy are really starting to take their toll on the group, with everybodyon a comedown or generally downbeat. It actually rained so badly I decidedto bury my head in a book for a few hours.
Must have fallen asleep. Is that The Zutons I hear? Ah yes. Backto bed. Two hours and a toilet break later everybody is up and rejuvenated.It pays to save a stash of booze. With everyone in good spirits wolfing downgrease burgers, we head for the Other Stage, which had been packed forThe Divine Comedy.
We easily stroll to the front for the Ordinary Boys. I wasn’t holding my breath, having been bored stifless by them afew weeks ago. The boys put a gathering crowd through their paces and weremuch improved, leaving Week in Week Out stuck in my head for the rest of theday. To everybody’s shock they hauled on Phil Jupitus for a barmy cover ofThe Specials‘ Little Bitch. Aside from that the boys were again,quite ordinary.
The same line was in tow for The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. This scribe’s Glasto send-off was a sober night at the Frogclub. Eighties Matchbox were the late night band and breaknecked their waythrough a barrage of blasts and shrieks. Today they were even worse. It wasfrankly, shocking stuff. Lord, are these bands really the proclaimed futureof rock?
“Ladies and gentlemen please welcome The Godfather of Soul, all AmericanLegend” and about a million other titles drivelled James Brown‘spersonal, Muppet-tongued compere. After a sweet fifteen minutes of funk andsoul build-up, James Brown walks on to an ecstatic reception. The Godfatherlooks weary but never breaks his leather grin. His set nowadays is cleverlyworked around solos from his band and big chested go-go dancers, with TheGodfather taking a backseat in a kind of conductor’s role. When needed hedoes pull out the pirouette or bounce the mic. For his age and indeed theband, it was remarkable to have it so tight. Wisely they left out living inAmerica, which the Scissor Sisters found out yesterday, is no placeto trumpet round these parts.
Half an hour left of Television but twice that long of a walk. AnOMH sleeper reliably informs us that a scant New Tent (what an insult!) saw one ofthe sets of the weekend. Over here on the Pyramid Stage, the standing areais rapidly filling with anticipation as The Libertines stand in’sSupergrass are due shortly. A mud fight blocks the path to Belle And Sebastian so I grab a Calippo and stay put. Gaz Coombes looks like aPharisee. Honestly! That’s about the most unexpected thing we get fromSupergrass. Celebrating their 10th anniversary they pump out the hits,including a brilliant acoustic rendition of Caught By The Fuzz. They go downwell despite an awful shower, in which Gaz almost stutters during Grace (as arainbow appears).
Over at the Other Stage the standing area is notably empty for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; then again they are competing againstMorrissey. BRMC did little to steal his thunder, beginning with someacoustic numbers before getting the dirty hits out a la Whatever Happened ToMy Rock N’ Roll? / Six Barrel Shotgun. In the bored rock star stakes theybeat Oasis by a mile.
And so to the final slot of the evening. musicOMH lacks the energy to see outOrbital‘s final bow, Ozomatli isn’t quite right to see out afestival, so we settle for Muse. Quite how huge the local trio havebecome is improbable, but a packed Pyramid Stage crowd balances theequation. As they proved back at Reading a few years ago, Muse are a greatlive band. Sing For Absolution had literally thousands crooning along withMatt Bellamy. Plug In Baby and Newborn proved how stunning a three piece canbe, given the right tools and the stage. It was also good to hear oldieslike Sunburn, and realise how Muse both outlived and outshone contemporariessuch as My Vitriol, Cay and Seafood.
At midnight they departed after Stockholm Syndrome, trashing theirequipment and declaring it as their best ever gig. In a flash a millionmoments come flooding to me. So many, many experiences. Miles walked. Lostin Lost Vagueness. Awe at the madness of the Stone Circle on Thursday night.You could write a short story about these five days and you’d still misssomething out. The beauty of Glastonbury is the experience and the momentswhile you’re there, be it from a band, drugs or the enormity of it all. It’sdifficult now to look back on it and recall, though it is charming and fondto remember. Again there were declarations of this being the bestGlastonbury ever. Even whispers at the prospect of U2 and The Rolling Stones next year. Hmmm, maybe. But hell, what a gig 2004 was.