Live Music + Gig Reviews

Glastonbury 2004 – Day 1 @ Worthy Farm, Somerset : festival review

25 June 2004

musicOMH arrived at Glastonbury with the aid of a Citroen Saxo, an A-Z,Velvet Revolver on loop, and a titanium ladder to scale the superfence.

OK so I made up the last bit. Wednesday and Thursday was all aboutbedding down and largely unprintable. Friday morning and the mood isbullish. 60,000 people watched another woeful England cup exit on thePyramid Stage last night – the largest single gathering for a televised gamein the world. The rain was just as demoralising, ensuring mud and theperilous walks. Ralph Myers And The Jack Herren Band open on thePyramid Stage, with two drummers, their jazzy percussion laden set waswarmly received. As were Kasabian on The Other Stage, who also had analarming army of flag waving indie kids in tow.

OMH starts panicking when we realise three crates of lager have beendrained already. Much of a blissfully warm Friday afternoon is spenttrekking to retrieve a sacred crate from the east car park. With glassbottles a no-no, and Nazi security, the final solution is to cane the Bud toWilco and Nelly Furtado, thanks to a very, very loud PyramidStage PA.

Several sozzled hours later and Badly Drawn Boy are filling infor Jet on the Other Stage. As they meander through a veryuninspiring hour, Damon Gough has the cheek to say we got a better deal withJet not playing! The masses heckled and cheered like a throng of merryRomans. With the stench of Snow Patrol filling up worse than theportaloos, OMH wisely plods off to the Pyramid Stage where we join thousandsas Groove Armada rumble the field for a rollicking hour and aquarter. Of course everyone’s waiting for Superstylin and they gladly obligewithout a care in the world.

By PJ Harvey the crowd has started to dissolve, Franz Ferdinand stealing the thousands to hear Take Me Out before fucking offto more-ish donut stalls. OMH sticks to its guns and with Polly Jean, who isnothing short of scintillating. Sporting a dress made from a SpiceGirls T-shirt, the Peej is all gurl power as she grinds out Big Exit.The new material gets a lukewarm response: The Letter wooed and cheered, agrungy Who The Fuck left many scratching heads and thinking What The Fuck?while Shame was spellbinding. Unsurprisingly the loudest cheers came as GoodFortune and A Place Called Home mesmerised, as well as an awesome renditionof Down By The River. After her departure Love are on, but OMH is toobloody tired to cross-country it to the Acoustic Stage. Sorry Arthur…

…Half an hour and one slipped disc later, Kings Of Leon lumberonstage. Caleb Followill takes one look at 60,000 people and you can see himsquirm as the shit enters his size 28 Levi’s. Recomposed, the band plunderinto Red Morning Light and wheel out a so-so set of material from Youth andYoung Manhood plus some promising newbies, notably the show stopping Milk.Glancing around, the Kings were (at Noel Gallagher’s request) clearlystarters for the main course. Mid way through, OMH looks at its watch andhas a heart attack as we realise The Bees are on in the New Tent.Rubbing our back and feeling like a 21-year-old war veteran, we hang ourhead in shame. But you would too with a 4-mile round trip and Oasison next.

This time 9 year ago, Noel Gallagher played Don’t Look Back In Angerover at the Other Stage. The reaction, says Noel, was virtually silent. Nottonight. Taking the dog by the bollocks, Liam, sporting a trim white parkashuffles to the mic and guffs “Rock N’ Roll Star.” The rest of the band,with Beatles blood on skins (Zak Starkey), obliges. Fuck Me?! Is thatBring It On Down I hear?! Before you know it, the drums for Supersonic areupon you, and your voice is gone. And then they decide to hit ya withMorning Glory.

Sounds amazing doesn’t it? So why doesn’t it feel right? For starters,the PA is pants and you could make out the Chemical Brothers on theOther Stage if you concentrated hard enough. Everyone around the front seemsquite conservative and are content to watch. I’m tempted to crack out PGTips and crumpets. Noel looks ready to retire and only stops to dedicateStop Crying Your Heart Out to England and crack a bad one liner here andthere. Liam meanwhile is indifferent, snarling on song, muttering Mancgibberish off mic, pausing to glaze his John Lennon picture pose, butgenerally puffs boredom.

Things pick up with Cigarettes and Alcohol and Live Forever, which wasfollowed by one of two new songs, The Meaning of Soul. A short bluesy rompwritten by Liam. The other, A Bell Will Ring was decent, but unremarkable.And that was the story of Oasis tonight. It had been overcooked by the mediaand by much lager lamenting in the glorious afternoon sun . Just before allhope was lost, the PA returned and a magical encore of Songbird saved theday. Closely followed by Wonderwall, Don’t Look Back in Anger and a stormingcover of My Generation, those last ten minutes were belated, but well worththe wait.

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