Live Music + Gig Reviews

Glastonbury 2004 – Day 2 @ Worthy Farm, Somerset

26 June 2004

Day two for Glastonbury. Day four for musicOMH. It bucketed down horribly fromthe first signs of daylight. It was a rotten feeling. Negotiating a verydangerous mud slope towards the Other Stage, I found several hundred earlybirds out in force for hotly tipped outfit The Duke Spirit. Theyfared well, and wryly beckoned punters from their tents. They did make aloud enough racket, which was complimentarily blown about like a kite bymerciless gusts.

What’s left of Sister Sledge (Joni and Debbie) is nothing short ofbrilliant. While musicOMH lifted a snotty journalist’s nose and nodded our headtentatively, everybody else was shaking it to the likes of He’s The GreatestDancer and Good Times, proving you can wear a poncho and wellies and stillbe groovy. One of the performances of the weekend, and that isn’t includingtheir dance tent headline slot later in the day.

“Glastonbuuuury!” hollers Ana Matronic two hours later. Scissor Sisters have drawn the first sizeable crowd and lifted everyone’sspirits immediately with Take Your Mama Out. Matronic reassures us the sunwill come out, even if they have to heave it out of Jake Shears’ ass. Whichlooks to be happening, as the frontman’s eyes bulge like a speed freak andbody contorts in his halfway tap/go-go dance routine. Ironically however,the worst shower of the weekend proceeds.

Lord this has to be taking thepiss? The Scissor Sisters don’t care, and neither does anybody else asFilthy Gorgeous and Tits On The Radio send thousands bouncing. The Sistersdo remarkably well to keep such momentum going, chucking in some bsidesbefore blasting us back with Laura, Comfortably Numb and a conquering MusicIs The Victim. By the end Shears and Matronic are as wet as we are, andloving it too.

It’s mid afternoon and everybody seems content to see Keane. Onour way to Jazzworld, we catch the perennial soppers at their mostdepressing, which seems to depress whatever god is above so much, that heputs his schlong away and lets out the sun.

We’re at Jazzworld for two reasons. First, Amp Fiddler is up soon.Second, this is the only place onsite we know of to buy a delightful pint ofPear Apple Cider. With the latter going down a treat, we find another inthe form of Asere. With the sun out, the Cuban seven-pieces’ delugeof beats would have you almost mistaken to be in Havana, with a sizeablegroup at the front lapping up the atmosphere. The compere then drops abombshell: Amp Fiddler is still stuck on the M4. To the bar it is!

Back at the Pyramid Stage, morale hits a new low withLostprophets. They blew their trumpets as the heaviest thing of theweekend (have you been to the Glade boys?) and that they were fuckin rocking(wait for McCartney lads). I wonder who booked ’em. Couldn’t they could haveat least gotten the real thing and asked Incubus to play?

Several hours later the rain is threatening again. By now OMH is happilylean and joins the exodus across a marsh to the New Tent for The Killers. The interest is staggering. We’re standing about twenty deepoutside the tent. The benefits of twenty-twenty vision and six-feet comeinto play. Looking to the back, the interest must be about a further 150deeper. The Killers should’ve been on the main stage. But only to makethings easier. I can’t understand what all this fuss was all about.

The Black Eyed Peas have enjoyed incredible success from their aceElephunk album. Although many were getting a good spot for Sir Paul, fewwould have expected how rousing BEPs would be. Aside from the singles andsome hippie talk, fantastic break dancing and a superb freestyle cover ofSeven Nation Army made this an astonishingly set. If anyone had pigeonholedBEP as the traditional pop act at Glasto, they better think again. They werethe real thing.

I recently slated McCartney in a review. I hold up my hands. Sir Paul isno fogey and was unbelievably brilliant tonight. He may act like a drunkenuncle at a wedding, and talk like a geordie Rocky Balboa, but, unlikeBob Dylan last week, McCartney carried the songs by the coach load:The Long And Winding Road, We Can Work It Out, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane,Get Back, Back in the USSR, Let it Be, Hey Jude, Helter Skelter; need I couldgo on? No one has a repertoire like that. And he played em. He played themall. Including a blistering rendition of Live And Let Die, complete withpyros, so loud and so visually stunning, even the deoxidised craniums beingdrilled by Squarepusher over at The Glade would’ve looked up. Afive-song encore extended a terrific set into the early hours, which leftthe na-na-na-na-na na’s of Hey Jude joining the 5,6,7,8’s Woo Hoo asthe anthem for the evening. It didn’t stop the Rooney chants though.

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