Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Glastonbury 2011 Part The Third - Saturday

So Saturday at Glastonbury, on flicking back through the line-up to jog my memory, seemed a little flat, and I was surprised at how little I saw. Partly this was due to the mud, which, after Friday’s constant downpour and then the heat of Saturday’s sun, had transmogrified into that horrific ultra-sticky stuff that only Glasto seems to produce – The kind that will suck your willies right off your feet (well, it would have if my wellies were not horrifically difficult to remove at the best of times. Ow).

Saturday morning our crew went for a wander about site to take in the festival a bit – There was much laughter at amusing acts going on in the caberet field, most notably a man riding a piano (seriously, he sat on the seat and rode it sideways like a bike, whilst playing and singing – very impressive!) and two apparently normal-sized people dressed as tiny chimps with enormous rucksacks (you had to see it to get the full effect). By the time we got back to our tent we realised pop sensation Jessie J was playing opposite us, so we sat in the sun and drank beer and cider whilst watching the last few numbers. I was rather surprised to discover that Jessie had a broken leg and therefore was sitting on a massive throne throughout the set. Anyway, I don’t really go for her music much, although I have to admit she has a great voice and is obviously a hyper-talented lady.

A band much more to my liking are Those Dancing Days, so we made the trek up to The Park to catch their all-girl Scandinavian northern soul/indie pop, and I am very glad we did this, as it was double ace (even though they finished one song, realised they had finished it too early and played the second half again. Also the singer was coming down with something and looked pretty ill towards the end, but gamely finished the set anyway). Our little group of 4 ended up having a discussion about which of the band was our favourite, and we all had a different one (although, to be fair, it was fairly difficult for me to choose). I’ve gone for the drummer, though, because she’s extra cute and lovely. I’ll even forgive her for my favourite zip-up top coming off somewhere during the set and presumably getting lost in the mud (sob!)

After that I had a bit of a disappointment as the I had the wrong stage times for the G Stage (or something had gone wrong somewhere) and I didn’t get to see DJ Yoda as I had planned, so the back-up plan was to wander back to the Park a couple of hours before Saturday’s Special Guest and get a good spot (as, earlier in the day, we had been told it was definitely Pulp). On the way myself and my partner-in-crime Daniel popped into the Stonebridge Bar and discovered Hip-Hop Karaoke. Now I’m a bit of a fiend for rapping along to anything and everything (let’s just clear this up – I can’t rap, because I can’t freestyle, but I’m OK at talking in time), so I was interested to check out the competition. My conclusion? Bar one dude who blatantly IS an actual rapper (note perfect Busta Rhymes rendition = VERY impressive), everyone else got lost on the second line, proper car crash time. There was also a Japanese dude who kicked off Nuthin’ But A G Thang very well, but accidentally went off-beat and never got back on track. Seriously, I should have gotten up there, but I’m FAR too shy.

After a bit more hanging around and chilling, and rescuing the ladies from a half-naked mashed hippy who kept eying them up and down in possibly the most leery way I have ever seen, it was time for Pulp! I had actually convinced myself that it wasn’t going to be Pulp at all, but this time I had positioned myself away from shovey types (although, sadly, I was now in the middle of over-talkative types instead) and near enough to the top exit to beat a retreat if/when the Killers came on, but, heavens be praised, it was indeed Pulp! They played a pretty much chronological best of set, moving from Joyriders all the way to Sunrise, and pulling Common People out at the end. The highlights for me were Acrylic Afternoons (the soundtrack to being 16 for me!) and a majestic This Is Hardcore. Jarv’s patter and moves haven’t diminished at all since their heyday (despite the increasingly-white beard), and the whole thing was very much worth the wait and effort. On returning home I discovered that Kate Moss had tried to gain entry to the field too late and had been refused, prompting her to ‘get all Croydon’ on the security. Ha. That’ll teach you for hanging out backstage with The Kills, lady.

And then it was back to the G Stage, as it was Saturday night and Lee Perry was headlining! But before him was Don Letts – usually one of my favourite DJs. I don’t quite know what happened here, but instead of his usual selection of roots reggae classics, he was mostly playing fairly uninspiring digi-dub and dubstep to a half-full area. At least one of our party got very very bored at this point and wandered off to see the Chemical Brothers (apparently amazing). Those of us who stayed the course were eventually rewarding with the great, and very short, and pink hair-and-bearded, Lee Perry himself, working his onstage magic and seemingly freestyling lyrics over a tight-as-hell backing band blazing through renditions of some of his classic productions, such as Roast Fish, Collie Weed and Corn Bread and, rather wonderfully, Return Of Django, with sax played by a beautiful and shockingly talented Japanese lady. Perry also came out with one of the best onstage ad-libs of the weekend, which, frankly, modesty prevents me from repeating in polite company.

It was during Lee Perry, however, that I tragically RAN OUT of my whisky! Luckily Daniel was on hand with a bit of Rum, and had Vodka untouched for the next day...

After that, I’m afraid to say, I went straight to bed! I’m not a young un any more, and by this time I was aching all over (blame that sticky mud!) and desperately in need of sleep. Sunday report soon come!

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