Glastonbury 2004: reports and reflections
Donkey dust and spliff
Report by 'ld rudeboy', July 2004
I enjoyed myself a great deal more at this Glastonbury than I did the last one I attended a couple of years ago,
There was worse weather this year but that didn't bother me along with the mud. I found it added to the experience.
Missuz Scott and I turned up on Wednesday afternoon at the Urbanite camp and it had already been throwing it down. However, Sunray had already taken our tent up and Spacehopper had put it up for us so it was just a matter of climbing in. Thanks people.
Anyway, after a cheeky line of donkey dust and a spliff I was ready to enjoy the festival. We wandered around and got a feel for the place; one of the things I disliked about the festival last time I went was that I felt like it was populated by white students on their gap year.
I still found it a bit like that this year but I knew more people camping around us and I knew what to expect this time and thought I should get over myself and enjoy the festival for what it is, which I did.
I simply couldn't afford to drink my usual amounts and so drinking wasn't high on the agenda. I only had about four pints the whole time. I did come prepared and took many more drugs than I would normally.
The first few nights I was in bed by midnight, I put this down to having Acid for breakfast most mornings.
I found the food pricy and very variable in quality. I ate a number of those large £1 yogurts and the best meal I found was a buffalo burger but I couldn't fine the stall again. I feel in love with the Chai in the Earthhart (spelling?) café and kept returning regularly.
It was great to see so many friendly faces upon waking up in the morning too.
The first band I went to see was Wilco and for me I think they were the best band I saw, but I am a huge fan. I was also mightily impressed with The Stills (thanks editor) and Hot Club of Cowtown (thanks bees).
I also enjoyed Ben Harper, I'd seen him before, I love him, and I think he did a better set this time too.
PJ Harvey was fantastic; I don't own any of her stuff but am going to track some down.
To be honest, I always thought she was overrated but I can see now I was mistaken. It's great when you are turned onto new bands.
The atmosphere for the football was great and I was glad to be part of the experience despite the result. I wish I could say the same for Oasis. They didn't do anything wrong as such and were competent and professional but it all felt a bit pedestrian and plodding to me.
I wouldn't pay to see them.
In fact, even if it was free I don't know if I'd bother and I'm not an Oasis snob. I still play their first couple of albums from time to time.
I saw a bit of Morrissey and the Scissor Sisters but didn't stay for all of their set. I found them a bit boring to be honest.
However, the most popular artist that I simply didn't get was Orbital.
I thought it clashed with Television and made my way across site to see Television to find out that I had the times mixed up. Doh!
So I went to see Orbital. I didn't like them when I last saw them but everybody was raving about them so I thought I'd better check them out. I found them dull.
I simply don't understand their appeal. Their music reminds me of polyphonic ring tones. Everybody I spoke to afterwards said Orbital were brilliant.
Why? What am I missing? I feel such an outsider now.
I spent quite a bit of time wandering around and saw tons of little bands and artists who I have no idea what they were called. The African acrobats were amazing with their flaming limbo dancing.
I also saw a guy who was singing anti-war tunes. One was called 'What would Jesus do?' would he bomb Iraq or Afghanistan? This was quite early on in a quiet tent.
There were families with children and an older group and I was really enjoying it.
Then a comedian came on and starting with jokes such as 'What's wrong with such and such? - He's a CUNT!' It wasn't funny and many people left.
I'm no prude but he misread the audience in my opinion. After he had finished, they had a performer reading very bad poetry, so we left. However, I did manage to catch a number of poets who I really enjoyed.
I saved myself for the last night expecting to go out on a bang. I'd rationed my drugs and had slept properly beforehand in preparation. I spent it in Lost Vagueness trying to find anyone I recognised.
I didn't go to bed that night and I didn't find anyone as most of them had crashed out early. I just line danced the night away.
There was tons of stuff I've missed but I really enjoyed myself and would go back in an instance. A big thank you to William for talking me into coming.
I wasn't initially that keen because I didn't really enjoy my first experience expecting a more diverse crowd but I'm so glad I went now.
Roll on next year.