Glastonbury 2004: reports and reflections
Mozza and Real Ale
Report by 'William of Walworth', July 2004
My tenth Glasto and I had as good a time as ever!
I didn't like the rain and mud to say the least (quelle surprise ) but as a 97 and 98 survivor, this year was a cakewalk by comparison -- at least we got all of Friday and part of Sunday where sitting around was perfectly possible indeed mandatory ... in 97 and 98 I had to just plonk a black rubbish bag into the mud and squelch/ooze downwards into that ...
(Wonders whether to start speculating about early forecasts for Glasto 2005! )
I saw partial sets by lots of different acts but very few full sets -- perhaps that's because my concentration span was limited! and at every point there were competing attractions/aimless wanderings to do ...
Things that come to mind to mention in random order ... mainly highlights plus some other stuff ...
Staying up til nearly 4pm Monday morning to see The Beat in Lost Vagueness --- fantastic!!!
Michael Franzi's cover of Guns of Brixton on Friday
The rootsier parts of Toots set on Saturday (agreed that bits of it were not very rootsy at all and somewhat cheesy, but the best buts were best!)
Much of Toots set was well worth missing almost all of Macca for, but I confess I saw the first five of Macca's songs (out of curiosity) and I certainly had no problem with them --- his intra-song chat was cheesy as fuck and really insincere sounding, but he'a a professional live performer with all the good and bad that comes with that ...
Mozza --- what a set!!! Agree with Mike that it was great -- I had no qualms about missing Goldie Looking Chain after that.
Adrian Sherwood headlining Avalon on Sunday.
Hazel O'Connor, at least for part of her set ... I got a tad in need of a spliff before the end and had to find somewhere to sit (difficult place to locate at that time) but she can still perform ..
John Cooper Clarke -- fucking hilarious!!!! Never seen him before -- thought I'd wandered into the Comedy Tent ...
Astro Cafe dirty squat-tent at the bottom of our field very very late (early?) Sunday/Monday -- acid techno isn't really my thing but the fucked up atmosphere and huge range of VERY weird characters there were a good antidote to those who think Glasto has become completely 'middle class' and sanitised and free of yer old school Glasto cast of nutters ... they weren't just kids playing at being on the edge you know ... I don't really agree with pagan and tim about the over-sanitisation of Glasto but will post more on that another time ..
BTW has anyone got the flyer for that Astro Cafe party? Want one!
But of course I went for the vibe not the line up or music right? So I also loved ...
Mutoid Waste Company's wonderful elephant-truck and trailer (that was the praying mantis one right?), especially at night and lit up with the full on sounds -- first seeing/hearing that was my first true jaw-dropping moment at Glasto this time .,... there's always quite a few ...
All the other vehicles at the top of the site ---- want a hippy-bus and a permanent vehicle pass onto the Green Fields now!!!
Talking of vehicles -- Cider Bus wasn't a bad one
Manic Organic as good as ever in the food department. Cheaper food was hard to find, but that was well worth the extra price ...
Tiny Tea Tent -- despite the whole main drag being permanently rammed, you could almost always get a seat there ... their huge table was fab!
African Safari Kitchen still as good as ever (a rare food-foray into Babylon markets, that one)
Good range of ales in the Acoustic Stage field's beer tent .. and they ran out more slowly this year. In the main beer tents (not including the Bud-shite-fucked Crown, which I boycotted for the second year) there was Woodeforde's Wherry -- even at the dull level of 3.8% it was less bland that the Oakhills last year.
View from the Standing Stones on Friday .... ALWAYS gets me, that does. Part of our rest up there, there was a random mad performer with an acoustic and his hilarious/stupid Glastonbury song got a lot of claps and smiles ...
Getting the new Glastonbury Tales book on Sunday -- since leaving the site I've been devouring this book ... all Glasto lovers should read it ... anecdotes galore from a whole range of those involved in Glasto history from your random punter to Michael Eavis ... very sensible/sensitive accounts of the whole fencejumping/Mean Fiddler issue and the history of Travellers at Glasto ... some good, insightful pro-Traveller voices quoted (including Ray Gurvitz and Nik Turner) as well as yer more usual sources ... I love oral history!!!!
Tatting an abandoned chair at Mozza's set on Sunday enabling frequent sitting down thereafter, I doubt I'd had survived to The Beat that night had it not been for The Chair of Sanity ... hardly slept at all throughout and I don't even do non-hippy-drugs ...
Most important highlight ... meeting so many friendly and generous and lovely Urban (and other) faces ... of the Urban people
YOU KNOW WHO YOU ALL ARE!! ...
Thanks to to the very hospitable fat hamster and other Bristol Urbanites before the festival -- lovely to meat you, and the Bristol stopover enabled us to be on and early bus and inside the uberfence shortly after 10 am ....
One or two low points ---
Getting so totally fucked AND depressed at England's exit in Thursday that I went 100% incommunicado for a few hours and managed at some stage to bruise my ribs really badly (a rare complete-gap-in-the-memory point). Still hurting now.
Worse, Stig had lost me, and to my entire oblivion, had tried to phone me many times as had Dub and Tort-- she was really worried and reported me to Welfare as missing (in action). Major major apologies and hugs to Stig and others who were worried.
Return of the rainand mud on Sunday -- I had coped reasonably cheerfully and at quite a low moan-level up to then (and the gorgeously sunny and warm Friday had been particularly nice, helping post-footy-depression recovery) but on Sunday, the weather gods played with us and pissed us around.
All the ridiculous waste on the campsites when we left -- I totally agree with Kaka Tim on this aspect even if I disagree with him on other parts of his post (more later and all that) but some people can be wasteful twats.
Tend to agree with Pink Monkey that it may not be especially class-specific though, more of a wasteful and lazy arsehole thing generally. There was plenty of shit around after 2000 and that was a free for all for anyone who wanted to come.
This may not be my last post about Glasto 2004!! Best holiday of the year as always .