That's Glastonbury, the festival that was established in 1970 because the hippies thought the other fests were too commercialised....
God, I love irony.
Let me say this: I would not want to go to The Big G as a civilian, paying customer. Not in a trillion years. My production wristband and BAA laminate (more of that later) came in SO handy, not least because we were able to camp backstage away from the thieving scallies. Apparently, the Geldof Girls were in the same field, but I wouldn't recognise them if they presented me with their Blockbuster cards.
The weather on Thursday was OK. I managed to wear shoes, instead of my new wellies (see here)... which was the only time I could do that. I now have thighs of steel and calves of titanium after four days of slogging in the mud. Not just mud but wet mud, sloppy mud, sloshly mud, sticky mud, squishy mud, quicksand mud, mud-and-straw, mud-and-woodchips and very occasionally, grassy mud. By Sunday night, my tent had taken on all the qualities of a waterbed, although I'd like to say that the groundsheet was so excellent that it didn't leak.
Also, because I'd actually taken the trouble to put my tent up properly, it neither leaked nor blew away.
But now to music, because that's nominally why we were all there. That word 'nominally' sounds small, but it's doing an awful lot of work in that sentence. In fact, despite it being the best food on site, I could hardly stand to stay in the Hospitality Bar for long because of the godawful hangers-on, liggers, blaggers, posers and 'I'm dressed for Heat magazine' types.
Full-face make up does not belong at music festivals, you foolish, vapid, vacant bints. Nor does hairspray.
Donny Tourette Syndrome or whatever his name is, is exactly as much of an idiot as you think he is. Possibly more.
Funny thing about Glastonbury is that the less you look out for these famous people, the more you see, especially backstage. There were more than I saw, but I didn't stay around long - I wasn't there to people-watch, I was setlist collecting, you know? My life doesn't begin and end with listing the famous people I met.
By the way, Phill Jupitus is a lovely, kind and funny man. He's great.
I got a free Johnny Clash (not a mistype) 45 from Billy Bragg for donating to Jail Guitar Doors (a great cause, google for it). Have to say I expected neither vinyl records or a raffle when I turned up at the Leftfield Stage on Sunday morning, yet got both.
I spent quite a lot of Friday in the Greenfields and Healing Field on Friday to avoid hanging around the Glade tent, so I spent more money on tarot, palm reading and astrology than I was expecting (or was wise) but it was pretty cool.
Sick of the smell of marijuana smoke, by the way. Fortunately, I didn't work the Dance Village, so didn't have to put up with coked up, ketamine-fuelled DJs, cos I would've just walked away.
The Who seemed really fuckin' lacklustre to me, as if they're just treading musical water and bored, and they're so much better than that - Real Good Looking Boy proved that. Please, my darlings, remember why you do music!
Also sick of hearing people excuse these guys for being a bit shit by saying "oh, they're getting on". THEY'RE NOT THAT FUCKING OLD! I don't expect them to be leaping around. I don't expect Iggy Pop to still be perfectly skinny (and trust me, he aint, but the hair's beautiful). What I DEMAND is that these GIANTS OF MUSICIANS DO THEIR JOBS TO THE BEST OF THEIR ASTOUNDING ABILITIES! Are you telling me that Pete Townshend is no longer able to create decent music because of his age? Keith Richards too, for that matter?
I've got a mental list of bands I need to see before they die. I saw the Not-Doors in 2003 and left pretty much in murderous tears. I saw the remainder of Thin Lizzy in a couple of guises and they were good but not great. I saw the Rolling Stones at the Isle of Wight and Keith Richards was doing his best Bert Weedon in a coma impression. I've now more or less completed the list with the Who, and I left them to it during the encore, and walked back to my tent behind the stage feeling like I wanted to slit my wrists or find a spare TARDIS and fuck off back to 1974.
Glastonbury must've been a sight to see back then. I'd give my right kidney to be at the Isle of Wight in 1970 when my dear Doors were there with Jimi.
I wanted Jim Morrison, and I got Pete Doherty. I wanted The Who and got The What? I wanted... I wanted greatness and instead I got the Killers and the Arctic Monkeys. I'm sure that's good enough for some people, but it's not good enough for me.
It's like... Amy Winehouse is a good singer, especially compared to everyone around at the moment. But put the girl in a room with La Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday or Peggy Lee and she's.... not very much, actually. All these bands at the moment are OK, but they're not great. I didn't see a single act this weekend that made my heart thump or my soul soar.
It is WRONG that the best things I saw all weekend were comedians and Tony Benn. That the music was the least of my weekend proves only that Glastonbury is now the Disneyworld of music festivals - expensive, too big, crushed under its own self-importance and populated with mindless, vacant people. I love Disneyworld, but I'm not sure I respect it. I liked Glastonbury, but I didn't love it and I can't respect it.
It's now something people go to because they're now middle aged and didn't go when they were young, or they go to so they can say 'I went to Glasto, don't you know?' That's OK, but cancel my subscription to the resurrection.