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Glastonbury 2009: Part two

3 Jul

With nobody that we were particularly bothered about seeing until Spinal Tap at 14:50, we decided to have something of a chill-out morning, sitting around the tent polishing off our extensive food shopping and generally enjoying the sunshine. Finding the queue for the showers to be at least an hour and a half long, we decided to give our bodies as thorough a clean as the teeth cleaning taps would allow. Our plans for a chilled out morning went awry as our neighbours popped over to demand that we go and drink cider with them backstage, which we happily caved in to.

Spinal Tap came on and we had a decent position near the Pyramid Stage, where we watched them turn it up to 11. They were really good fun, the rendition of ‘big bottom’ featuring Jarvis Cocker a high point in their set. Up next was Dizzee Rascal, who must be the only act in Britain that is universally enjoyed by everyone, no matter what kind of music they like. I saw him at Reading Festival a few years back and he was as loved there as he was here. Only back then he didn’t have a weapon like ‘bonkers’ to unleash on an audience ready and waiting to pogo.

Having decided that today would be spent getting completely trashed, as Ross would be driving back Sunday evening and thus unable to drink the next day, we headed back to the VIP bar for more cider and then back to the tent to collect the last of the beer for consumption during Kasabian. As well as cook a gourmet meal of a tin of beans on the barbeque. Yes we took the lids off. Yes we took the labels off. Since you didn’t ask. By the time Kasabian finished their excellent set, we were well on the way to drunksville. Next up were the White Lies in the John Peel tent, whose set we had mostly missed the day before. They were excellent. We met a couple of girls that were just as interested in getting off their faces as we were and we headed back to the bar.

Ross at the White Lies

We then went to see The Boss or what was left of his set, at least. I remember almost nothing of his set, although I’m told it was quite long. The rest of the evening was spent wandering around campsites drinking sambuca from a water bottle before heading to a very strange little bar with a rabbit hole inside. The next thing I remember, I was back in my tent.

Sunday, bloody Sunday and my word were we hungover. Not even seeing Carol Vorderman as we loaded up the car with our filthy, stinking clothes could awaken us from our slumber. We decided to take it easy and enjoy a nice cooked breakfast for a change for finally heading out to watch the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who were gloriously mental, with the lead singer wearing a fantastic hat and the bans ending their set by smashing the set up.

Lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Next up were Bat for Lashes, featuring regular guest of my flat Charlotte Hatherley. I only stayed for a couple of songs as I wanted to see ladyhawke as well, but they sounded pretty good and it was cool to see Charlotte doing her thing. Ladyhawke seemed charmingly innocent and pleased to just have the opportunity to entertain us. It helped that she was bloody great as well. We then saw The Wombats before the grand finale of our weekend.

Blur were incredible. I have never enjoyed a set as much as I did theirs in my life. They played hit after hit after hit and absolutely owned the pyramid stage. Damon was electric and didn’t stop running about the place the whole time. The crowd responded brilliantly to every song and, bizarrely, it became something of a singalong performance. When song 2 blared out, it felt as though we would be pogoing to the moon. Tim Jonze at guardian.co.uk says more than I have space for.

It was a superb weekend and my thanks to all involved. I hadn’t been to Glastonbury before, but I’ll definitely be going back again. I leave you with this one photograph, taken on my phone, that sums up my experience better than these hundreds of words ever could.

Todd and Ross rock out at Glastonbury '09

Glastonbury 2009: My experience

30 Jun

Having found out that I’d won VIP tickets for the Glastonbury festival on Monday afternoon, I needed to organise myself sharpish and throw some clothes together in time for Wednesday morning. Which, of course, I did on Wednesday morning, dragging bagfulls of clothes, toiletries and sleeping mats down to Reading, via a days work at Kings Place, and onto Glastonbury with my good pal Ross. The plan being to leave around 6pm, we eventually set off at half 9, nipping in to Asda on the way to spend £80 on beer, food, lager, water, cider and disposable barbeques. We arrived at the campsite at 1am, taking a long detour around the South-West due to Ross’ lack of directions or a map to get us there, and pitched up our tent in pitch-black darkness with a can of lager permanently attached to one hand, a look we would become accustomed to over the weekend.

Glastonbury wristband

We woke up early on Thursday morning due to the suffocating heat of our very old, not quite waterproof tent. Our weekly shop had us penned into tight sleeping lanes and not all of it had stayed in bags. In fact, I’d already warmed up the croissants for breakfast by virtue of rolling onto them in the middle of the night. Tasty! Observing our surroundings, we decided to meet people by helping them to set up their tents and we did so by rescuing two absolutely useless dames in the form of Ali and Katherine, whose palace of a tent was proving far too complex for them to construct. In a matter of moments (ahem) we had it up and it looked a little something like this:

The girl's tent

We spent the rest of the day celebrating this success in the VIP bar with copious amounts of cider, an area that was great for chilling out in over the weekend. It was here that Lip from Shameless came over and greeted us as though in the presence of an old friend, or someone that he wanted to meet at least. This threw us both somewhat, as we recognised him, but couldn’t work out where from. After some small talk, it began to dawn on us the reason that we recognised him and on him that we were in fact, nobodies. Both parties sharpishly headed back to their ciders, before drowning our sorrows in them when we heard the terrible news about Michael Jackson.

Friday marked the start of the music and the continuation of the rain. It had absolutely hammered down on Thursday afternoon with thunderstorms in the evening and we were glad to have bought wellies the day before. We eventually braved it out of our tents and towards the music, where our first band of the festival was The Rakes, whose lead singer professed his pleasure in Michael Jackson’s death, which was met with shock from their crowd. Next up were The Maccabees. Their show provided one of the highlights of my weekend, as the rainclouds cleared and the sun came pouring through, to be met by huge cheers from every single Glastonbury reveller. It helped that the band were bloody brilliant too.

We headed over to the Pyramid stage next for N*E*R*D who had decided that the timeslot didn’t apply to them as despite being last-minute additions, the entire 200,000 people had paid their ‘100 dollars’ to see them. Despite this misguided, arrogant attitute, the crowd got behind them when they were kicked off and it provided a bizarre moment as Pharrell Williams continued to sing defiantly despite the sound having been cut. Due to this, we missed the beginning of the White Lies and didn’t get to experience their set as we would have liked. Following them were the Friendly Fires, who were great and their lead-singer proved to be quite the dancer. He moved the way I do after ten pints of cider in a seedy nightclub. The way I do in my head at least.

We saw Lada Gaga’s toned backside stride around the stage with her fire-starting nipples before heading back to the bar to stock up on the alcohol in preparation for bloc party, who I am a massive fan of and they surpassed all expectations with a great set. Heading back to the campsite tired, drunk and happy we lit a campfire, which Ross passed out in front of while I sang very loudly and out-of-tune all the songs I had heard that day.

Part Two here

All of my Glastonbury photos can be found here.

Glastonbury 2009

23 Jun

As of tomorrow, I will be spending a very long, very drunken weekend at the Glastonbury Festival, having won a pair of VIP tickets in a competition at work. Yesterday. Evening. As you can imagine, this has left me feeling more than a little unprepared.

Currently, I don’t have a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, wellies, coat or bag to actually take the items I don’t have in. So I’ll be sleeping on the grass/mud in shorts and a t-shirt all weekend at this rate. Which should be fun.

So the plan is that I throw some clothes and other items of the handy packing list into as many bags as I can find, lug them into work with me, then lug them to Reading, where I meet my friend and we load the car with as much useful junk as I can find strewn about my parent’s house before setting off. Via Asda. For a sleeping bag presumably.

Seriously though, I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never been before, least of all in the VIP section, and on Monday morning I had only a week of earlies followed by a quiet weekend to look forward to. This is much better. If a damn site less organised.

I’ll be taking as many pictures as my poxy cameraphone allows over the weekend and adding them to whatever memories I might have left when I return exhausted, hungover and happy on Monday.