Song Of The Day #10.

The National – Anyone’s Ghost

This band opened their set at Glastonbury with this absolute belter off of their latest album, ‘High Violet’. Their performance was immense, and so is this tune. There really isn’t much else to say except that it’s amazing and you should all be listening to it and them 😀


A Study Of A Pilton Field.

In a dilemma about what to see at Glasto? Clashfinder confused you even further? There’s plenty you WANT to see, but it’s physically impossible to see EVERYTHING? (A great shame).

Well worry no further, for here are my recommendations for Glastonbury 2010, including the big and the small, what to avoid, the unmissable, and the “go and see if you have bugger all else to do”. The latter being a dismal prospect as there should always be something to do on Worthy Farm.

(Dear lord, I am so excited)

Since the music starts (sort of) on Thursday, let us, too, start there. Having said that, there are minimal acts, therefore a very small proportion are actually good, so I give you Beardyman.

A beatboxer with a wicked sense of humour, how could you not want to see him? Hopefully he’ll come in full kitchen regalia, including wig. He’s performing on the WOW! stage at around the 8 o’clock. Miss him and you’ll have to watch Boy George afterwards. Unlucky. Also on Thursday, Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs are starting things off, at 1pm on the Pyramid Stage. Yes really. Not hugely known for their variance from song to song, they categorise themselves as “skunk” – a fusion of punk and skiffle. They are, however, a lot of fun, and a good way to start your Thursday at Glastonbury off. Try after an incredible breakfast from Veggie Heaven, just next to the Other Stage.

Friday – This is where it starts to get really interesting. And messy. We are all, of course, ecstatic that U2 are no longer performing – I thought they pulled out because they suck (therefore no one would go to see them), but apparently it’s to do with Bono’s health or something else that no one cares about. As a replacement, we have the wonderful Gorillaz, who I thought were just a small side project. But no, they are EPIC. This will be an epic performance, including many guests and potentially Damon Albarn crying again, although the latter is probably unlikely. Have a peek at their performance on Jools Holland, and if you’re poor, their latest album (+backcatalogue) resides on Spotify.

Also on Friday, may I recommend Hot Chip (their new album is WINNING), Seth Lakeman (I LOVE HIM, on at Croissant Neuf), Simian Mobile Disco and Boys Noize. This last chap is a German electro DJ, and awesome. He’s on last thing on Dance West, just after Simian, and definitely worth exploring.

Saturday – Muse suck so no one’s going to see them. It seems it’ll all be happening on what they are this year calling “West Holts”, which is in fact the Jazz World stage. Let’s just call it Jazz World. Everyone KNOWS it as Jazz World. It might not all be jazz, but at least it says “stuff here may be controversial”. Anyway, George Clinton is bringing his two bands, Parliament and Funkadelic, to it that evening, and although they seem to get a groove on and stick to the same melody/rhythm/tune for the next five minutes, it will still be much more fun than “I have to be so bloody epic all the time” Muse.

Also for Saturday… Seasick Steve is on the Pyramid, though I’d rather see him in some ranch in the middle of America I think (should be good though!). Devendra Banhart could be an option if there’s nothing else to see, along with Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra – both on West Holts. Which means pint of strawberry cider at the same time. The Unthanks turn up on the Avalon Stage (very folky, very good), and and and – the band I am most excited about for Saturday – The National! On for a mere hour on t’Other Stage, they should suitably sap all the happiness from you, and leave you with a mellow, realistic look on the world for a few moments after. And then The Cribs take over (I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THESE WAKEFIELD WEIRDOS) and you shall be shaken back to reality, and will run far, far away from the Other Stage.

Sunday – As has previously been said, you can see Stevie, but he will not be seeing you. There’s even been a somewhat impractical suggestion of braille flags so there’s a chance he can get on-board with the waving flag vibe. Though it may be impractical, the suggestion did tickle me somewhat. Anyway, Stevie Wonder is to be the highlight of Sunday (he’s just too cool to miss, surely?), along with Faithless just before him. A few hours in front of the Pyramid Stage means time for wedges and pint, and you can get your groove on some electronica before singing along with everyone else to ‘Isn’t She Lovely?’ with Mr Wonder.

Sunday also includes LCD Soundsystem, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and Grizzly Bear for your enjoyment, although most of them clash (told you it got messy), and you DO have to weigh up which is better to see based on value for money, how regularly they perform, if you will ever see them again, and if it’s worth missing one of the other bands.  A great shame.

Generally speaking, the idea seems to be to avoid the main stages unless there’s something AWESOME on (as they get hideously busy and don’t seem to offer good quality music), look for the smaller things, have a handful of Definites, some Maybes, and use the rest of the time to experience something you’ve never done before.

Festival Fashion Pt. 2 – What They Think We Should Wear.

… Except we all know better and if people think “ditsy florals and teeny shorts” are what you should aim to pack ready for the festival season, I would seriously doubt whether those advising this have ever set foot in a festival site before. Which, surely, is necessary if you want to advice people on what to wear there, even if it IS completely impractical? Have a peek at this thread/blog from the Word magazine website, and see how the money you would have spent on new everything for this ‘season’ could have been spent much more practically.

Who needs Cath Kidston wellies at £38, when Glastonbury will decorate them for you..?

Festival Fashion… *cough*

So! The best season (aside from maybe Christmas) is on the near horizon, and I am ridiculously excited – as I am sure all of you are too if you are lucky enough to be going to any – but I, currently, am continuously bombarded with adverts telling me to “get the festival look” or to “be in style this summer festival season”, and so on and so forth. But why?! I ask you why, and what is wrong with a good pair of wellies and a water proof poncho? Actually I have a warm poncho from a South American chap in Green Park Station market – both will be coming with me.

Accessorize is a culprit of glamourising festivals it would seem, as adverts for “festival fever” screamed at me as I walked past it today (sounds more like something you might catch if a typhus epidemic broke out in the camping area). Ironically, I was drawn in, and the majority of it seemed somewhat illogical to me. Some things on offer were lovely – yes – but there are the last things I would take to a festival. A festival typically contains mud. I don’t particularly want a bag that I spent over £30 on (generally I wouldn’t do that anyway) drifting down a tidal wave of murky water.

Coverage of Glastonbury last year was minimalised by an episodic bit called ‘Glasto Glamour’, I believe, and it consisted mainly of a presenter (I’d like to add the majority involved in this were female – be practical for once won’t you?) interviewing people and asking them what they are wearing and why. Traditionally the answer should be “Clothes, because I’ll be arrested otherwise”, but usually it was “Well I’m wearing this really cute vintage dress I picked up in Paris last spring, and I thought it looked awesome so I wore it.” Why would you wear a piece of history to a potentially very messy five-day event?

It generally just leads back to my theory that fashion was made to be impractical, and my thoughts on Glasto Glamour and the Festival Fashions are to be sensible and practical:

Definite yes to the wellies, preferably without stupid designs on them. Walking boots are good too – take both.

Everyone needs something to sleep in. Replace make up, hair spray, the latest ‘look’ and whatever else you have in your bag that is unnecessary with somewhere to live for the next five days.

And alcohol. As it costs quite a lot at a festival.

And that is your basic festival kit. Anyone who feels the need to look glamorous and incredible at a festival where it is likely to rain and you won’t be washing for the next five days has clearly missed the point.