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 😀

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Glastonbury 2010 – Part Three.


Oh Saturday… The Saturday of Glastonbury was hot! So bloody hot, but by this point I was getting used to it. Acclimatising, if you will. There wasn’t so much rushing around this time as there were less good bands to see, but we still made a good effort of it, and had a wicked evening at Shangri-La after the music finished too. Lovely stuff 🙂

We had nothing scheduled until The National at 5pm, so we took a wander around the whole site after a breakfast from Veggie Heaven, which, annoyingly, was not as good as last year. And I managed to get beans all over me 😦 But after that, we found an outstanding wine place in the Green Fields! I believe it was called Pennard Organic Wines, and we had a cup of the strawberry wine and wandered into a mini kids area. I mean the area was mini, kids are already mini.

Story time 🙂

To display to us how diverse Glastonbury is, we inadvertently managed to pick the spot of shade where next to us was a small model of ships and general sea-bay-18th century antics. Some chap in a dashing costume then started advertising his performance to the general public, and for half an hour, we were read a lovely story, with the models as props and visual aids, in the cooling shade, on a relaxed Saturday afternoon, with strawberry wine – and it was all about pirates! It was excellent. In many ways, I’m very glad there was no interesting music on at that time. It’s pleasant being read a story when you’re 22 and should be reading to small things yourself.

After our literary excursion, and once we’d finished the wine, we went for a wander and our first musical event was Wild Beasts, on the John Peel stage. They were ok. They didn’t exactly ‘wow’ me, but then they weren’t tragically bad I suppose. Accomplished in what they were trying to do, but nothing special. Like nearly everything else, according to me, it would seem. There is literally nothing else to say about Wild Beasts. Except one of them REALLY needs a haircut.

Mr National protects his retinas

Moving on, our next band was The National. I love this band. Really, I think they’re brilliant. Their performance was good – they started with ‘Anyone’s Ghost’, my favourite track from their new album, and also played ‘Mr November’ and ‘Fake Empire’, along with a good mix from the last two albums. However, they were everything I expected them to be – excellent, very good live, a good together band, but for some reason I wasn’t blown away by them. That doesn’t mean they weren’t immense, but then I was expecting them to be so. Possibly this is why, but on the plus side, at least they didn’t disappoint. What a lovely band 🙂 What an interesting band! Surrounded by a tsunami of generic indie bands, it’s excellent to find good ones still clinging on.

Tom wished to see Holy Fuck at The Queen’s Head after this, and refusing something to him is impossible to do, so off we went. It’s also a bloody stupid idea to refuse something musical to him. I believe it was described to me as “live electronica”, to which I said “How?!”, but it turned out to be refreshingly good! A huge surprise, his suggestions can be exceptionally hit and miss. Plus with a name like Holy Fuck, and described as live electronica, it could have been anything. But it was good! Almost definitely best live, though check out the track ‘Stay Lit’, not too offensive on the ears (for me anyway), and not pretentious wankers! Good music, actually good and original music. By that I mean they didn’t sound like every other band played most at the moment.

We spent the majority of the evening on that side of the festival site, and our next stop was to get a pizza. Yum. This was consumed, with a pint of cider, in the ‘West Holts’ field, with Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra to entertain us. Having seen them before, it was rather comforting to have them playing in the background, and like last time, the orchestra is outstanding, and does not necessarily need the ‘guidance’ of Mr Dammers to help them along. He did, however, manage to bring Arthur Brown (as in, Crazy World Of-) onstage, which I thought was pretty cool as I assumed he was already dead. But no!

'P-Funk'

Now, this evening, everyone was talking about Muse. Muse have never been a band I’ve caught the bug of, which appears to be essential to get the need to see them as much as the rest of the site did. So instead, we went to see Parliament/Funkadelic with George Clinton. Having only heard about them in the Mighty Boosh, and after researching their music on Spotify (and discovering their songs were about 5-6 minute tracks of the same sort of thing), I was dubious. It was another occasion of me saying “There’s nothing much on. What shall we see?” and Tom saying “Well I did rather want to see…”, HOWEVER, they were freaking awesome, and possibly the best thing I saw this festival. They all looked like they were having so much fun, and there were times when they’d merge one song into another for about twenty minutes, so you just got your groove on solidly, occasionally clapping when you were allowed/able to, and everyone in the field seemed to be having a good time. There was no crowding or pushing or anything – there was a general feeling of “this is awesome” and it was so much fun! I can’t remember the last time a band was actually fun. They went on for ages, but it felt like half an hour – I also can’t remember the last time I wanted a band to play more. YES P-Funk!

The weirdness of Shangri-La

By this stage of the festival, money had been saved (as apparently we’re too boring to drink it or something), and money had been found (by those who had drunk their money and dropped the rest of it), so to the Brothers Bar we went again, and then headed to Shangri-La before the Muse crowds got there. We actually got in this time! Easily as well, and headed straight for a crazy place called Bezs Acid House, which was, like the last event, so much fun! Apparently no one cares what you look like at Glasto, and we, for the second time that evening, cracked out some serious dance moves (yes really), and grooved away until we’d had enough. Which, given the early waking hours, the sun and the fact it was 2am, was pretty soon after, but we also explored the other crazy goings-on there, like a place called Fish N Tits, the Micro-rave, and consumed a saltfish fritter from the Caribbean food bar. It was simply marvellous, a brilliant evening. If all clubs were like that, I’d be there every evening. Being filled with scantily clad women, drunk leery men, and terrible music, I am not.

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.

Later With Jools Holland – 14th May.


This week’s ‘Jools’ had performances from The National, LCD Soundsystem, Kelis, Crowded House, Tracey Thorn and Pete Molinari. Two bands obviously stand out here (the first two), and the others didn’t make much of an impression, but hey! It’s still music…

Now. The National. I do quite like this bad (like A LOT), so this may be something of a biased review, but – whatever! As much as I’d listened to their music, I’d never actually seen them, and for some reason I imagined the lead singer to be a little scruffy, possibly with long hair and wild eyes. I didn’t expect all of them to wear suits… But luckily this doesn’t turn them into wankers, and their music is OUTSTANDING. They played three songs from their new album (‘High Violet’) – Bloodbuzz Ohio, Anyone’s Ghost and Terrible Love, and despite being something of a dismal baritonal type sound, I love the vocals, and the lyrics are incredible, and how they keep coming out with such good songs is unbelievable. I’m not sure if I’ve heard a song of theirs that I don’t like… Their new album is fantastic. Buy it. And I get to see them at Glasto! Lovely 😀

LCD Soundsystem – Like with The National, they didn’t get to play enough songs, but what they did play was very good indeed. This was another band that I didn’t know much about as a band, only musically. And not really much then, but their new album also sounds good – possibly even to buy, not just Spotify. They had some excellent lighting going on too, and for some reason Mr Murphy reminded me of a cross between Gene Hunt and Morrissey (and had a very strange microphone), but it was good stuff and I’d be up for seeing them live. Good thing I am then!

Crowded House – Too 90s, and not in a good way. I mean the name of them just says ‘I know you know I came from the 90s, but I’m going to make a stab at being indie landfill anyway’. It wasn’t wonderfully impressive, but better than previous aged musicians that Jools has previously had (Ian Hunter, for example). Not much else to say… Listenable too but not exactly exciting.

Tracey Thorn was this week’s ‘bird with the piano’ (Jools tends to be a little formulaic sometimes…), and it was better than in recent weeks (better than, say, Kate Nash). Although the best part of it was the string section I feel. It was pretty but, like most singer-songwriters, not that different from everything that came before them. Not bad music but nothing special. Easy on the ear though.

Kelis – Right. Now, what? The singer who, malevolently, gave us ‘Milkshake’ (a song which lends its name so well to other subjects, not least of all ‘My magic brings Voldemort to the yard, and I’m like, that’s hurting my scar’ – a vast improvement you could say) appears to have turned into some strange Grace Jones-esque character, sporting various parts of animal (horns, tails, what-have-you), with exceptionally odd make up and barnacles for jewellery. So the appearance isn’t great. What about the music? 90s-themed electronic-infused weirdness. This was not what I was expecting. There were some small moments of ‘Oh actually that’s quite good’, but I think I was too vexed by the whole thing to appreciate it. Not that I think I could have really anyway – it was too 90s rave! The whole thing was a little controversial I’d say, and not really the sort of thing I’d listen to… Though it seemed a good performance and one can commend her for that. Bloody weird though.

Last but not least, Pete Molinari. Who? I hear you ask. Well, quite. He sort of gave an 1950s twist to his music, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but like nearly every single other musician that has existed ever, it just wasn’t that inspiring! There was nothing new or innovative about it, and it’s not that music HAS to be new or innovative (I suppose that depends on what you really want from your music), but surely there isn’t much point in just churning out music that has already been done before? (Hence, what the hell is the point in tribute acts?) Luckily, he didn’t have much screen time. His music, like the other singer-songwriters, wasn’t offensive to music as such – perfectly fine for background music – but that has the potential to be the biggest insult ever sometimes. Oh dear…

Next week! Alicia Keys (a dubious ‘hmmm’ springs to mind), Yeasayer (unpronounceable – bad start) and Jeff Beck. The Creole Choir of Cuba look the best option here. Not that I know them, but with a name like that, surely they can’t disappoint!