All about Glastonbury Festival

Archive for April, 2010

Review – Glasvegas – 2009


Sunday evening at Glastonbury last year was awesome, it ended for me with a rousing set from The Prodigy and started with Karen O mesmerising everyone with a violently dancey set that was spellbinding. In between were Scotlands Glasvegas.

Glasvegas on the Other Stage on Sunday Night

Personally, I thought they were awesome, there music is inspiring, uplifting and genuienly exciting. However the crowd really never got going, maybe they were tired, maybe they were waiting for Blur and the Prodigy. Whatever the reason it didn’t really reach the heights it could have.

Nethertheless, I loved it, they threw out all the hits from the album and showed that Guitar rock is still alive and well.

Checking NME website Glasvegas played

‘Lonesome Swan’
‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’
‘Polmont On My Mind’
‘Fuck You It’s Over’
‘Flowers And Football Tops’
‘Ice Cream Van’
‘Go Square Go’
‘Be My Baby’
‘SAD Light’
‘Daddy’s Gone’

The review on their website descibes the gig as triumphant.


Travel Experiences Part 2


Once we got on the bus we felt like we had arrived, we did have to wait another 1/2 an hour as they filled the rest of the buses there and then we went on a police escorted trip to the site.

Police Escort

So that’s my story, we left London at 11am and arrived at Glastonbury to pitch our tent at about 9pm.  There were a few mitigating circumstances. There had been a traffic accident on the main highway and the highway traffic had been re-routed  via the Glastonbury roads. So the reason we were stuck waiting was that all the roads had got backed up, this was why the buses were all held together and a police escort was sent out once an hour or so, this also meant that road traffic was held up as well.

So people that drove down experienced the same problems and in some instances took even longer to get there. I did hear a great story of a car stuck in traffic and a local came up to the car and took them through some back roads and got them there that way.    

The whole thing made the news that night. So last year was probably not a normal year and hopefully those problems will not occur this year.

Getting home was not nearly as bad, we left very early and got back to london by 11am, although once again there was plenty of queuing. Also people were not generally as happy leaving as they were arriving. Especially as it started bucketing down just as we went to leave, so all our gear was wet.

I would suggest trying the coach as this takes you straight to the site.  

Whatever way you do attend the festival, I suggest loads of Patience, until you pitch your tent, you will be in plenty of queues. It’s part of the Glastonbury experience.

Getting there and getting back – A trial in Patience

The queue for the Bus


Whatever you do,however you go,  make sure that you realise it is a long journey to Glastonbury. It’s a long way from london, it’s a long way from Manchester, some years it’s a long way from Castle Cary. 

Castle Cary is where the train goes to. That train journey itself is sweet, especially if you have booked a seat on the train, as they just put you straight on whilst everyone else is lining up. 

We took a couple of beers and had a nice chat and watched a movie or two, yes I took an iPhone to Glastonbury, more on that later in blog world. 

3 or so hours later we were in Castle Cary. 

What we then saw there was like something resembling the Normandy Landings. Bodies were strewn everywhere, people were pushing and shoving, you got straight off the train and into a line and then there were the rail guards, yes they were guarding us, we could only go in a straight line, stop, put your backpack down, pick it up again move 1 foot forward. 1/2 an hour later we were nearly out of the station, we though we were nearly there, ready to hop a bus that last few miles to Glastonbury. 

How wrong we were, we were now in the longest queue I had ever seen.  It was soul-destroying, we were so close and yet so far, and it was hard work, every step you made you had to pick up your bag, your tent and any other stuff you had bought and move it forward 1 stride. 

Initially there was a feeling of camaraderie, one guy got out his guitar and started to play a few tunes, someone did some juggling, wow it was like been at Glastonbury. 

By Hour 4 it was starting to get really fucking annoying, buses kept coming and going, people cheered when they got on. Others booed. At one stage no buses turned up for about an hour and everyone’s spirits flagged even more. 

Entertaining the troops

After about 5 hours we were finally in the line to get a bus, we turned once more  into another area, and guess what, we were now lining up once again and there was another hour of queuing. 

Yes 6 hours we waited to get the bus. I am sure everyone has loads of questions. I will answer a couple of them here now. 

Could we have walked ? It’s about 6 miles, so with all your backpacks it’s not really possible. 

Could we have got a Taxi ? Again possible, but there were long queues for these unless you were willing to just push in. 

So that is my experience from last year. Tomorrow I am going to expand on other forms of transport and experiences of friends from last year.

Gang of Four – John Peel – Sunday 27 – 18.00


I can’t believe after 30 years I am going to finally see the Gang of Four. It is 1979’s Entertainment that we all turn to when we think of GO4. This was and still is one of the most important albums in musical history. A harsh landscape of grating guitars  and pumping bass.

1979 was an important year for me, a year I discovered Punk, 2 years  late mind you , but still it was there and the bands that mattered then,  Joy Division, Cure, Siouxsie, The Fall, GO4 and U2 still matter now. These bands paved the way for Yank Punk, Britpop and Indie as we know it now.

GO4 never really hit the big time although Their debut album, Entertainment!, ranked at Number 490 in Rolling Stone‘s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. David Fricke in Rolling Stone said “Gang of Four are probably the best politically motivated dance band in rock & roll.

I’m not sure what that actually means but it seems like high praise indeed.

Gang of Four play the JP Tent Sunday evening at about 6pm, and I will be rolling up there with my fellow old timers, for me to see my early heroes for the first time, for some to re live past glories.

To World Cup or not to World Cup


I know its Glastonbury, its music, its performance Art, but hey Football is performance art isn’t it ?

I will let you in on a secret, I am a Kiwi, and New Zealand have made the World Cup. Now Glastonbury is every year, the World Cup is every 4 and NZ making it is every 30 years. So I will be taking a very keen interest on our 3 games and one of them is on during Glastonbury. So I make a plea to Michael Eavis, please play the NZ game on the big screen on the Pyramid Stage at 3pm on Thursday afternoon. It might just be me there, but I will be cheering loudly and it will be something that may never happen again. It could even be NZ’s last ever world cup game.    

Also I have a NZ World Cup – Glastonbury history, in 1995 NZ played South Africa in the final of the Rugby World Cup. I had to watch it. So Saturday afternoon with no knowledge of the Glastonbury Geography, I left the site and went hunting for a TV at a Pub , about an hour later I found one and watched the game. For the non-historian’s amongst you NZ lost by a drop goal in extra time. Although we lost it was worth it as I had the best and cleanest shit I have ever had at a festival in my life.

Anyway less on bodily functions and more on Football. Below are the most important games of the World Cup with UK times that are on during Glastonbury. Please also note that Aussie and England may well play each other if they reach the round of 16.  

Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Slovenia v England, Gp C, 15:00
Australia v Serbia Gp D 19.30
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Paraguay v New Zealand,  15:00
Saturday, 26 June 2010 – Possible if teams qualify
England v Australia , 16R, 19:30 
Sunday, 27 June 2010 – Possible if teams qualify
Australia  v England, 16R, 15:00

The John Peel Tent


John Peel what a great man, one of the things I looked forward to most when I moved to the UK was to listen to the Great Man live on the radio. Watching him on the telly was even better. 

What bands he introduced to the world, basically every great band of about a 20 year period until his untimely death. 

If you haven’t already read his autobiography, it’s a great read, that he was working on at the time of his death. His wife finished the book so it’s a story in 2. It is a brilliant read if you love music, if you plan on visiting the John Peel Stage it is essential. 

You will then see why Glastonbury have named a stage after the great man. 

So anyway the tent itself, it is rather large and gets packed solid for the headliners, make sure you get there to see a couple of bands during the morning / afternoon to see the difference and how many people flood it later. 

Highlights at the stage for me last year were Jack Penate, We have Band and Good Books. Jamie T made the place his own and returns to headline this year. 

The inside of the tent did start to get pretty muddy last year, but if you entered from the right side as you come from the pyramid it was a bit better. 

Make sure you see at least 1 band there and also it has its own compare, some  knarley old guy with a long white beard. He was quite Fun though but he did make a lot of lame jokes about Michael Jackson 

We have Band at the John Peel Tent

Review – White Lies – 2009


Ahh those heady days of Early 2009, White Lies were the saviours of doom and gloom rock, cheery introspection and cutting lyrics of death and chaos. We had never wanted to lose our life more to a rock band

Fast Forward to June later that year, we learned that White Lies in a previous incarnation had been a boy band, we felt duped, how had these good-looking pop stars fooled us into thinking they were the new Joy Division.

Well for one thing great tunes and actual rock star leanings, White Lies powered onto the Other Stage and gave more experienced bands a lesson on how to play 40 minutes of brilliance at a festival.

Its been a year now so actual details are slightly hazy but they played and dedicated Dancing in the Dark to the Boss and played all their hits, one after another to a crowd just getting over the fact that it was going to rain all weekend

Flying to the UK


Oh my god, 2 months to clear the backlog of people flying around the world, especially to the UK. 

The bad news for me is that I fly standby, I have a sis in the industry, airline industry , she is actually currently stuck in Shanghai, who sorts out tickets for me. 

She is a Trolley Dolly and is coming to Glastonbury. I don’t think they like been called Trolley Dolly’s anymore that may have gone out in the 70’s.  I think the politically correct word now is Flight attendant. I can’t tell you for what airline, because if I did I would have to Kill you all. It’s part of the code. Yes there is a code to flying standby and even mentioning the code is sacrilege. 

Standby is normally a great thing, but on occasion it can mean getting stuck some were you don’t want to be, or in this case not getting off the ground at all. 

Luckily we have 2 months before Glasto so hopefully the dust ( pun intended ) will have settled by then and flying will be back to normal, but if you don’t see me there it could all be down to a volcano in Iceland. 


Magic Numbers – Other Stage – Friday 25 – 11.00


I love the Magic Numbers. I love everything about them. I love their attitude, their music, their clothes, I love their drummer.

I can tell you right now that they were very high on my bands I wanted to see at Glasto list this year.

I think it must have been about 2005 when they first seeped into my conscience, with their swirling melodies and infectious tunes. To me they were the band of the summer. Fitting then that the first and only time I have seen them was at the Brixton Academy as part of a NME shockwaves event.  Man I  love the Academy and so did the Numbers, they name checked the place about 100 times that night. Since then Me and the Magic Numbers have come close to meeting but keep falling at the last hurdle.

Unfortunately they haven’t really hit the dizzy heights that those days of summer 2005 were suggesting they would.

This year they are back, with a new album, and back on a Main Stage even if it is only at 11am. They are also playing the Queens Head later that night.

Lucky for me though that I also love seeing bands at 11am, so you will see me down the front of the other stage dancing away, beer in hand, starting the Friday  how I mean to go on. 

Just as an aside, another great memory I have of the Magic Numbers is of dancing around a farmhouse near Nice at Xmas, smashed eating french onion soup and playing Boules. Great times soundtracked by the Numbers.

Thanks Guys see you at the Other Stage

Baby Update No 1


For those that don’t know, I am going to be a Dad for the 2nd time on or around the 11th of September.  This will be the 2nd time, but there are 17 years inbetween. In fact No 1 Son, Joshua went to his first Glastonbury last year and is on his way this year as well.

No 1 Son makes Friends at Glastonbury

Back to the baby, she is looking great, yes she is a she, we just had the 19 week scan and all is looking good. In fact she is looking likely to be either a Gymnast or a boxer.

Luckily Glastonbury falls at a great time for my annual trip to the UK from Australia.

Joshua,  who will be known from now on as  No 1 Son is a handy musician, currently studying music at college and is pretty keen to bring his guitar down this year.

Carolyn , the Wife , is over the moon as a girl was definitely No 1 on the hitlist. Now getting a name will be interesting as we have quite a few firm favourites each. Any help gratefully accepted. Any way Carolyn, who from now on will be known as the wife, Likes Mia but I prefer Lily, so we have an interesting 5 months ahead of us.