Not doing a beard review today, I'm going a head and finally doing my review of one hell of a crazy weekend I had last week. Glastonbury! Before I start as well I am going to be that guy and doing a little star system of how I thought the band were.
***** = EPIC AS HELL
**** = Pretty sick
*** = Worth a watch
** = Alright
* = Meh
Well it all started on the 24th of June. I got up bright and early and packed my bag full of beer and clothes. It was stupidly heavy, but that's what it's like at the beginning of a festival. Too much beer was to blame, which I guess was a good start. I managed to very slowly make my way to my first stop. Leeds Train Station. This is where I was going to meet three fifths of the group I was going with. I managed to book the same train as them as they were passing through which was pretty good. The train there was fine, but as soon as we hit Manchester, a really busy city with a very busy train station things started to go west. We need to get to a tram we had no idea about and somehow squeeze us and a shit load of bags on to this busy tram. We luckily managed it, but when I got off the tram the tram driver thought it would be a great idea to start closing the doors as I was halfway through the door. Thankfully my bag took the force of the door and I managed to make it off in one piece. We finally made it to Dan's place. We relaxed a little, had out last decent meal and did some last minute preparations before we tried to get some sleep. Of course we totally forgot about the stupid time the coach was, before we knew it, it was 11PM and we'd only just managed to get everything sorted. We didn't see the point in going to sleep so we stayed up all night waiting for the taxi to take us to the coach station. We arrived in good time and got some decent seats on the coach.
I managed to get a good few hours on the coach, even though the sound of a coach engine is really hard to fall asleep to, I noticed the engine noise changed after a good few hours. When I opened my eyes it was bright, early and we were in the middle of nowhere. It looked beautiful. The odd house dotted about the miles of hills with cows and sheep everywhere. We got into Glastonbury for about 7AM, which is the earliest I have ever got to a festival. This is when things got sour again. We each had a shit ton of stuff, which made our bags super heavy, not only that we had two people at all times carrying the tent which slowly cut off the blood to your fingers if you held it for too long. The queue started to move but it was stop-start for about 2 hours before we made it into the site and got our wristbands. So we were all a little pissed off and not in a festival mood before the first beer. The heavy bags still on our bags we made our way to the other side of the festival to find a decent camping spot, we found the site we wanted to camp in before we found no space what so ever, which really put us in a bad mood, because we didn't want to walk all the way back again with the bags. From out of nowhere we found this totally epic spot, right next to a lock up tent and close enough to the toilets that we couldn't smell them but it wasn't too much of a walk. Also we camped next to some really friendly people, which made it a lot better.
The tent went up, the sun was out and we'd made it to Glastonbury. We all hit the roof and we'd found that festival feeling again, it was almost as if the pain and suffering of heavy bag carrying had paid off. Here's a little panoramic shot of our spot on the first night. We have (starting from the left) Martin, Darnbrook and Dan. Johnny is behind Darnbrook zipping up our beast of a tent. You can see we had a lot of space, and the giant spider was about a 5 minute walk away. Speaking of Arcadia, they could do so much with that! The giant spider is incredible to watch, but the music they have on for it is just terrible. But it was damn nice having a few beers from our tent watching it spit flames every so often.
During the day they tested the flames. Wow it gave me a shock when that started. I had no idea what was going on, but after a while you get use to the noises and find it pretty cool. Pretty sure me and Dan spent about 20 minutes staring at it and got some funny looks from people haha.
On the first night we thought we'd go crazy and just drink and check out the site. We all ended up drinking way too much. None of us can really remember what happened that night. We found ourselves around Shangri-la, but some of it was closed so we couldn't really do much. I, of course, was in my fur coat. Got a few people telling me I looked a pimp, success haha.
Waking up on Thursday was horrible, the sun was out again and it boiled us out of the tent at some stupid time. So we had no choice but to get up early with a terrible hangover. Luckily some shitty festival food and more beer got us back on the straight and narrow. We thought we'd take it easy on Thursday because we had to be up early to check out who this "special guest" was on the Other Stage. Oh yeah, the Other Stage was 10 minute walk away so we could easily get into things if we missed anything. But Skrillex was headlining the first night so they had to play his "songs" all day so they could set levels on that stage, which sucked, i'll honest. We had a walk over the Pyramid stage which was a bit of a walk, but it was worth it to see it. I still can't really believe it now that I've stood in front of that stage and seen some amazing bands. I remember when I was young watching it on TV and dreaming of being there, and I was there! Maybe one day I'll actually get on the stage, which would mean I can die a very happy man. So we said we'd get to bed early this night, but we ended up staying up most of the night swapping stories like the little girls we are. We ended up in an ale bar were the DJ was using actual vinyls and not using anything digital, which was really nice to see.
Friday. This is when it all kicks off. At this point we'd drank a lot, we woke up early to try and work out who this "special guest" was. We heard some music coming from the Other Stage, and I've never been more disappointed. The Kaiser Chiefs, who were playing other set that very day. So that annoyed me. We made our way over to the Other Stage though because the first band we actually wanted was Blondie(***), and they were a great way to start the festival, still on top form, but I guess with an older act like that all you think about is their hay day. Next we made our way to the Pyramid Stage for the first of many acts we wanted to see on that heroic stage. Rodrigo Y Gabriela (******), they're getting 6 stars for being an early starting band but still blowing my mind. The crowd was friend, the music was great. We had beer and it matched so perfectly. This performance has really inspired to me go out and tour and play classical guitar, both of them are just unreal musicals which I can only dream of being. (I look a picture, you can't see much you can see how close we got.) We wasted no time and moved on to the next act we had planned to see, the great thing about this day was that we planned on staying together through out the day and we didn't have to split up and meet up later on. We moved over to the John Peel Stage to see Temples (***). We didn't get too deep in for these, because we were still in the Mexican mood and bought a Fajita. They were good though, they seemed to get everyone singing and they wanted to stay so much that security ended up booting them off. We had one more band to see before we had a little break, but what a band to finish off on. Haim (*****). I wasn't much of a fan before I heard they would be playing, but I'd heard a few songs and thought they were pretty good, but after seeing them on the Other Stage they blew my mind. Very talent ladies, with the bassist pulling some pretty crazy faces. Everyone seemed to take the piss but surely that shows how much she is getting into the groove and really playing, I think too much bands just stand there and expect people to enjoy it, but no. They really put everything into it and gave a brilliant performance. Even threw a little Fleetwood Mac cover in there. After that we were all on a high and needed to get back to the tent to have a sit down (we're getting old). So after a sit down the agenda was exactly this "Food. Toilet break. Beer. Hip Hop." In that order, we went over the West Holts stage to see Jurassic 5 (**). Again we didn't go crazy and jump in we watched, but couldn't really hear much, not sure if it was a sound issue or we really were that far away. But that sort of is the whole point of Hip Hop and Rap is to hear the lyrics, but I'm sure if you were close enough it would of been a great set. I was really bothered about any of the headliners on the Friday so we all just went to see the Kaiser Chiefs (*), which when I first same them were great, but now Ricky has been on telly a bit he is a bit of a dick and played up to the camera a lot, which is a shame. Overall though we had a great time on Friday, some bands might not have been what I expected but just spending that time with some close friends and having some good laughs was great, and writing this is giving me some serious festival blues right now.
Saturday, which was totally solid day of really great bands and artists. Most of them playing the main stage so we could stay in one place for most of them. We started the day off with some raw rock in the form of Royal Blood (****). Again not a band I've heard much of, what with them being a very new band with no debut album out yet, but after a few songs they really hit everyone hard for an early Saturday morning slot at a festival. They nailed it though and really put us in the mood for another day of great music, really looking forward to their album. However, it all turned a little "different" when the next band came on. For RB it was a packed tent, as soon as they finished the tent emptied for the next band, I don't know if they knew what was coming, or they didn't but it was nowhere near as busy. Fat White Family (?). I can't even put into word how I feel about them, I guess you really like them or just find them terrifying. I think I really enjoyed them as a band, because their on stage antics are just what the music scene needs right now. A band that does whatever they want on stage, even if that means getting naked and choking audience members out. I'd suggest everyone to check them out and see what you think. After we got through FWF we knew the music was going to take another very different turn, in the form of a lovely lady called Lana Del Rey (****). Everyone said she seemed boring watching it on TV, and Lana herself seemed out of touch with her own music, but honestly, everything can be totally different when you're actually viewing a gig like that, and in my opinion she nailed it. To say she was once a very shy performer she has soon grown into a confident female singer. She smoked on stage and sang everything perfectly. Next up, I knew we were all in for a absolute treat when this name was announced, Mr. Robert Plant (*****). The lead singer of the rock band that started it all Led Zeppelin, how was this not going to be a fantastic performance. He jumped straight into the classics and didn't stop, of course he changed things up a bit what with him travelling around the world to find new music and added that into the classic songs, but nobody else could even touch them songs other than the original line up, I'm guessing that is why he kept well away from Stairway. We still got classics like Black Dog and Whole Lotta Lovin' though which were spot on and made everyone sing along to some all time classics which were probably massive hits when Glastonbury first started. Maybe one day the line up will get back together and they'll finally headline the legendary stage. To say we had just seen the a total classic rock legend, a modern day rock legend was just around the corner Jack White (*****) made his entrance bold onto the stage with Icky Thump and didn't stop with the White Stripes covers, even throwing in a few Dead Weather and Raconteurs covers. He was clearly in the zone and had a little too much to drink but that sure didn't stop him, he powered on through and played a storming set which was one of my personal favourties of the weekend. He of course ended with Seven Nation Army and ended up falling over his own drummer before getting up and giving a slight look to the audience before exiting the stage. Legend. The rock and roll train didn't stop there, we still had one final stop to make. Metallica (****), to say they had never played a festival like this before, and they had got a lot of hate and criticism from a few people they really gave it their all and showed Glastonbury what they are all about, they showed Glastonbury metal and everyone enjoyed. It was great to see a genre that formed my childhood be accepted into a festival such as that.
The final day, this is when you really start to stink, the toilets just start to smell of pure gasoline and you're running out of money after spending a fiver on a piece of meat wrapped in bread.
We woke up a little late, seen as though we didn't really want to catch anyone major in the morning, but we ended up watching some of the The Subways (*), yeah they have a few catchy songs but nothing seemed tight and the bassists singing was really out of tune, I don't know if they've gone down hill or they're just not that good live. Next up we went for a curveball, we all watched Thunderbirds as a kid, and the music was epic, so we thought we'd check out Thunderbirds Are Go! (**), not really my cup of a tea a classical orchestral set of a TV show I didn't really get into, but I can understand why someone would like it so much, and of course they came out the classic "5,4,3,2,1!" What more does a fan want? We had a big gap for us to grab some food and get some more beer for the next artist we wanted to see, again not someone I was a big fan of at all but after watching her play a set it, I may actually like her a little more. Dolly Parton (***), took to the main stage perfectly and didn't stop, she sang, she played Sax, she did everything. She really knew how to please a Glastonbury audience with her story telling between songs, which I did find pretty fascinating. Really Glad I took the time to watch her and everything she had to offer, good on her. I wonder who will be filling the "legend slot" next year? We stuck around mainstage for the rest of the day, but of course missed Ed Sheeran, I don't want to see another male solo artist with an acoustic guitar, you can walk down any high street and see that, I also found out that most Ed Sheeran fans are ignorant and rude. pushing there way to the front whilst we were trying to get out. Foolish people. Anyway, after Ed had finished killing music it was time for a band that, in my opinion has taken music by the balls, The Black Keys (****). Now I was pretty drunk for this band, but I loved it. Again everyone around us was really friendly and singing a long. They busted out the classics along with a few new ones from their latest album Turn Blue. It's a shame they didn't play more from the new album because it really is a great album, different from their older stuff, but still a great overall album. We stuck around again after The Keys and took a chance on a band I never thought I'd stick around for, Kasabian (*****). They closed the festival on a high, which every band should aim to do, I wouldn't say they deserve to close a festival like Glastonbury, but they certainly deserve to play in some format. They slammed straight into the new album and threw in the classics as well. I've not actually heard the new album, but after hearing a few songs live I can tell you I will be checking it out as soon as I can.
Well, after that was over it was time for us to check out some sights for the final time before we had to head back to the real world. We said goodbye to the ale bar and our lovely camping spot. We said bye to a few people camping round us as well. It was nice to not have so many heavy bags on us, but they still weren't pleasant to carry to the other side of the festival. Then it was time for a five and a half hour coach ride back to Manchester. And that was my Glastonbury Story. Probably going to stick with me for the rest of my life, and I'm glad I actually blogged about it and I'll be able to read it for years to come. Even if this blog does get deleted, I'll have to best thing of all, great memories.
So, Glastonbury 2015? We'll see.