Andrew Abbott's Blog

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Well Hello Dolly. You stole the show.

You guessed, I may be 60 but I can still get down with the kids so it was off to Glastonbury to tick something else off the bucket list.

We didn’t quite go the whole hog choosing to stay on a very adjacent campsite giving the advantage of flush toilets and a shower. When we toured the festival site we realised what a good decision that was. Primitive is the word for the facilities there and the sort of overcrowding you’d see in Delhi or Singapore.

Armed with a long wish list of acts we would like to see we quickly realised that the logistics of the massive site meant we were going to have to be a bit less ambitious. It can easily take an hour to detach yourself from one stage and get to another. There is no crowd control and you can get 100000 viewing the biggest acts.

First up was Kaiser Chiefs who were a surprise opener on the Other Stage. Glastonbury sometimes keeps you guessing by billing certain slots to be advised. Kaiser Chiefs were billed to appear later in the festival. It gets the anticipation going but in such a tight knit community rumour spreads like wildfire and we had heard they were a possibility. Next up were Blondie, ok by later standards and then Glasto newcomer John Newman who was a class act I have to say, then Haim who were very er loud.

So far the weather had behaved itself but this was soon to change as the legendary Somerset rain began to bucket down. It was quite biblical and of course après le deluge the mud. It’s quite fitting that the English National Ballet were performing a new work based on the 1st World War because the festival site was doing a fair approximation of the Somme with every blade of grass disappearing in a sea of mud.

There were some unexpected highlights, Sophie Ellis Bextor was amazingly good, Ska Band The Selecter marvellous for old geezers like us. A totally unknown group, Rubblebucket rocked us in the Avalon Café, Bryan Ferry and Caro Emerald wonderful entertainment. Strangely the Manic Street Preachers didn’t seem to connect with the audience at all. Bombay Bicycle Club were a disappointment but there were very few of those.

We now come to the really big hitters. Dolly Parton. Who’d a thunk it? She really had the Pyramid Stage in the palm of her hand and we chose Kasabian for our finale. Good choice. A 100000 + crowd really rocked and the light show was memorably spectacular. By then we’d got our crowd strategy about right and we hung about a bit before heading for one of the many bars to have a last couple of pints of the excellent local cider to let the remainder of the crowds die down. Then a last night under damp canvas before a quite slow trip back to Lincolnshire where it’s a lot dryer. Hint hint Mr Eavis?

I travelled with my very good friend Stewart whist our wives spent the kids inheritance in London.

Bands (etc) seen.

James Munro

Kaiser Chiefs
John Newman
Lily Allen
Sophie Ellis Bextor
The Selecter

The Daptone Super Soul Review
Manic Street Preachers
Beth Orton
Bryan Ferry

Caro Emerald
The 1975
Dolly Parton
Bombay Bicycle Club
The Black Keys