Somewhere in a small part of Somerset…

Posted by Thomas on July 27th, 2008 — 12:37am

MM readers it is to my discredit that I have not blogged for many weeks, despite much of interest happening. As music lovers I should have shared with you before now my experience of the world’s biggest music festival (this is strictly inaccurate but hyperbole is surely acceptable). But rather than give you a blow-by-blow account of my 4 days in a (quite) muddy field in Somerset, I thought I’d share some wisdom.


Glastonbury lesson number one
: do not try to pitch a tent in the dark. This was learnt within about 45 minutes of getting onto the site on the Wednesday evening. We (that consisting of my friend Fiona and I) began to pitch our tent at near enough 10pm, as dusk descended and the stars began to emerge. This proved rather difficult, somewhat stressful, and did not leave either of us in the state of mind to go exploring as planned.

Glastonbury lesson number two: when four tents are facing each other and there is an inviting tent-sized space in the middle of them, do not pitch your tent in that space. This problem largely arose because of the mistake in pitching so late, as we couldn’t find anywhere decent to pitch and were beginning to worry that it would be completely dark by the time we started. So we saw the available space and dumped our tent in what turned out to be the communal space carefully prepared by 4 or 5 musicfrom Manchester. We were still awake when they returned at around 4am and discovered their communal camp-fire space desecrated by the presence of a large two-man tent. Which meant we got to enjoy their various expletives and angry phrases, all of which are too impolite for this particular forum.

Glastonbury lesson number three: do not believe the hype. Every summer, music magazines such as NME, Q, and Uncut begin to big up performers ahead of festivals. This year, two of the most hotly-tipped bands were Crystal Castles, and Glasvegas. Wanting to see what the hype was about, we headed over to the fantastically-named though structurally-disappointing ‘John Peel Stage’. Crystal Castles’ set was lively, a fact that hid the incompetent squealing from the lead singer and the band’s dearth of talent, with the set being brought to a suspiciously premature close because the singer had ‘crowd surfed’. Glasvegas were even worse, though only because they were nauseatingly boring, a sub-standard Jesus and the Mary Chain without the tunes. By way of contrast, and to demonstrate the stupidity of homo sapiens generally, the fantastic Stars and the rollicking Young Knives played perfect sets to half-empty audiences.

Glastonbury lesson number four: do not take small children to music festivals (or associate with those who do). This is not meant as an admission of ex-marital offspring but is instead an indictment of those who bring toddlers and new-born babies to festivals. We saw 6-month babies with industrial size ear-protectors on (a bizarre example of parental responsibility) and kids in pushchairs being dragged backwards through the crowds, somehow hanging despite the best efforts of the parents and the contravening of numerous health and safety laws.

Glastonbury lesson number five: do not look down into the bowels of the so-called ‘long-drop’ toilets. And do not keep your head level lest you catch the eye of any other male using the facility. Instead find some element of graffiti and focus on this until the transaction is complete.

Category: Music 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Somewhere in a small part of Somerset…”

  1. Philip

    Quality blog as usual.

    But please use Wordpad instead of Word next time, or at least click ‘switch to plain text editor’ before pasting yor text.

  2. Philip

    Nice going earlier on by the way.

    I’m referring to you driving straight through a red light. You aren’t Batman.

  3. Thomas

    You’re right…I’m a Dark Knight

    Or perhaps the Joker…

  4. Michael

    Is there still hype surrounding Glasvegas?! I think 18 months ago when NME started championing this dire band (that nobody has ever given 2 Burr about up until recently) was the portentous moment I realised it had become a glorified gossip mag. (That’s right, mag. Not even magazine. MAG.) Were there people enjoying Glasvegas, Thomas? Or did you stay long enough to see?

    Speaking of Mag, Maggie Gyllenhall – not hot. It’s all about the Katie. Bump it, CD.

    Speaking of not hot, Alice Glass – not hot.

    (How cleverly was all that tied in?)

  5. Thomas

    There was certainly hype about them both before and after their set (the NME went predictably stratospheric in their praise). But most people there looked pretty bored to me. But then I WAS very bored. Four songs was all I could take before I decided to go and listen to some music with a pulse.

    P.S. Maggie Gyllenhall wasn’t hot in the Dark Knight but it’s too far to say she’s ‘not hot’. Retract that outrage!

  6. Philip

    Retract it.


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