How to start?! Well, this weekend was simply the best of my life. Glastonbury is the most amazing, magical and brilliant place in the world. This year was the 40th anniversary and there was such a wonderful feeling of celebration about. I hope that if you have never been before you will go sometime, it simply changed my life. This is going to be pretty hard to review, so much to talk about but lets give it ago! Most of the photos are either my own, from the official Glastonbury website or from the BBC Glastonbury website.
I arrived at about 6pm on Friday night as I had my music exam on Friday morning and so the first band I saw were Vampire Weekend. I’ve seen them live before and they have a really wonderful energy. I wasn’t that near the front but everyone was still dancing along. Unfortunately, some silly person decided to put Vampire Weekend, Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons on all at the same time, so we left and headed to the Other Stage to see Florence.
I simply love Mumford and Sons, they are my all time favourite live band but I choose to go and see Florence because I thought the chance to see her again might be pretty rare whereas I have already got 3 Mumford gigs planned for the next few months. If you haven’t see Florence live, she too is incredible. Sometimes she’s better than others but her voice never fails to amaze me and she has so much charisma and passion for what she’s doing, its a really wonderful thing to watch. She also never fails to wear something pretty amazing, this time a leotard/frilly wedding dress was the chosen frock.
Next up was Dizzee Rascel. He has pretty much taken over radio for the last year, his songs being incredibly catchy and creating a perfect mixture between dance and hip-hop music. The highlight of his set was when he was joined by Florence for a rendition of ‘You’ve Got the Dirtee Love’ and then obviously the crowds reaction to Bonkers was pretty much what the title says.
Gorillaz were the Friday night headliners and after stepping in for U2 who dropped out there was a lot of expectations for Damon Albarn and his crew. I was quite disappointed. Yeah, there was some pretty good special guests and the graphics were great but they mostly played new material which only the proper fans knew and when it came to the hits like ‘Feel Good Inc’, I was a bit bored.
The Saturday music began with I Blame Coco who I ended up watching mostly from the top of the tower in the Park. She’s got good things to come this girl, she’s a bit Marina and the Diamonds-ish but a bit cooler! I then headed up to the Acoustic stage for Ellen and the Escapades, one of the bands I had been most looking forward to seeing at the festival. If you follow this blog you will know that I pretty much LOVE Ellen and the Escapades and as they are Leeds based I felt very proud when they won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition and got the opportunity to perform on some of the main stages at the festival. They were brilliant as usual! Same energy and a flawless performance. Everybody around me seemed really impressed too so hopefully they will have made lots of new fans.
Next up was Lissie, one of my favourite albums of the year so far and also one of my favourite new live performers. Her voice is stunning and she seems lovely and friendly on stage too. I would definitely recommend checking out Lissie if you can as I can only see her getting bigger!
Beach House next back at the Park and another of my favourite albums of the year. I really really like the sound Beach House create, dreamy but dark and I think that definitely came across live. They are possibly a little better on record because of the production on the album but still a wonderful performance.
Then headed across to the John Peel tent to find we couldn’t even get in the packed out tent for Marina and the Diamonds. Marina is a very eccentric performer but as I couldn’t really see her that was lost, but I’m sure people at the front enjoyed it!
Headed back up to the Park to get a good spot for Laura Marling (ended up on the front row!) but also managed to catch Candi Staton which was pretty ace to be truthful! It was a bit of a weird set, mostly covers of old karaoke classics but everyone was having a good dance including a rather wild Marcus Mumford backstage.
Then for Laura. She is stunning, just stunning live. She gets better and better everytime I see her, her development as a performer since the first time I saw her at Glastonbury 2008 has been incredible. The audience was particularity lovely in this one, although someone did appear to be holding up a blow up naked doll with a picture of Marcus Mumford on the face, sending Laura into embarrassing laughter every time she looked up. Very amusing!
If anyone was present at the performance in 2008 you might remember someone throwing a rubber hoop at Laura which she just managed to dodge, well the guy that threw the hoop (not on purpose I must add) also met his girlfriend that day and then at Laura’s set on Saturday he proposed to her and she said yes! Really lovely story, showing both the magic of Glastonbury and Laura Marling too.
After her set the whole audience wanting more but alas, it was then time for Midlake. I like Midlake and some of their older stuff is really good. I watched a bit of their set and then went and sat on the top of the hill, the view up there is stunning.
Sunday arose and the final day of Glastonbury begun. Went to see Ellen and the Escapades in the morning again which was lovely and then Villagers. Avi Buffalo were a band I wanted to see so managed to catch them in the Park. Some of there songs were a bit limp live but I only know a few and those were really good. I might invest in their album as I think they are a good band to watch for the future. Headed down to the Pyramid for the first time since Friday to see Ray Davies. He played lots of old Kinks songs evoking sing-a-long from all the people who decided not to go and watch the football. Sunny Afternoon was particularity appropriate as the heat all weekend had been gorgeous!
After a bit of Jack Johnson, my evening concluded with The Middle East before Stevie Wonder. The Middle East are a wonderful band and ‘Blood’ which is defintely there best song, was also their best live. What was pretty special about this set was the audience also consisted of Laura Marling, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and King Charles. It was pretty incredible to be sharing new music with so many people that have inspired me. I know the Mumford boys have had a big part to play in the Middle East’s success over here too.
My Glastonbury Experience ended with Stevie Wonder, also my highlight of the festival. The set was full of classics and the massive audience were all singing along to the hits. At the end of the set Michael Eavis joined Stevie on stage and the whole festival sang ‘Happy Birthday to You’. It was a truly magical Glastonbury moment and one I will never forget. You could tell everybody there was totally in the moment and everybody has so much appreciation for what Michael Eavis has created. Glastonbury has changed lives and I hope it will continue to do so. A place of magic, a place of music and a place of love.