Glastonbury 2009 memories

July 1st, 2009

Back a day now from the behemoth that is the Glastonbury Festival and the images and sounds increase in quantity and clarity as time passes in the midsummer heat. Not seeing Neil Young‘s entire set is still niggling away, but Animal Collective at The Park stage plus a snippet of Q-Tip couldn’t be missed. And anyway, Cinnamon Girl and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere were enough of a treat for anyone, no?

The sheer number of people – too many? – are the first thing noticed after arriving at 5pm on Wednesday, already stepping over guy ropes and assorted detritus en route to a spot above the John Peel Stage. Add some torrential rain and Glasto’s traditional mixture of mud and madness were reassuringly in place.

Animal Collective @ The Park Stage, Glastonbury 2009

Animal Collective @ The Park Stage, Glastonbury 2009

So highlights? Well, Fucked Up, with Pink Eye storming through the crowd, singing from the mixing desk and spending only the first song on stage were a rousing opener on Friday afternoon. Check them out, why don’t you? The aforementioned Animal Collective and their properly atmospheric set. Metric with Emily Haines performing a storming set, a front woman among front women, writing and performing “music for people to dream to” on the strangely barren-feeling Other Stage. Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Bat For Lashes on that same stage on Sunday afternoon, under oppressive skies – both incredibly captivating and massively talented performers. Bon Iver nearly causing tears again – damn your beautiful voice and songs! – Blur bringing a real (nostalgic) tear to many an eye, including Damon…plus some newies – Wave Machines on the John Peel stage and oldies: Billy Nasty cranking it out on the bangin’ G Stage…oh yes, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds too…mmm, eclectic.

But aside from all that, the Healing Fields with massages, tea, general replenishment of the body and soul. Green Futures highlighting a myriad of ways to improve everybody’s time on this planet without effing it up for the next lot. Avalon for Eliza Carthy joy on Saturday evening as the sun set over the appreciative and vocal crowd. Trash City for Sunday night weirdness, joined by Shangri-La’s total excess policy until the sun rises, the rain pours and the randoms are randomised – a different world that everyone should visit at least once.

Bearded casualty in Green Futures, Glastonbury 2009

Bearded casualty in Green Futures, Glastonbury 2009

Sitting here unable to sleep at 1.49am on Wednesday morning, remembering vague glasses-swap-High-5 contests, early casualties asking “Where are the knots?” on Wednesday afternoon and many, many beautiful friends and could-be friends, it seems unbelievable that 5 nights were spent in a number of fields in the county of my youth, a madly messy weekend – but they were, thanks to all for a 100% positive experience, which is probably all the Eavis’s want anyway? Long live Glastonbury, although maybe cutting the capacity wouldn’t hurt too much…I’m 37, you know.

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