Tag: <span>Pyramid Stage</span>

It’s a different world. A different reality where hours and days merge, and you spend most of your time in a state of heightened attention as you try to absorb everything that is going on.

It was our second Glastonbury, the first rushing past in a blur of bands and mud. Last time around we spent too much time worrying about time, trying to get from stage to stage, thinking that we had to get the most from the weekend by seeing as many bands as we could.

This time around we took a different approach, made easier by the fact that a lot of the ‘big names’ weren’t really our cup of tea. Instead we wandered the Circus area, Greenfields, the smaller tents. We made stops for specific bands, The Villagers in the John Peel Tent, Portishead and Smashing Pumpklins on the Other Stage, Dizzee Rascal on the Pyramid Stage and yes, we were there for the Rolling Stones (more on that in a bit).

For the most part though we wandered. We stopped to watch a French woman do some amazing tricks on a bike, laughed and joined in with a juggler/magician/comedian on a tiny stage right on a busy corner of the site. We visited the Rabbit Hole, we danced and sang at the Silent Disco, we boogied in Beat Hotel (and other places), we explored Shangri-la during the day but didn’t make it back at night (that’ll be on the list for next time).

And we had a blast. We walked until our feet hurt, then stopped and danced and walked some more. There is so much to do at Glastonbury, so much away from the main stages to take in and all of it, every single second of it, is relaxed. Sure it can get busy, the crush coming out of the Acoustic tent after seeing KT Tunstall wasn’t great but not a patch on the madness that was Saturday night at the Pyramid Stage, but it’s never threatening. The spirit is very much ‘we are all in this together’.

We didn’t watch all of the Rolling Stones. Not because they were bad, but because we were too far away to feel connected to it. The crowds had built over the entire day, people camped out and waited from mid-afternoon. We heard the first few tracks then spent about an hour trying to fit our way through the crowds to get somewhere, anywhere, else.

That aside, it was a fantastic weekend. Will we go next year? Maybe, maybe not. For the same money we could spend a week on a warm beach but… would that make me feel so alive?

Coming back home (we left early on Sunday night as we weren’t bothered about the two main headliners) was odd. It’s funny how quickly you adjust to a new schedule, a new approach to the day to day aspects of life. Sure it’s great to have a hot shower, a comfortable bed, but every day life does seem quite boring, mundane even.

Glastonbury is huge, both in scale and in physical size. Even if you are only partially interested in the music aspect, I’d encourage you to go to experience it. Can’t wait until the next one.

Glastonbury

Saturday and we awoke, grabbed a roll and sausage and some much needed caffeine and looked at the sky. Grey clouds everywhere. We decided to hang around the tent until later and, thankfully, the cloud started to break up and patches of blue started to appear. Off we scuttled again.

Now, I know a lot is said about the Glastonbury mud so please forgive me whilst I discuss it a bit further. From the previous day, the mud had been slick, sloppy and whilst messy and a little slippery, largely easy to walk through. However, by the team we got to the main site on Saturday, the sun had started to dry this up, leaving large patches of, essentially, quick dry cement.

Walking through mud, in wellies which are slightly too big for you, is hard enough when it’s soaking wet but in the drying mud it became impossible. We got to within about 100 feet of the John Peel stage before abandoning our plans (we had hoped to catch Anna Calvi) and retreating to the firmer ground at the Pyramid Stage.

We arrived just in time to hear Rumer start her set. Not planned, but as the sun came out, her Carpenter-esque melodies were a wonderul accompaniment to an afternoon snooze in the sun! Once her set finished, and the time arrived from the next act to appear, we were suddenly very aware that it was getting busy. Very busy indeed. Whilst the stage was getting setup for the next act, as the sun beamed down, I reckon about 80,000 people enjoyed an impromptu singalong to the song that came wafting over the intercom, Hey Jude. That, right there, was one of the ‘moments’ for me. Around me people of all ages and backgrounds tilted their heads to the sun… Naaaa na na NA NA NA NAAAAA, NA NA NA NAAAAAAA HEY JUDE!!

And then Tinie Tempah arrived.

The field at the Pyramid Stage had been filling rapidly and by the time TT was on stage the place was heaving. I’m not a huge fan, only really know a couple of his tracks but wow, what a show he put on! U2 should take note, this was no dialled in performance, this was a guy genuinely excited to be at Glastonbury and it showed as he bounced and grinned his way through his set.

After that we Paolo Nutini (no, I can’t really understand him either) entertained us. Again, not a fan but he was pretty accomplished and has some feelgood tunes that were perfect for a sunny afternoon.

But really, we were waiting for Elbow. Striding on stage, pint held aloft, Guy Garvey proceeded to give a master class in frontmanship with his down to earth, friendly,  warm and embracing, style. You could tell the band were excited to be there and with every song Guy cajoled us into joining in the fun. It’s hard to describe Mr. Garvey’s approach but I think this tweet says it as well as I ever could: “Bono assumes he is addressing the world; Guy speaks to everyone.”

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of Elbow and they delivered a pitch perfect, late evening set. Nicely setting things up for Coldplay.

Except we didn’t hang around for that, nope, instead we headed to the Other Stage where, amongst a mass of whirling lights, to an audience of glowsticks, flares and raised, fist pumping hands, the Chemical Brothers delivered one hell of a set. Dancing like a mad thing on already aching legs and not caring one bit, all too soon it was finished.

We wandered back to the campsite again, worn out, the sounds of Jimmy Cliff wafting to us on the cool evening breeze.

All of a sudden it was almost over, with only one day to go.

Glastonbury