So much happens at Glasto every year that even those who are there miss out on most of it. I spend most of my time at The John Peel Stage, obviously, so most of my Glastonbury experiences have been here…but to give those who’ve never been an example of what the festival is like (and here I’m just talking music – not the healing fields, green futures, circus, caberet, or the raving heavens of Arcadia, Blok 9, Shangri La and all the other amazing and insane stuff) let me tell you about a Sunday evening in 2014, when I had a couple of hours off.
I saw on the program that St. Vincent was playing at The Park, which is about as far as you can get from JPS. Being a big fan, I started out a couple of hours before she was due to go on, thinking I could hear a couple of songs from The Wailers at West Holts on the way, partly because it’s the Wailers, and partly because Chris from our monitor crew was playing keys for them. Passing through Silver Hayes I stopped to listen to an unlisted reggae band, catching a couple of songs before moving on. Passing by The Other Stage I saw Ellie Goulding, and, as there was quite a crowd, it took me a while to get round to where The Wailers were playing to an immense crowd, especially as there was someone at Leftfield I listened to for a while, treating myself to a sit down. Moving on after a few Wailers hits (wanting not to miss St. Vincent) I passed a bar area where Coco and the Butterfields were playing. I’d never heard of them before, but ended up sitting down and listening to a good half hour of their set…banjo, fiddle, upright bass, guitar and beatbox. Fabulous show. But I had to get up to The Park. Passing other promising acts at Croissant Neuf and Toad hall I finally made it to the park in time to see the last 3 songs of St. Vincent’s set. Well worth the walk. On the way back I saw (apart from stopping at a jazz tent and wandering around Arcadia) Massive Attack, though I was not impressed. Finally, just before getting to JPS again I watched the 2nd half of The Beat’s brilliant and exhausting set. Back at the John Peel, I missed out on London Grammar, as I was too tired to stand…enjoyed my cider at the bar though.