Don't Forget Your Wellies: Glastonbury 2008
With only a flimsy $15 tent and wellington boots for protection, PopMatters’ Cole Stryker avoided Amy Winehouse’s punches, the mud, and John Mayer, at the annual global gathering that is the Glastonbury Festival.
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is a place and time where one can observe a man dressed as a whoopee cushion eating a curry. It's a place you may find a pudgy Darth Vader, sans helmet, enjoying a cold beer in the rain. In a crowd of nearly 200,000, all converging on a sprawling dairy farm for a weekend of escapism, one is bound to run into a few eccentrics. At the Glastonbury Festival you will find circus tents, cabaret acts, comedians, magicians, art galleries, and poets, as well as an endless array of food, drinks, and less legal substances to be ingested. Oh, and apparently there is some music as well. + + + The rain pelted my flimsy $15 tent through the night, resulting in a few puddles. Fortunately, I had invested in a pair of wellies (think galoshes, Yanks). Even the most elaborately costumed attendees sported these dark green knee-high boots, as the mud in some areas was an almost knee deep slurry. Everyone spent the first day engaged in what I like to call the "Glastonbury Shuffle", which is the wiggly, cautious trudge that one must use in order to keep from falling in the mud. I made my way through the rain down to the main Pyramid stage for the morning's first performance. Did Garden State change your life? Do you plaster your Facebook profile with worn Holly Golightly and Jack Kerouac quotes or precocious nonsense like "I like pink Post-it notes" and "I should have been born in the '30s" in an attempt to communicate your freewheeling teenage spirit? Well friend, Kate Nash is right up your street. She speak-sings boring (but real!) lyrics about first dates and breakups in second person narrative with zero stage presence. It's only appropriate, perhaps, that she rose to prominence via MySpace. Seriously, Internet, this is the best you got? I liked you better when you were all about downloading single-track bootlegs of Zaireeka and not pushing coffee shop girlies to the main stage at the biggest music festival in the world. Oh well, at least Be Your Own Pet is up next. Maybe Jemina Pearl's caterwaul will wash the Nash out of my mouth, right? Woops! They've pulled out at the last minute, leaving the Rascals in their stead. Britain's rock scene is still rife with samey post-punk revival bands attempting to ride the Franz Ferdinand wave, but the Rascals actually have something new to offer. The three-piece create a full sound, with interesting guitar effects that recall Wire or Mission of Burma. Lead singer Miles Kane menacingly rolls his "r"s like Johnny Rotten, but his efforts don't quite rescue the Rascals from being another of the many slightly above average white British guitar bands to be found at Glastonbury
Hercules and Love Affair