Saturday, June 28, 2003

GLASTONBURY LIVE FROM NOT GLASTONBURY, CONTINUED: As I write, one of the giant inflatable sun people has fallen over and is starting to deflate. The Flaming Lips have taken the stage. Possibly live, or maybe as live. The Flaming Lips are on the stage, and jiggling to Carmina Burrina - precisely the sort of entrance that Paul from Cassidy (star of Reality Check) would dismiss as being totally unneccesary. Which is why The Flaming Lips are playing Glastonbury and Cassidy are going to be lucky to get a pitch parking cars for the Wirral Eden Festival. Wayne's voice sounds very strained indeed, though...

The Thrills also had quite a difficult time, judging by the footage shown on BBC Three. They might have had more confidence throughout their set, but the demands of prime time telly, even on the middle slopes of the Electronic Programme Guide, insists that the tracks selected are the familair rather than the strongest. So we're given the impression of Connor's leg shaking and his voice wobbling. You can tell they're a great band, but this isn't going to go down as a landmark performance. By contrast, Interpol turn in a slick, carefully judged set but still come across as being totally devoid of any soul. In either sense.

Why are Supergrass still going? I don't mean that as harshly as it sounds - it's always pleasing to see them still plugging away - but its puzzling, like the continued existence of those tin cans filled with baked beans and mini-sausages or Peacocks Clothing Stores; you suppose there must be a demand but you never meet the consumers. And they're still doing the facial hair thing. It's almost like they're a historical re-enactment society or something.

Apart from the continued presence of Colin and Edith, the two drawbacks with the BBC coverage are: One, the mystifying breaks for Sixty Seconds, BBC Three's news service. Now, I know the BBC promised Tessa Jowells they'd do regular news as part of the price of getting the channel on air, but is it really neccesary to leave a track half way through? Can't the gabble through of NewsFactReduced be held off at least until a natural break in the proceedings? Two, a strange fetish for retreading old ground. So, on Saturday evening, with two days worth of footage from two stages in the can to choose from, for the first ninety minutes or so we're treated to The Bands Who Were On The Previous Evening: Primals again (welcome though that was - except: why don't they show us Kate Fucking Moss?), David Gray again (so dull we turned over to Wimbledon, for pity's sake, and Royksopp - who really, really aren't a great band to watch making their music. Some acts are best left in the studio, really.

Oh, there's also a third problem with the coverage: Colin and Edith interviewing two people from Two Pints of Lager... I don't care about Will Mellor's festival experience - "I went to a pub." There is nothing that could possibly have happened to him at Glastonbury that would make me interested in his experiences. Please make it stop.

Also disappointing that Idlewild overcame nasty vomiting diseases and haven't had a scrap of their stuff on either telly or radio. Well, not while we've been watching anyway.

Roisin Murphy from Moloko is the best dressed so far - although by her standards dressed down, really; and the best festival goer is the guy who by now is probably wishing he'd never thought of carrying a "Golf sale here ---}" sign with him all day.

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