Saturday, June 28, 2003

GLASTONBURY SO FAR: Thanks to the crappy, crappy service 'provided' by BT Openworld, our plans to spend most of the weekend lurking about in the Playlouder online festival offerings looks likely to run aground. However, the bits of the BBC not fighting with Alistair 'what me, lie?' Campbell has been doing stirling work. Kind-of.

You'll know No Rock isn't much of a fan of Colin Murray. And after seeing him and Edith Bowman doing late night on BBC Three, our opinion hasn't been revised upwards. The main trouble with him, we think, is his enthusiasm which isn't, unfortunately, the infectious kind, despite giving people in his vicinity symptoms of nausea and crawling skin. "This is a legendary Glastonbury" he claimed, which seems to be a misunderstanding of what actually makes a legend - i.e. a bit of historical perspective. And what exactly is Edith Bowman for? They've worked together before on RI:SE, of course, and they do a show together on Radio One on Saturday mornings (Colin's consolation prize for having been stuck in the awkward interregnum between Lammo and Lowe), but the complete lack of chemistry between the pair suggests more two people who've been flung together by a lift breaking down between floors; Edith, certainly, spent the whole of their time onscreen yesterday evening looking like a woman desperate for the fire brigade to come and rescue her from her confinement with Murray. This is right up there with those other great Radio One double acts - Bruno Brookes and Liz Kershaw and Zoe Ball and Kevin Greening.

But the music they offered us was smashing. They brought us extra helpings of Primal Scream (and, to be fair, it seemed like this was C&E's idea) - Bobby showing off his belly for all the world like he was Avril Lavigne and the Black Crowes period never actually having sounded so good; and REM. Michael Stipe managed to look more ill than Bobby Gillespie ever has (prompting much fevered discussion on our sofa as to whether Nicky Wire's words may be coming true) but still turning in a set which for a moment made me wish I was up to my pretty ass in mud.

This lunchtime, Radio One have been serving up chunks of The Darkness' set - who, to be honest I think work so much better without their carefully constructed visuals - and Colin and Edith have just handed over to the more promising double act of Nemone and John Peel.

Newsbeat is reporting that "crime is down" - 167 arrests against 196 by this time last year, which while undeniably 'down' isn't quite as impressive a figure as we'd hope for - and dumped in a quote from a festival goer which seems to stand for the New Glastonbury Crowd: "Hippies rule - I wouldn't speak to them normally, but now I'm friends with the hippies." The people the festival used to be for have become little more than a sideshow for the out-of-towners. News 24 yesterday evening had a nice little interview with a "veteran" festival goer: of course, every year this section of the audience say 'it's not as good as it used to be', but this time round there was an awful lot of footage of mobile phone company sponsorship stands to bear out the charges of over-commercialisation.

Tonight: the Suede.

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