Friday, June 27, 2008

Glastobox: Watching from a safe distance

Were The Feeling doing I Thought It Was Over live? Really live? It didn't sound like it was coming from a stage in a unseasonally autumnal field.

BBC Three is currently being anchored by Edith Bowman and Zane Lowe - Lowe, surely, must be wondering if he's ever going to get any work from the BBC besides festivals and the Evening Session slot by now. Clearly, the City Of Domes that is modern Radio One means he can't do that forever, and it looks like he's attempting to slightly reposition himself enough to open some other lines of employment. Calmer, controlled, almost suave. But he's never going to get a National Lottery themed gameshow, is he?

Bowman is laughing like a tractor sinking into a slurry tank; Rufus Hound is filling up acres of air time with those pointless roving reports that they seem to think are integral to the programme - Hound does 'em well, but it doesn't alter the fact the reason why most of us are watching on TV is we don't want to spend time with the sort of eccentrically-behatted types who clutter up the campsites like a wacky invading army, so we really don't want to hear what they have to say. Especially when, as the woman who was just on, it's "I have a different outfit each day, pink yesterday, multi-colour today... these are my friends from London, but I see them most weekends despite coming from..." Where? Wales? Scotland? Spain? Nope... "... Kent." Not all the way from Kent to London, a distance of less than no miles.

Lupe Fiasco has, somewhat optimistically, encouraged people to sing along "if you know the words." The audience tried, but thought the words were "polite cheer".

Edith and Zane are trying to talk up the Jay-Z set - "word has definitely got to him about the reaction to his set" suggests Zane, letting us into the secret we wouldn't have heard unless we had ears or eyes of some sort.

Editors were pretty good - you can see why people peg them as a bit like Coldplay - they even have the same wet beards, but it's like comparing a microwave curry with the proper deal in a restuarant. Yes, there's a sense of the flavours being similar, but only one offers a real experience of textures, and surprises, and satisfaction.

This year's entertainment value has been increased greatly by adding the Guardian's Great Lyrics booklets, allowing countless rounds of 'One song to the tune of another'.

[Part of Glastonbury 2008]