Monday, June 27, 2011

Glastonbury 2011: View from the sofa - Sunday

Sunday was a great day. Press red started working again, and large chunks of great sets started to tumble out, muddled up from across stages and days.

The Vaccines twice - the set from what must have been Friday, judging by the rain and ponchos better than the second one, which sounded a bit puffed out. Warpaint, who hover on the verge of becoming part of the holy trinity. The Kills, who got hit by the poison pill of "I was really enjoying this until the long shot of Kate Moss staring from the side of the stage". And Everything Everything. Were they really wearing jumpsuits, or did it just look like it?

I'm not entirely sure what the chances are that if you flick on something which features Paul Simon you'll come in while Gracelands is playing, but it must be getting bloody close to 1 in 1 by now. Wasn't surprising to discover that he wasn't feeling well; he didn't sound as bad as he seems to think he did, but he did sound like he'd borrowed someone else's voice.

And so we reach the end of things, and Beyonce. Having started out the day convinced she was the first female headliner, by the time she took the stage Jo Whiley had her down as the first one in a quarter century; at the end of the set, she had been argued down to first in two decades. She's actually the first since 1999, when Skunk Anansie headlined. And Kylie would have done 2005 if she hadn't been ill.

Incidentally, the full list of female headline acts - starting with Suzanne Vega, and taking in Skunk Anansie and Shakespear's Sister - is a reminder that "playing last in chronological order at Glastonbury" has only been treated as kind of Nobel Prize for a few years. In 1997, Ash filled in when Stevie Winwood pulled out, remember.

So, how was the first woman to visit Somerset in thirty generations? Inventively, she styled her set as a tribute to the Spitting Image Orson Welles sketch. In that, Welles revealed that he'd played his career backwards - starting with the great movies, working his way back to doing crappy ads. Likewise, Beyonce started with what would have been a rousing finale - Crazy In Love and Single Ladies; worked her way through some of her more makeweight material; did what would have been a tantalising Destiny's Child medley before ending on one of those 'you are you, you're wonderful' syrup dollops - in this case, Halo. Complete with video of ordinary people on site smiling into a camera, like a mud-splattered Oprah audience shot. Even the fireworks came towards the start of the set.

Still, no "special" guests, and no Gordon Smart predicted Bohemian Rhapsody. Best Pyramid headline of the weekend, no question. But it's really going to benefit from being edited down.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]


1 comment:

Simon said...

Something's just occurred to me - for all the claims that their people in the field were going to visit every outpost of the festival, there wasn't one mention of the Left Field area. Not that I'd trust Greg James with entering political discourse, but not even Billy Bragg's usual studio flypast.

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