Sunday, June 29, 2003

GLASTONBURY - LIVE FROM THE SOFA: Ridiculously, BBC Three are going to piss off not only for 24 but the chinnywagging about 24 Pure 24 show in a moment, and so there's a slight sense of rush in this evening's programme (although not so rushed that they couldn't find time for yet more of David Gray's Friday evening set - what is this? Some sort of pain to make us pay for our pleasure?). The tightness of time was a pity, as the producers had suddenly woken up to life beyond the Pyramid and Other stages, inviting The Bandits up to represent everybody on the New Bands Stage and crossing to see the Roots on the Dance Stage live.

Among the bits recorded earlier was Dave Gahan's first ever appearance at Glastonbury. He told ColinEdith he 'couldn't remember' if he'd ever been to Glastonbury as a paying customer; in most people this would be trying too hard to earn cool points, but with Gahan you can safely chalk it up to most of his weekends having been lost, mislaid or otherwise displaced from his memory. This is the first time we've had a chance to see what Gahan is up to these days, and his hard-won independence from Martin Gore was trampled on a bit when they picked Personal Jesus to illustrate his set. For some reason, Gahan and his band had reinvented this in a style that smacks more of the Glitter Band than the original; the feeling that we're at the end of some pier is increased when Dave starts yelling "Glastonbury - I can't hear you!" like he was Ted Bovis. It's not easy to judge from one song, but the impression is: Martin Gore's main role in Depeche Mode wasn't as songwriter, but as the one who kept the cheap vaudeville in check.

The Manics play a new tune - so new it doesn't have a name yet, and so dull it doesn't have a hook, either. The band were seemingly stuck in a chug-through gear until they hit Take The Skinheads Bowling (a better cover choice than James made earlier for BBC2), after which it was as if they'd been reminded that music was, you know, supposedly the thing they loved so much they made it their lives. Just as they were picking up, of course, BBC Three moved away.

BBC 2 have taken up the baton - Phil Jupitus and Lauren Laverne in the much nicer studio (why does BBC 2 have different titles and onscreen captions, by the way?) but they've been hobbled from the off by having Moby on closing things off with the advert jingles we all know and love. Still, as I'm listening to this, I know I'm fourteen stairs away from my soft, lovely bed and two steps from a kettle - the poor sods stuck down the front still have to plod up that bloody hill through the village before they can even start the journey home. All in all, it's been a great weekend from a coverage point of view, a mix of the so-so and the schweet, and probably the best Glastonbury I haven't been to.

I know some of you out there will be reading this after having made the Great Plod Home - how was it, then? email us and let us know.

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