Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blog round-up: Press red for disappointment

Good lord, it's a sprawling site this year, isn't it? In a bid to test the theory that there might be more to Glastonbury than any one person could see, the BBC's Ian Youngs attempted to visit every stage in a day:

It is a place to see up-and-coming indie starlets, while in the Chill 'n' Charge Tent there is yet another stage set up beside hundreds of people who are recharging their mobile phones.

In the end, he manages to trot past 44 venues, but admits that he might "have missed some" and only managed it by sticking to music sites.

Still, at least he could get around. Charlotte from Still Life With Plaster had planned on going, but then something snapped. Her leg:
I must admit to longing to be able to slip something of the sort on myself instead of this boring old plaster, & Alice can second that emotion - these things were designed by bloody sadists! Watching the festival coverage, & the prevailing conditions, we're both actually glad we didn't make the effort to attend after all - the plasters would have been disasters, I think, what with attempting to crutch up & down muddy hills , stand in sodden, muddy fields, slopping & sloshing around, etc, it would probably have all been too distressing & physically demanding if not impossible. I read yesterday that around 1000 people had been injured, slipping around, mostly minor but still: I dread to think how it might have been possible to cope with a full leg plaster, even in clement weather conditions (which, from experience, occasionally do prevail!).

Still, they're able to enjoy the BBC coverage. Baria's blog is impressed with the choice, if not all the presentation:
Four channels with interactive screens and choices of genres and bands and who knows what else. Totally stunning use of the new media that is unsurpassed anywhere on the globe. If you don't live in the UK you really should come for a visit just to see it.

But there are some elements that make me really tetchy. The main one being that once the presenters - like Phil Jupitous and Mark Radcliffe - get some mud on their Drizabones they suddenly end up doing crap imitations of John Peel.

There are lots of "errrms and right that was... ermmmm where are we?" and so on.

It is a bitter disappointment when their radio shows are so much better. Jupitus spent the last broadcast complaining about his back ache. Loose weight large person and all will be resolved say I.

But watching all this leads me to think that perhaps the revellers at Glastonbury are the same people I met in Camden a few months ago. A bunch of late boomers (sic) who will not give up the cause.

Rock n Roll isn't a youth movement anymore. It is a middle aged lifestyle and whilst it makes me sad it also frees the possibilities for the future.

Interestingly, Stuffem watches and also worries about the audience while enjoying the breadth of the coverage:
I think I’m all Glastonbury’d out from the massive Glastonbury coverage. With interweaving coverage on BBC2, BBC3,BBC4 and the Freeview interactive channels over the three days including today. It’s always hard to follow and filter it all. I think I had my ‘Tut tut , (rolls eyes)today’s generation’ moment last night whilst watching the Iggy and the Stooges footage after Iggy Pop encouraged the front rows onto the stage , causing self imposed anarchy to the proceedings and was watching a plethora of teenies and twenty somethings having to be coaxed into doing something faintly rebellious by a 60 year with more energy than all of them put together. So given their sudden stage sharing platform, what’s the most rebellious act I see? A banner held aloft by a small group keen to bring back the Cadbury Wispa chocolate bar!! Did I feel faintly superior that my own generation at their age would probably have seized the moment to proclaim ’say no to cruise’ (the missile, not the Scientology film celebrity).

Still, better that than Mika's stage dressing, as captured by Q. In tribute to his patronising song supposedly celebrating Big Girls, he had two big girls on stage. Giant, inflatable women. Do you see what he did there?

Some acts adapt to Glastonbury better than others - Ian McCulloch's fear of the mud is now legendary, for example - so it's a round of applause for Shirley Bassey, captured by a Guardian blogger as she strode fabulously across the site, with only mongrammed DSB wellies to protect her from the elements.

Music Every Single Day Of Lives remembers that last night's headliners were making a statement by taking the gig:
The Killers did not want to headline Glastonbury 2 years ago as they did not think having one album under their arm was enough to carry the weight of 170,000 people. This year they took the gamble. It paid off.

You could argue that by the middle of the festival, Archie's Educated Chickens could keep the pyramid stage happy - especially with some fireworks - and so it's not so much of a gamble. Has there ever been a headliner in the modern Glastonbury who hasn't been met by a positive response?