Saturday, June 23, 2007

Back in space and time: Glasto 1997

Radiohead doing No Surprises from Glastonbury ten years ago

Glastobloggers: Mark Ronson's big surprise

So, then, who was Mark Ronson's big surprise guest?

Daniel Merriweather. The bloke who helped him murder the Smiths.


Meanwhile, The Guardian asks Will Young questions and finds out he's got a Winnebago to sleep in. They neglect to ask him what he's doing there.

And Mrs Woman has turned in the best description of the BBC studio so far:

It's not the same since Peely died, but the BBC coverage is still excellent and gets cleverer over time. Interactive viewers can run their own video jukebox of earlier performances, while this year's studios are beautifully themed with a Biba-style motif of stylised berry twigs and huge blue and green sofas. Sounds gross, but not so.

Here, we think it might have been inspired, actually, by an Ikea coffee table we spotted earlier today.

Elsewhere, Words Department counts the number of Guardian blog posts and wonders who's reading them.

Busted RIAA litigants now sued for costs

At the risk of upsetting Paul Birch, the excellent Recording Industry Versus The People blog is reporting that Dawnell Leadbetter, who got a lawsuit from Interscope and others thrown out, is now pursuing the RIAA companies who sued her for the costs she incurred beating them.

Unsuccessful and expensive, then. Is there nobody in the big companies who is prepared to suggest abandoning this folly of legal action?

And they say the clowns are insane

The Insane Clown Posse are making a second film. Yes, a second one.

Presumably, the thinking is they might actually sell on DVD if they can be offered on a two-for-one deal.

Although it turns out the first movie has managed to gain platinum status for sales in the US. Which means, if you're one of our American readers, you might not own Big Money Hustlas. You might not know someone who owns it. But somebody you know certainly will know somebody who has it in their collection.

Is there a doctor in the tent?

We're not sure if it's just Sky being a little over the top, but they're reporting 1,200 injuries on site so far:

"... after torrential rain turned the site into a mud-soaked obstacle course.

As opposed, presumably, to a non-mud soaked obstacle course. Unless it was raining obstacles as well.

There's also one man "fighting for his life" (Sky again) after a drug overdose; he's been taken to hospital, along with thirty-two victims of the obstacle course.

That's the health news; in crime (and, of course, Somerset & Avon police boosting their figures by shooting proverbial fish in a biblical mud-pond) news, there have been 121 arrests onsite, and 163 reported offences. Interesting that with all the security that went in to protecting the event from ticket touts, the actual festival goers have been a bit more exposed to poor security this time round. There have been 28 tent thefts so far, despite the much-touted robocop honeytrap tents.

GlastOn TV: A glimpse of Pete Doherty

I'm not going to pretend that I'm television production material, but I'm struggling to understand the thought process which led BBC Three to show a sliver of Babyshambles - and I mean a sliver, I don't think Doherty actually sang a coherent word in the slice that made it to screen - before cutting away to The Kooks live.

Okay, it was absolutely live rather than taped, like the Babyshambles performance, but since they could join The Kooks at any point, wouldn't the fascinating experience of watching Doherty in front of a massive crowd, basking in having his words sung back to him, have been worth persevering with for a while longer? It would have been nice to see if he rose to the occasion; as if he really fitted in this sort of environment as much as the glimpse made it seem. This Glastonbury appearance could be the point where Babyshambles, where Doherty, finally loses his claim to be any sort of cultural outlaw and admits he's become a Fast Show character - well-loved, but poorly sketched. It could be a musical turning point. It might not be, too.

But you know that it's at least got to be more interesting than the bloody Kooks, live or not.

The Arctic Monkeys have just got round to doing Diamonds Are Forever on the press red service (a world where time runs differently, and last night is forever now) - it's nice to see what they can manage with a song that calls for a little bit more than their own compositions.

Bjork - besides inspiring someone to shout out "she's got scary lady trumpet players" - was notable for reprising her swan dress by wearing what appeared to be pigeon roadkill wings yesterday evening.

The most perfect experience so far - from a multiscreen point of view - has been CSS, although if we find out who stole Lovefoxx's headband, we'll kick their asses from here to Rio. It looks like security - in something of a first - have learned to not immediately treat a singer touching the audience as a code red this year. Although maybe if they had, she'd not have lost her headband.

Oh dear. Perhaps the Queens of Noize would have been better off if they hadn't scripted their links. The big question, though, from a presentation point of view is why they whipped the big sofa out from under Phil Jupitus and Lauren Laverne on BBC Two during the pre-Doctor Who portion of the evening. They threw to one of Colin Murray's "reports" (he is the one-man skateboarding duck of the festival) sitting on it; upon their return, it was gone. Perhaps it was banished because it gave the air of Jupitus having come up trumps on the mail-order bride deal.

See for yourself

The BBC has got piles of stuff online for you to watch and listen to at the moment. We're looking forward to curling up with Bobbt Friction's show later on, as we've not seen or heard a peep from the Asian Network stage anywhere else yet.

[Links will decay, we expect]

Blog round-updatey thingy: Catsuits within catsuits

Of course, if someone was going to sell us down the river, it'd be Sharon Osbourne, telling us to vote for The Master with a clunking spot of sexual euphemising. We bet he'd not even switched on the satellite at that point. Oh... hang about, it's back to Glastonbury, isn't it?

CSS seem to have been the best thing so far today, with the Guardian blog reporting on how to get around the problems of quick-changing when you're dressed skintight:

Simply appear in a glittery catsuit, then a few songs in (at the beginning of Meeting Paris Hilton, to be exact), take it off revealing... another catsuit, this time bright yellow. Though she was almost outdone by a sudden influx of people dressed as drum majorettes in the audience.

It's also the Guardian that has had its ears switched on, overhearing this:
What? You've just woken up? You're stuck in a tent? Your own tent? Someone else's tent! And you don't know how you got there? And you've got no clothes on! And there's no clothes in the tent? Whatsoever? And you want us to come pick you up and bring you some clothes? Would love to mate, but I'm watching Lily Allen...

Ah, Keith Allen's daughter. Worth leaving a friend naked and stranded for? Christina Nott thinks so:
Some people are a bit snobby about Lily, but I thought the gig was a great afternoon festival set. Bouncing around in luminous pink with a cigarette and a really strong ska reggae band, it was a real spirit lifter. Rain? What rain?

Hmm. We've not chased any of Allen's set up on the BBC yet, but we're betting that the "strng ska reggae band" is going to turn out to be more Musical Youth than Rico. We shall see.

Although we're still not sure what the hell Jack was doing during the first hundred years or so of Torchwood's operations - oh, sure, come along after the battle of Canary Wharf and remake Torchwood in the Doctor's image, but couldn't you have done that in 1901 and saved us all a lot of trouble? And how, exactly, did he get the job?

Tinyjo has been spending time in the caberet tent - apparently, Nicola Conti is still doing that act with the toy monkey. Simple Brainwaves is virtually at Glastonbury, i.e. watching on TV, and spotted something we'd missed:
Oh and the lead singer from Hot Chip looks a bit like Buster from the late, great sitcom Arrested Development, don't you think?

You know, it might have been nice to have something more in the way of explication for the absence of the rest of Torchwood at this key moment than a throwaway line about them going to the Himalayas. Couldn't they at least have been trapped in a temporal shift or something?
The Telegraph's Iain Gray had a crack at paparazzing last night, although actually he was taking photos in front of the stage, which isn't papping, is it? He did get a lovely shot of Bjork-being-snapped, though.

His colleague Christopher Howse has, meanwhile, discovered that he isn't the sole tie-wearer on Worthy Farm:
The drummer of Mumm-Ra was wearing one last night.

The Blood Arm skirt over their Glasto experience to get to the, frankly more important, business of amusing names for ice creams in continental Europe. Although why you'd pick a Girlie over a Bum Bum, I can't imagine.

Back at the Guardian blog, they've heard a rumour that David Cameron is thinking of turning up.

Hmm.. a plausible-looking politician with a pretty young wife, risen from nowhere, taking any chance of a televisual appearance, and a strange lack of policies. Why is that chiming with us this evening?

Kiss and tell on Kiss and Tell

Away from the field, there's a interesting piece in The Times today. Jessica Callan, one of the original line-up of the 3AM Girls, has written a book about her experiences on the column. Of course, it's not a well-written book (this is, after all, one of the women who set the standards of journalism for the 3AM column) but it feels like a staging post on the downward spiral: we now get a book about the behind-the-scenes gossip at a column dedicated to behind-the-scenes gossip.

The story Callan has to tell is fairly basic - they were chosen because they were pretty; stuff appeared under their bylines that they hadn't written; sometimes, they printed stuff that simply wasn't true. But if the time she spent at the Mirror taught her anything, it's clearly that the lack of a good story is no bar to publication:

Our orders are to talk to Tom Cruise and get our photograph taken with the A-list actor. Failure is not an option. Being dragged off by the police is fine, as long as I have got that shot.

We had left the office in Canary Wharf at 5.30pm to head to the cinema, the words of our showbusiness editor still ringing in our ears. “Get alongside Cruise, flirt, shove your arms round him, smile for the cameras, and bang, bang, bang – we’ve got him!” he’d barked. It sounded so easy and fun.

We’d planned our assault with military precision. It had been Tom Cruise’s birthday a few days before, so we’d bought him a card to wave in his direction while we were kept behind the rope with the rest of the media. This was our first chance to prove that three girls could work together rather than bitch behind each other’s backs.

And on, and on, it runs...

Broadsheet round-up:

Alexis Petridis was down the front (or, at least, perched comfortably in the VIP area) for the Arcade Fire and the Guardian:

Variety of end-of-days scenarios suggested in lyrics seem oddly more pertinent when you're listening to them up to your knees in slurry, stood next to a disconcerting man in a jester's hat, sniffing amyl nitrate. In addition, certain lyrics take on a curiously prophetic bent given inclement conditions: "Come out of the rain!" exhorts Butler at one juncture. "You can do it!" Minor mid-set lull blown away by cataclysmic finale, involving mass singalong to Wake Up.

It seems that the BBC had focused quite heavily on the mid-set lull, then.

Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello seized the Guardian blog to ruminate on festivals which have lost their soul:
As for festivals we haven't enjoyed playing: there was some horrible thing... I don't need to say which one, but I don't enjoy playing where all I see is fucking Miller Lite commercials in my face and tons of fucking cops.

I don't know whether Glastonbury is a travellers' festival still: that's not what I heard but I'm going to find out for myself after this. I heard that it's a land of rape and murder. Some experts, some reliable sources told me. But of course Glastonbury still has the ability to do change people's minds and alter their consciousness. You've just got to get the right bands and the right people will come, and they'll have the right reaction - liberation, catharsis, grabbing the tits of somebody else's girlfriend. You know - the usual!

The Telegraph has attempted to out-grump the Mail by sending Christopher Howse along to Worthy Farm. He's the "only festival goer with a tie", which means he can expect pete Doherty to seek him out to borrow it later on, then. Christoper hasn't fallen for the "traveller's festival" story any more than Eugene has:
Among the 30,000 cars in the car parks, there are plenty of Audis, Volvos and BMWs. Ten thousand, almost all young, came greenly by train and then chugged the last miles on dirty old buses.

"We're doing a dance degree at Greenwich," says my 20-year-old neighbour, pointing to her fair-haired friend. But now they're spending the weekend working in a vegan cafe, hoping to slip out to see Bjork. Bjork has been here before, she just can't remember.

If for some Glastonbury is joining the social season with Ascot and Henley, its style is still young and grungy. At Henley gentlemen must still wear ties. Here I spent 24 hours without seeing anyone else with one on. Ascot cocktail dresses and feather hats can look vulgar. Here the middle class come in muddy disguise.

Over in the The Times, Pete Paphides looks at what the bill tells us about the modern world:
Winehouse aside, it was a bill that rammed home the point that we are living in a postOasis age, where supersized indie bands trumpet the everyman values that allow their fans to live vicariously through them. Dundee’s bafflingly popular practitioners of indie dirges, The View, seemed to suit the worsening conditions. If only their fans’ chant – “The View are on fire!” – were true.

Blog round up: Parking cars and running figures

Although the state of the field has failed to provide Somme-meets-Armageddon schadenfreude thrills, it's still quite nasty down there. Aworan has a plan, though:

The Heavens opened and it was just mayham. Thankfully, based on experiences of 2005, I have learnt never to over-excert myself, so I decided to stay put on the Jazz World Stage.

I’ve been here since Thursday evening, and with the sun shining and in spite of the little mud, I honestly believed that the harbingers of doom (i.e. weather forecasters and those who didn’t have tickets!) predicting torrential rain and such were over enthusiastic. Boy, was I sorely mistaken. So, here I am, Day 2 into the mudfest that is Glastonbury. I couldn’t blog yesterday because it was really busy, hence me writing one day late. I can’t even put any pictures up just yet.

Melgro gallery is enjoying the festival without the mud, by watching at home:
Highlights round about 1:30 a.m. Arcade Fire - worth the wait. The Fratellis were much better live than they are recorded - skiffle is alive & kicking! Lonnie Donnigon is smiling in his casket!
Slomoh oh wow. Rufus Wainright - good & amazingly, some Amy Winehouse we missed - much better than the end of her set!

Christinanott is slapping photos up as fast as she can, but also revealed one of the many ways around the ticketing regulations:
Ben was supposed to have been included when we bought the tickets, but his pre-registration had not been accepted because his photo was so bad. Instead of fixing it, he left it so when we eventually got the tickets, we couldn't include him.

So back at the mad Sunday when all of the tickets sold out in two hours, we did eventually get through and get coach tickets (an extra £42 each). Despite the transport delays it was still better for the journey.

Ever resourceful, Ben then applied for car parking duties and actually has Friday night shot until Saturday morning. He's not allowed into the site though until after his duties have finished. At least he made it.

Best blog entry so far is Phil Coales, who posts a slew of adjusted diagrams from his physics text book, but labels it:
I'm watching Arctic Monkey's Glastonbury set but not through choice although it's not really that bad

Ivan Pope, meanwhile, asks a fair question: why, when Glasto is a business like any other, does it get such uncritical coverage. He crunches some numbers:
But the big question has to be - what value has it been to the corporate face of Glastonbury, the happy smiling hippy farmer, Michael Eavis? How much money has he and his family taken out of the festival over the years? After all, if he can give away 40% of the company that is worth millions in profit to a commercial organisation, then what happens to the other 60%, which also must be worth millions?

Glastonbury's accounts office insists the festival remains true to its non-corporate ideals and says the festival gives all its profits to charity. Last year, £1.1m was given away to local, national and international charities. [2005 number]

So Mean Fiddler earns millions but the other 60% earns 1.1 million, which is all given away? Somehow this doesn't add up. Remember, profits is something that is entirely controlled by the company that makes them. If there is spare cash, it can go in all sorts of directions before being declared a profit. For example, they could reduce ticket prices, or give away tents or maybe pay huge fees to the farm on which the festival is held. There are hundreds of ways of getting just the profit you want in the way you want it.

So back to my initial complaint. Why does the BBC treat this private commercial festival as if it is a national event of huge significance? And if the festival wants to be treated in this way, it should open up its accounts for public scrutiny and explain where all the money goes.

I'm not sure the implication that Eavis is perhaps less generous with his profits than the popular image would suggest is fair; I suspect the discrepancy lies more in the way the money is split between Glastonbury and LiveNation. But allowing us to look at the books seems to be a good idea.

Back in space and time: Glasto ten years ago - Placebo

Continuing our trail through the festival from a decade ago, Placebo battle the sinking stage to do Teenage Angst:

Tabloid round-up: Doherty in a dress

The Sun's coverage of Glastonbury is a little underpowered - Vicotria Newton's main contribution is that Pete Doherty put on a dress when he and Kate stopped at a petrol station on the way down. Yes! A Dress. A man in a dress! Truly, he is the lord of misrule.

He kept his trousers on though.

There's no credit on the Sun's review of Amy Winehouse. It observes that she's got two more gigs in the field this weekend (which throws the horrific possibility that by Sunday night, there could be Amy on all the press red channels on BBC TV).

[L]ater Amy was so smashed backstage she could barely speak.

Or maybe not, then.

The Mirror's coverage of the festival is more in-depth, sharing the news that the Kaiser Chiefs had their trailer stolen by the Arctic Monkeys:
"It was pouring with rain and for them to turn around and say there was nowhere for them to stay was a massive kick in the teeth.

"But the boys took it on the chin and set about trying to get their hands on a tent instead.

"Then they found out it was the Arctics who had claimed their trailer and it's fair to say they were not amused. Ricky had a face like thunder."

Hmm... a story which features the Kaiser Chiefs being upset. How on earth could you come up with a punchline for that one, eh, 3AM Girls?
We predict a riot...

Oh. Of course.
They also have news of Beth Ditto's rider ("20 bars of milk chocolate") and Peaches Geldof talking - talking - to Donny Tourette. Perhaps it wa Tourette's engrossing conversation which distracted Peaches from her Orange blog.

The Daily Mail's Jane Fryer isn't having a good time:
This is my first Glastonbury and, so far, it hasn't been much fun. Before me is a sea of steaming mud, teeming with tens of thousands of soaking wet festival-goers milling about and trying to remember where they pitched their tent.

But it gets worse. Of course, she's upset by the toilets, too:
It's also pretty smelly. The Eau-de-Glasto is a not very subtle blend of beer, body odour, fried food, smelly hair, and toilets.

The loos are something else. Already flowing with excrement and despite a plea on the official website not to bring loo roll, no loo roll.

Can anything cheer her up?
So we set off again. Finally, after another 40 minutes' tramping, we arrive soaking and caked in mud, just as Chas and Dave start up on the stage nearby.

Oh dear.

Finally, nature relents a little:
Suddenly, the rain stops and, for a very fleeting moment, the sun comes out. A huge cheer goes up and there's nothing for it but to dump our stuff and head for the cider tent and to find some decent music.

Considering Jane starts her piece crowing:
I am one of the lucky 177,500 people who managed to get tickets for the mother of British music festivals

... you have to wonder what she'd consider rotten luck.

You can rest easy now

The DNA test results are back in, and it's official: Eddie Murphy is the father of Mel B's child and, from this, we can extrapolate that the man is something of a cur, having gone on the television to deny his paternity and suggest the mother of his child... well, we know what he was implying.

It's unclear if Murphy will now be forced to follow the Spice Girls traveling caravan changing nappies and singing nursery rhymes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Radio silence after dark

The excessive rates being demanded from American internet broadcasters from next month has generated a protest campaign - SaveNetRadio - who are co-ordinating a day of online radio silence on June 26th. Yahoo, Rhapsody and NPR are on board, dozens of smaller stations are also pledging to take part in the cultural strike.

You hope that Amanda Hugginkiss enters

In a bid to promote their new album, Hanson have come up with a corker of competition: they'll write a special song for the winner:

As part of the special album presale promotion, on Friday June 22 the band is launching a contest offering fans the chance to be the lucky winner of a personalized song written especially about them by Hanson. The contest rewards fans for their efforts in helping drive traffic to the band’s website by placing customized banner ads, click-throughs and links that result in the most hits. A download of the song will be given away for free to anyone who enters.

Of course, it means that Hanson are going to be stuck writing a song about the sort of person who still likes Hanson in 2007, which means the chances are that they're going to be looking for a rhyme for "still live with your parents even though you're nearing menopause".

Blog round up: Jesus and the loos

The Daily Telegraph blog has had an encounter with someone a sight more famous than Harry Enfield:

A man nearby says "Bless you". I thank him and marvel at how polite people are at this festival.

Then he says, "And it couldn't have come from a better person".

Okaayyy... At this point I should probably have started running away avoiding eye contact but I was intrigued. "And why's that?" I ask.

He holds up his hands. They have extensive scars radiating out from the middle of his palms. "Because I am Jesus Christ reborn" the man says. I look down at his t-shirt. It bears the slogan "Jesus is coming - hide the porn".

Surely, though, working daily with Bill Deedes would make meeting the Messiah something of a step down?

Apparently, the Arctic Monkeys weren't leaving their wellbeing to chance blessings from Jesus 2.0 - the NME reckons each band member came with their own security guard in tow.

It does seem that MIA didn't show - NME proper reports that Lily Allen stepped in to be the inaugral act on the Park Stage. God alone knows what Lauren Laverne was actually looking at when she "saw" MIA, then.

Caitlin Moran discovered one of the unsung heroes of the site for The Times: The Loo Keeper.
The moral high-ground of the event was surely claimed by the Loo Keeper, up in the Green Kidz Field. Armed only with a “Loo Keeper” hat and a toilet brush, the Loo Keeper’s sacred duty is to keep odifer-ous, lurching, digestively excessive adults from the only two Portaloos reserved for children.

“People can get quite arsey,” the Loo Keeper said, keeping guard over her much-coveted zip-up bag of toilet-rolls. “They’ ll say things like ‘But these are the only clean toilets!’ And I’ll reply ‘Yes, that’s because I keep people like you out of them.’

The only worry is that we'll get a fifteen minute package on her activities on BBC 2 tomorrow evening.

Obviously, the desire to spend time drinking cider and crossing over the site to just miss the band you wanted to see means that most of the posts coming from the bloggers who've paid to be there are brief. So:

Wardrobe Slave on Bloc Party: Waste of time
Mr T on the Cider Bus: yummy yummy cider by the bucket load (Mr T is, we think, the same guy who did
Swiss Toni on Amy Winehouse: The sun comes out

Glaston TV

BBC Three, then, seem to have had to rely on the delights of Zane Lowe and Edith Bowman to keep themselves afloat. Edith seems to have not been told that The Wurzels have pulled out, to judge by her straw hat/neckerchief combination; Zane Lowe has turned up wearing the same outfit - possibly the very same outfit - he's relied on for every TV appearance: black t-shirt and a shave which might be 'couldn't care less', might be 'grows back bloody quickly'.

How long has Peter Kay been playing drums with Kasabian? Actually, it's only when Ian Matthews looks excited that he turns into a dead ringer for Peter Kay. Kasabian - whose self-imposed target is low - manage to turn in a set that's pretty impressive by their standards; while, paradoxically, Arcade Fire try for something more stretching and, to judge by what the BBC have shown so far, fell a little short.

The Arctic Monkeys set has been interesting - it could actually be cut out of the programming and shown as a stand alone example of the Arctic Monkeys Problem: their flashes of brilliance come wrapped in a large amount of so-so and that'll do padding; watching them playing in real time, without the luxury of a skip button, that gets rammed home. As does the reliance of much of their work on a single sound motif, repeated more than it can stand, like territorial army marching tunes.

Mark Radcliffe's going to be chairing on BBC Four, apparently: wonder if he'll be doing it from the helicopter?

Back in space and time: Glasto ten years ago

As if you're not having a hard enough time trying to balance out the sixty-three streams of BBC TV programming from the current Glastonbury (all, admittedly, showing Gogol Bordello on differing lengths of time-delay) here's a spot of YouTubeage from the festival ten years ago. Ray Davies, doing Waterloo Sunset:

The Prodigy
More to come across the weekend

Glasto blog round-up: Enter Pete and Kate

Well, they didn't show up in a helicopter, then: the Guardian blog reports that Pete and Kate, desperate to keep their visit secret, turned up in a huge winnebago, and then parked it next to the NME bus.

They did try to insist that nobody take their photos, though.

Didn't work, did it?

Puzzlingly, the NME insists that Mia wasn't going to play, although on BBC2 Lauren Laverne reckoned she could see her on one of the monitors. Perhaps the rumoured replacements, Lily Allen or Michael Stripe, just had really, really convincing masks on.

On the other side of the electric VIP fence, TinyJo offers a weather report (
"Well, I think thats the heaviest rain I've been go at Glastonbury"); Oldghosts offers a forecast ("its shitty and getting worse") and J3r3m7 reviews the Magic Numbers ("awesome").

Maybe we're just being thick, but we can't see any evidence of Peaches Geldof blogging from the festival, despite the promises made by Orange. Perhaps her spellchecker is taking a longtime to come up with the correct spelling of ORSUM.

Vaughan's gorn

As part of the current belt-tightening at the Sun, Johnny Vaughan has had his film column axed. Now movies will no longer be able to strip out things he hasn't said about films he hasn't seen to put on the posters, what next?

Glastonbury on TV

Cherry Ghost have just finished doing an exclusive acoustic track on BBC2. Is this the only time of the year indie acts stand a chance of getting a run-out on prime-time terrestrial televsion now? Unless the Queen invites Soho Dolls to perform on her Christmas Message?

Lauren Laverne and Jo Whiley are co-ordinating things from a slightly overdone studio ("with a white floor"); Jo is doing her best to stop Lauren getting a word in edgeways.

Mark Radcliffe is, for reasons that appear to do with vindictiveness towards the environment, hovering above the site in a helicopter. This lets us see that the festival site is large, and covered in tents - something you couldn't have told from clambering to the top of a hill, of course. Or standing on tiptoe.

Colin Murray has been sent off to stand next to some jugglers; it's hard to say who is the more insulted. He introduces the sort of overlong feature on Arabella Churchill, who organises the theatre events, which you would have only ever seen on Omnibus in the past. It's interesting, but it's like having a pep talk from your parents when you want to rush off and play.

On returning to the studio, Lauren has sent Jo off somewhere, so that she can throw to Phil Jupitus. Phil informs us we've just missed the New Pornographers, and offers us the Hold Steady instead, as if that's going to make up for it.

Glastonbury blog round-up

Felix Martin out of Hot Chip doesn't like Glastonbury very much, he tells the Guardian's music blog:

Do illegal raves still happen? Of course. Are they any good? I don't know. Probably not, but there's certainly potential for fun. What are the alternatives? The legitimate festivals with corporate sponsors, professional promoters and big fences. Glastonbury is far and away the best of a drab bunch, with a rich history of music, drugs and pissing off the locals. But even Glastonbury is threatening to morph into a kind of musical version of the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival. Mums and dads with prams and spliffs and mud, all there together - it looks all wrong, and I want those horrible, emaciated teenagers to come back, the ones who threatened everyone with flame-throwers made from aerosol cans and lighters, and charged people a fiver to get through gaps in the fence.

You can organise security, you can organise drainage systems, you can organise some of your profits to go to charitable causes - and Glastonbury does all these things in an admirable fashion. However, I'm not so convinced that you can organise having a good time. Free and improvised parties leave open the possibility that something unexpected and good might happen to you. And while there remains the tiny, glimmering suggestion that someone, somewhere in England might actually be having a good time, there will always be those that are out to stop them.

He's got a point. Although Glastonbury would probably argue - with some fairness - that it's not they who have got so middle classed, middle aged, middel England; it's merely followed rock music's path to the place where it now resides, helping sell the Daily Mail through CD giveaways and exclusive interviews rather than helping sell the Daily Mail through outraged editorials and calls for something to be done.

As if to not merely underline Martin's point, but to make notes in the margin and highlight it in dayglo orange, the Guardian Festival Vulture is currently interviewing Harry Enfield.

Live from Che stadium

Interesting to hear plans for a gig and minifestival to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara. Even more interesting to hear the indefatigable George Galloway is doing the organising. It's unclear if his motivation is from the socialist side of his life - praising a revolutionary spirit - or if it's from the chat show side of George, where it's more likely to be a thank you for the amounts of stuff Che has sold since his death.

Thirteen years of tumbleweed

After Nicky Wire's 1994 fallen-flat call for "someone to build a bypass over this shithole", he's finally trying to mend fences. Or, at least, environmental-aware managed hedgerows.

"It was a joke", he's offered:

"As I was saying it I thought, 'This is going to be really funny'. Then this deathly silence descended on the place."

It's weak when an instant response to, say, being turned down when asking someone out is going "well... I was joking, anyway." To try and explain away a clunker made during the Major government in the same way is like announcing that scientists have discovered a whole new strain of feeble.

Besides, wasn't the whole point of the Manics that they said outrageous things like that? What next: a formal apology to the boards of NatWestMidlandsBarclaysLloyds?


Now that the Spice Girls reunion has gone from "unlikely" through "ill-advised" to "probable", the smattering of articles claiming to know the truth is turning into a deluge. Today, for example, the Mirror is claiming to know all the details.
25 dates worldwide, a private jet each, oh, and all five of them are going to take home ten million quid.

Ten million? Really?

So the event has got to take two million quid per concert simply to pay off the performers, eh? Before the running costs of the event, all those private jets, are taken into account - before Fuller takes his cut. If we assume that all the events take place at venues the size of the Millennium Dome - and that's where the Mirror says the launch will take place, so it's a safe bet that in their world, that's where they might play - ticket prices would have to start at £86 just to pay the Spicettes.

Doesn't really add up, does it?

Everyone drifts to the right as they get older

Even so, it's still a bit of a surprise to see The Sun and the Levellers coming together to push the new best of album. The Sun is streaming the album in full.

Curious court reporting

When things get to court, it's because two sides have different takes on events; as a result, the legal team representing side a will always suggest side b is lying; likewise, side b will be paying representatives to suggest that side a is lying.

Which makes it curious that The Sun has chosen to headline the unsurprising suggestion by counsel for Jay Kaycappa that Heather Mills isn't telling the truth about his alleged attack on her:

Mucca 'lied' over photographer

Why, it's almost as if the sister paper of the News of the World had a reason to focus on the suggestion that Mills would lie under oath in a court of law above anything else, isn't it?

The other really jarring note in the report is when the paper describes Mills as "the Mum of one" - eh? Obviously, that's factually accurate - which is in itself a surprise - but a slightly odd way of describing her nevertheless.

Kaycappa is accused of common assault; the case continues.

Glastonbury blog round-up

Not too much coming through from people who've paid to be at the Farm yet - despite Orange's hyperbroadbandhypersuper connectivity, but Mr Snappy is hunkered down behind the cinema field - but Flickr is starting to cough up some images. (Be warned, though, if you search on 'Glastonbury' right now, the first picture is a slightly frightening baby's face photoshopped into the sky above the Tor, like a malevolent Tellytubby.

PeterPic has posted a shot of the Banksy installation, built out of old Portaloos - it's been covered in graffiti, although it's not clear if that was the idea. Let's just hope that nobody gets drunk and confused and tries to use them.

The best bit of the Banksy portaloohenge, though, is captured by bank4 - someone's stuck up a homage to the "These toilets are reserved for the Manic Street Preachers" backstage business form a few years back.

Pat Downey's perspective of one of the campsite makes it look more packed than ever - Marcus Brigstocke was just on the Today programme saying the tents are so tightly packed you can't open your own tent without unzipping the vents on the one next door - but then they always say Glastonbury's like a city in every respect; now, there's even the problem of finding somewhere to live if you're too late trying to get on the housing ladder.

Glastonbury 2007: The Uberpost

As is by now sort-of traditional, the Glastonbury Weekend posts gathered into some sort of index. (Note that there are a slew of posts - mostly grumbling about ticketing - from the run up to the festival - for all Glasto 2007 content, check the tag. And, obviously, this post will be expanding, unless we get bored and don't do any posts. There's always that possibility.)

Tuesday 18th
Leave your tent - it's for charity, of course

Wednesday 19th
Tickets lost in the post - Last minute crisis

Thursday 20th
7.45am Andy McNabb offers his advice - wear wet trousers
11.45pm Blog round-up - letters editor, Tourette, and Orange v Greenpeace

Friday 21st
9.00am - Blog round up - Banksy and a Manics toilet homage
1.40pm - Hot Chip, cold water, and Harry Enfield
8.30pm - On TV - Cherry Ghost, Radcliffe in the sky, Jo and Lauren battle for control of the studio
8.50pm - Blog round up - Pete and Kate and their secret bus, Magic Numbers, MIA or not?
11.00pm - On TV - Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian
11.50pm - Blog round up - Jesus, the keeper of the toilets and the protectors of Arctic Monkeys

Saturday 23rd
9.40am - Tabloid round-up - Amy Winehouse, Doherty in a dress, and the Daily Mail gets grumpy
11.50am - Blog round-up - Money, mud and monkeys
12.40pm - Broadsheet round-up - the Post-Oasis age of wonders
8.40pm - blog update - CSS, catsuits, and will The Master show up at Worthy Farm?
9.15pm - Watch online
10.20pm - On TV - Babyshambles versus The Kooks and Phil Jupitus eats his sofa
10.40pm - crime & health - 32 hospitalised; 168 arrests
11.10pm - Blog watch - Mark Ronson's surprise, and someone's watching the Guardian

Sunday 24th
11.20am - Tabloid round-up - Pete on a bike, Winehouse in a teepee, and "no photos" for Killers
11.50am - death and crime - crime drops by five incidents
1.00pm - broadsheet round-up - Political metaphors and the value of straw
1.30pm - Last night's TV coverage - Pete Doherty's cock, Iggy Pop's skin, and is Patrick Wolf made of wood?
2.20pm - Michael Eavis pronounces success, while Bjork threatens the licence
8.30pm - Blog round-up - all this choice, but the audience is weak
10.10pm - On TV - aren't the Manics a little old for teenage girls in hotpants?

Monday 25th
7.45am - Tabloid round-up - Shirley Bassey almost dies
8.40am - Broadsheet round-up - Teepees leak
1.50pm - Cribs say sorry; world says "what? why?"

Tuesday 26th
YouTube round-up
Pete Doherty's secret squirrel fun

Lest We Forget
Glastonbury 2005
Glastonbury 2004

Some of the bands...

Note the carefully-placed lines hiding the nipples of the Dirty Pretty Things sleeve

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Try. Buy.

It means "tired of being sexy", you know

2005's popular-as-sex Arcade Fire's Funeral

Not-quite-as-loved Arcade Fire follow-up Neon Bible

Luckily, Editors have a new album to promote out on Monday

... talking of Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now, it's Mitch Benn, out the comedy tent

Two slices of prime height-of-powers Bassey on one CD

... and we'll raise you three CDs worth of Bjork when she was tempered rather than temperamental

For K'naan, who recorded this everywhere from New York to Djibouti, the trip from Castle Carey was probably quite a dull one

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Glastonbury 2007: Blog round up

There would be your battle for the soul of Glasto right there: Greenpeace and Orange Mobile Phones are both blogging from the site. Perhaps their blog teams could just have a massive wrestling match in the Green Field on Saturday, the winner deciding if we should just burn the rest of the oil right now and have done with, or stick to solar panels and biodegradable everythings.

Also somewhere on the site: The Daily Telegraph's letters page editor. It's not clear who will be fielding thundering missives from the Home Counties over the weekend, but it isn't going to be him.

Unless he's taken his Blackberry.

The Q blog has been spattered with spam comments - Navitron seem to be determined to recoup their investment in providing solar showers they're the worst offenders, but someone even got in a cheeky plug for the NME's glasto blog.

Talking of which, NME have so far managed to spot Danny Tourette and a few of Elbow. At this rate, the Daily Telegraph's letters editor might turn out to be the biggest name on Worthy Farm this weekend.

EMI enjoys a DRM-free boost

The "risk" of allowing DRM free tracks out legally onto the internet has paid dividends for EMI, with Dark Side of the Moon enjoying a threefold increase in sales since the shackles were removed. Other EMI acts have also seen an upswing in sales, although admittedly not quite as eye-catching.

It's not clear, though, if this is unit sales or in terms of revenue - because with DRM-free tracks costing more, that could account for almost all of the 17% increase in Siamese Dreams sales, for example.

Cowell crawls back to Walsh

After all that animosity earlier in the year, Simon Cowell's plans to unseat Louis Walsh from the X Factor judging panel have come unstuck as it turned out the replacement, Brian Friedman, didn't have a clue about the British charts and the sort of salad cream that the X Factor audiences traditionally squirt in their direction.

Which probably means that he was choosing people who could sing and had some personality.

So, Louis has been invited back on board, reckons the Mail. But surely his pride, his dignity, those would mean he could never go back to a role he was so publicly canned from...

oh, apparently he can.

Noel Gallagher's not going to be happy

It was bad enough that Country House beat Roll With It. Now, one of Blur has gone and made a record with Paul Weller. And to add to the insult, Zak Starkey is doing the drumming on Graham Coxon and Weller's This Old Town. All that's missing is getting Liam to do the tambourining. Can't Noel have his friends ankle-tagged or something?

Coming next month: Andy Bell helps Dave Rowntree deliver Labour Party newsletters.

Sue the Bush twins

Well, the RIAA has always wanted to have some high-profile, headline-grabbing targets to sue to stress the importance of respecting copyright. Now, a Florida lawyer, Mitchell Silverman has sent them a request that they do just that:

As you will see from the attached article from today’s The Miami Herald, President George W. Bush’s daughters made him a presumably illegal compilation CD, a so-called “mix CD,” as a Father’s Day present. As the article, at states, “[President] Bush's twin daughters, gave him [as a Father’s Day present] a CD they had made for him to listen to while exercising.”

This is a serious violation of copyright. As you know, whichever of your member organizations that are right-holders for the copied musical works may be entitled to statutory damages of $150,000.00 per musical work copied.

I hope and expect that you at the RIAA will display the same vigor in prosecuting this matter and protecting the rights of your rights-holders that it has displayed in enforcing those rights against other alleged violators.

You can read the full text of the letter at Mitchell's blog; he also calculates that at RIAA rates, there's about $1.8 million they should be going for.

It would also give the RIAA a chance to prove, once and for all, they only go after the poor, the weak, and those least able to defend themselves. In a legal sense.

[Thanks to Michael M for the link]

Let's sneak into my room, just to read my diaries

There's nothing like a good diary, is there - written with at least the self-deluding belief that the words are for yourself alone, and not posterity, they can be honest, and revealing, and even when they've clearly been rejigged for publication, the elisions and evasions tell a tale of their own.

On the other hand, there's Pete Doherty's journals. That he's no Dick Crossman is unsurprising; but that someone has decided the the babbling, halfwitted lower-sixth stuff is worth publishing, and that Doherty has decided it is a face he wishes to share with his public - that is surprising. At the end of a long and distinguished career, the half-thoughts and quarter-lies, delivered in the sort of faux cockney that would make even Jack White wince may stand publication with an embarrassed shrug, juvenilia to feed the academics who would welcome an edited sludge to pick through. But at this stage, though aiming for a different shelf, the publication is as misjudged, premature and self-aggrandising as Geri Halliwell or Chantelle Big Brother's autobiographies.

But don't take our word for it, The Times has got some extracts to prove our point:

Things to do

I - I must at all costs recover the £350 from dear lunatic Justin

II - I must make a concerted effort never to trust entirely another human being, Frank excepted.

III - I must strive to improve my diet. Fruit, vegetables, brown bread & water. My addiction to fried chicken has become horrifyingly close to Tabloid material.

IV - I must try to surround myself with a few more stable & sure characters, lest I allow the worst in me to be dragged out and pampered . . .

V - I must purchase a black bowler hat.

If this sort of list is really worth the paper, we'd imagine the Unigate dairy must be turning the place upside down to see if they can find an original Doherty "Extra pint and a strawberry yoghurt" note for volume two.
We met as planned outside High St Kensington Tube and walked in the cold drizzle towards the park amidst a sorry, soggy crowd of Sunday shoppers & grimacing motorists. What a pretty picture I paint . . . but so light was my spirit as I walked with her. A ballerina trained at the Royal School of Ballet she has grace, poise and an enviable body. Witty and open — but somehow on guard as well. Through Kensington Gardens in the suddenly beautiful rain. The green of this city is so sudden, so shocking, I react always as if a mile or three of this sparse open space was Arcadia itself . . .

We talked of prostitution, our mutual friends in the theatre, ballet, people passing. Then she bought me a pint. We meet again tomorrow. I’m off to hers with my guitar.

Does this really sound contemporaneous? Does anyone ever write phrases like "a ballerina trained at the Royal School of Ballet" in writing purely for themselves? That's not a diary entry, it's an on-screen caption.
Recent books

Lawrence Durrell - The Alexandra Quartet

Simone de Beauvoir — The Blood of Others

Truman Capote — Breakfast at Tiffany's

Anthony Burgess — Earthly Powers

Has the Times been slipped a dummy? Is this the work of Craig Brown?

Sooner or later, of course, Kate Moss turns up:
Last night after festivities or rather derangement of the senses in Kate’s Cannes Hotel room . . . mirrors were smashed & I covered my love & the whole room in Bloody Mary. Well now we’re on the flight back to London from Nice & that was the first “holiday” I’v had in so long, well, since Prison really. Now the Boeing 767 glides us home through a fantasy of clouds.

"Fantasy of clouds" is the sort of thing that at first sounds like it might mean something, but turns out to be the sort of phrase you use when you want to say something that sounds deeper than "the sky", but can't quite think of anything.

And on it goes, and on, and on...
Aint it just my luck? It’s said that to write in red is all bad luck upon the writer’s head . . . and oh no, fuck, every night I’ve been writing in blood red blood and now the nick is all in sight again: could it be with the lighter dim . . .

As with much of Doherty's work, there are some arresting ideas and startling images, but they're lost under a mountain of pages that should have been discarded. There are many things that Doherty needs; most of all, he needs an editor.

Blunt back

We'd been hoping that James Blunt might have elected to spend a life standing next to supermodels and living off the residuals from that You're Beautiful song, but it seems he's decided to make another record. And, like a politician before the local elections, he's carefully managing expectations downwards:

"For me, there was absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Having sold over 11 million albums, I know that the likelihood of doing that again is really minimal. Instead of setting that as a target, I set out to do and record something that I really enjoy, that I'm really happy with. It was a release, in a way. It's something that I can say shows my growth and a development as a songwriter and as a musician, shows development in my own life, and documents it in that way."

The development in my own life, eh? We're expecting something along the lines of:

I got a bit of money
And a sniff of fame as well
I rang my long-term girlfriend
and told her 'go to hell'

Now I'm dating models
The sort who'd never look twice
If I didn't have a wallet
That makes me seem more nice

Although we suspect we should brace ourselves for another bloody album of "it does your head in, suddenly having more money than you know what to do with."

The Basement will rise again

... actually, hang on a moment, it's a basement, so presumably it will sink again? Anyway, The Basement, Manchester's community hub-cum-social centre-cum-cafe, was recently a casualty in the big Northern Quarter fire, so its team are engaged in a process of rebuilding.

As part of the work, there's to be a benefit gig on July 22nd featuring the best in Americana and alt country. The location is still to be announced, but keeping an eye on the The Basement's rebuild website is probably the best bet to keep up-to-date.

We don't know how pop stars suffer

Keith Allen's daughter's dad is helpfully undermining her by admitting that she's finding it a bit of a slog, reports ConnectMusic:

Keith admits the singer is struggling in America on her own - and insists the public aren't aware how tough being a top pop star really is. He says, "She's completely exhausted."

"It's really hard, that fucking industry. People don't realise how fucking mind-numbing it is."

A group of early morning shift hotel cleaners, moved to hear of poor Lily's mind-numbingly hard life, have offered to have a whip-round to buy a small gift to cheer Lily up: "Of course, it is rather small, but then we only earn £19 a day for cleaning up shit, puke and other bodily smearings from hotel bathrooms, and we might have got some blood on the bow as we wrapped it up, what with our hands being chapped because of not having time to put on gloves before we clean the toilets with abrasive chemicals as that would slow us down and cut our piece-rate earnings even further, but we really wanted to show that, as we crawl out of bed at four in the morning to go and mop up the misdirected piss of drunk businessmen, we can't begin to imagine how really hard singing some songs and having to do interviews from time to time can be."

Fashion has no mercy

Trouble at the trouser interface for Victoria Beckham - not only have Rock and Republic canned her contract to sell Beckham-branded jeans (they said she was "horrible to work with - indecisive and inconsistent", apparently) but they're now sarking over current pants range:

Robert de Keyser - who sold Beckham's last range of denim for label Rock + Republic in the UK - claims her new jeans are massively overpriced. He says, "The new Beckham range appears to be seriously overpriced for a line made out of a cheap fabric."

And if anyone knows about charging seriously overpriced amounts for bogstandard trousers, we'd hazard a company which charges three hundred dollars for a pair of jeans would be it.

Travolta thanks Diana for saving his career

It's true - apparently dancing with the then-being-cuckolded Princess of Wales turned around Travolta's career:

Speaking as the 10th anniversary of Diana's death approaches, he said the moment the princess took him in his arms he felt "like a frog who had been turned into a prince".

Travolta revealed how then-First Lady Nancy Reagan took him aside at the 1985 glittering gala and quietly told him that Diana had specially requested to dance with him.

He was told to wait until midnight before approaching her. At the stroke of 12, he crept over nervously and asked: "Excuse me, princess, would you care to dance?"

Travolta said: "I looked her in the eye and said, 'We're good. I can do this.'"

Grease and Saturday Night Fever star Travolta said: "That was an amazing moment because I was having a dip in my career and no one was interested in me.

"Suddenly, I was the only thing that mattered in America to Princess Diana and I was reborn. I was like, 'Wow!

I matter to someone again.' I was on the cover of every newspaper and magazine in the world and someone as significant as Princess Diana reminded everyone of me.

And, indeed, just, erm, nine short years later, Travolta made Pulp Fiction. The career-reviving power of Di might be amazing, but apparently it works incredibly slowly indeed.

Joss Stone likes the whip

It is, of course, hilarious that Joss Stone has issued an 11-page for rider for her appearance at the Knowsley Music Festival, but we were impressed to see that she wants Miracle Whip. Tesco have just stopped stocking this after a glorious period where it was available, and that's a bit of a shame as it's back to having to buy it imported from the US if you want it now, which is expensive and environmentally horrible.

Meanwhile, Victoria Newton is sucking her teeth:

I can reveal she will sing footie anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone after claiming: “I’m a massive Liverpool supporter.”

Sounds like a bid to win over the locals to me.

Yes, because women who grew up in the South of England can't be proper Liverpool supporters, and if they claim to be, they're probably just lying to try and win over Scousers, eh?

Not that Glastonbury's gone commercial or anything...

BBC News explores just one of the tents on the site:

Across three days, at least 100,000 handsets will be powered up at the on-site Chill n' Charge tent.

The facility is free and will not feature any logos of the mobile phone network which is providing it.

However, its choice of colour for the canvas - bright orange - might give even the most sozzled of festival-goers a clue about who is behind it.

The marquee will also contain 35 internet terminals to show off the company's broadband service.

Punters will be encouraged to "upload your pics, e-mail your mates and let your mum know you're still in one piece" - while those at home get behind-the-scenes tours and a Glastonbury blog from Peaches Geldof.

"We want people to walk away from the festival feeling more positive about our brand than when they arrived, to think that we have done something for them," said Mat Sears, spokesman for, yep, Orange.

"Then obviously we hope that when it comes to them deciding which mobile network to sign up with, who to supply their broadband, we might be their number one option."

I know, I know the arguments - that, despite the ticket price pushing the event ever more into the VIP box bracket, there's still a need for more money to fuel the event. But you do wonder if the festival might not have retained some of its specialness if it sacrificed a few of the clowns, and got by without Orange powering its marketing with a Peaches Geldof blog onsite.

Meanwhile, shouting "former SAS man" Andy McNabb - yes, him - is in The Sun offering tips on how to survive Glastonbury. We're not sure if he's ever actually been there, as the key tips are "start queuing to recharge your mobile before the last 'charge' segment disappears" and "hide from Peaches Geldof at all costs", but instead McNabb, who was in the army, you know, seems to be preparing festival goers for a trip to a war of some sort:
It is time to leave the Jesus sandals at home. Wellies aren’t just for fashion victims like Kate Moss.

What does that even mean? Since when were wellington boots fashion items?
Change your socks regularly (take extra pairs) and keep your feet dry. It might save you from trench foot.

Change your socks? Was he in the SAS or matron at a minor public school?
Every night simply put on your dry stuff and change back into the wet stuff in the morning. I have survived for months like that.

When I was in the jungle we always had a wet set of clothes and a dry set.

Or, since it's only a weekend, you could just take enough tshirts and trousers to have clean dry clothes every day. Because you're camping in Somerset, and not in the jungle for months.
If you have got one, a head torch is great, leaving your hands free wherever you go.

Which is useful if you have to... um, use one of the broadband internet terminals or pick the olives off your bruschetta or something.
Other useful items are safety pins, sealable plastic bags for keeping things watertight, vinyl tape for running repairs, a torch (with spare batteries), penknife and whistle.

We're sure the Glastonbury organisers will be delighted that The Sun is suggesting people turn up with knives. But a whistle? Will that actually help you if you get in to trouble, or just encourage people to throw things at you in the mistaken belief that you've wandered out the rave tent?

You're on a dairy farm with thousands and thousands of other people, Andy - where would you be so far from civilisation you'd need a whistle rather than shouting "help me" to get help?

Andy then turns his attention to food:
AN army marches on its stomach and you will also need some decent scoff if you want to go the distance.

Burgers for breakfast, kebab for lunch and chips for dinner, all washed down with copious amounts of lager really isn’t going to do your stomach a lot of good.

Anyone who has seen the loos at Glasto knows that you want to keep your visits to an absolute minimum.

Andy McNabb - who was in the Paras or something - apparently knows no fear, other than a slighty grubby chemical toilet. Can this really be the same man who barked at Sky One viewers about how he would survive a dirty bomb who can't even face a dirty toilet cubicle?
I like sachet grub which you just rip open and eat.

Or, erm, you could just go off to one of the dozens of food stalls. Or perhaps have some biscuits? You can just open the packet of biscuits and eat them.
Don’t forget to stock up on lots of fruit and veg.

Wholefood such as muesli to eat in the morning will give you energy for a full day of revelry.

All that roughage. Handy, except, erm, if you're trying to "keep your visits to the toilets to an absolute minimum."
Water needs to be rationed at all times but drink plenty of it. The SAS carry water purification tablets.

Don’t laugh — you may need them over the next few days.

Sorry, Andy. I'm trying not to laugh but water purification tablets? Things might have got bad in the past at the festival, but even in 1997 nobody got dysentery because they were forced to drink the puddles.
CHOOSE higher ground and remember the prevailing winds at Glastonbury are usually from the west.

A decent Gore-Tex tent will keep you dry — you won’t need to dig a foxhole.

Great news, everybody - you won't need to dig a foxhole. Although that will come as a disappointment to everyone who turns up at music festivals carrying a shovel.
The next segment is called - honestly - yomping:
GO the pace of the slowest man or woman in your unit. Conditions will be testing. It will be seriously boggy out there.

If one of your team is falling behind STOP and let them have a breather.

The most important thing is making it through together and intact.

Or you could just arrange to all meet up on the right-hand side of the blanket stall if you get separated. Or even, you know, text message each other. It's not clear what McNabb thinks will happen to members of your "unit" (or "your mates" as most people would call them) if they get separated - will rogue members of Kula Shaker be picking them off?

ALWAYS look after your wounded — and try not to suffer any casualties.

But what do you do if, say, you are caught by a friendly fire strike from the John Peel Stage, Andy?
Carry paracetamol with you at all times to combat recurring hangovers.

Good advice - if your system is awash with alcohol, top it up with pills.

But let's not mock - if it wasn't for Andy, who used to be in the Foreign Legion, remember, whoever would have known that headache pills can help with cases of headache?
Then, we're on to "Know your enemy":
BE alert at all times. You never know when you could become a target.

Watch out for the dodgy characters you are likely to encounter — drug dealers, dippers, rogue hawkers and muggers. Do NOT attempt to take these people out but report them to an official.

Aw, come on. I've brought my spade to the middle of the West of England, I don't need to dig a foxhole and now you're telling me I can't use it to "take out" a "rogue hawker". Where's the fun, eh?

But, seriously. It's a music festival. There should be no room for rogue hawkers - birds of prey like hawks should only be used for good.
Some final advice from Andy:
LET’S face it, you all want to get into the VIP backstage area. Well, it requires some skilful blagging.

There is no point queuing and pretending to be on the guest list. Be brassy and just bluff it.

Clearly, talking absolute bollocks is something of a talent for Andy.
It’s best to walk in acting like you should be there.

Who would I want to meet?

The Killers, of course.

So, if you see a bloke in soggy clothes, lapping water from a puddle yelling "but I'm a Mormon too" as he tries to get round the back to the Pyramid stage, that'd be Andy McNabb.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Late 90s student disco take-out

Americans who wish to turn their living rooms into a simulacrum of a British University bar on a Saturday night sometime round the arse-end of the last century, all you need to do is pour some cheap lager over the carpet, stub some ciagrettes out on the windowsill, and reach for Rhino Records four CD Britbox. This, disc by disc, takes a trip through the more populist end of British indie and faux-indie from 1985 to 1998. Some of the choices are very good indeed:

01 The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now?"
02 Cocteau Twins - "Lorelei"
03 Felt - "Primitive Painters"
04 Shop Assistants - "Somewhere in China"
05 The Mighty Lemon Drops - "My Biggest Thrill"
06 The Cure - "Just Like Heaven"
07 Echo & The Bunnymen - "Lips Like Sugar"
08 The Jesus and Mary Chain - "April Skies"
09 Spacemen 3 - "Walkin' With Jesus (Sound of Confusion)"
10 The Primitives - "Crash"
11 The Wonder Stuff - "Unbearable"
12 The Stone Roses - "She Bangs the Drums"
13 The Charlatans UK - "The Only One I Know"
14 Happy Mondays - "Step On"
15 Primal Scream - "Loaded" [single version]
16 Inspiral Carpets - "This Is How It Feels"
17 The Trash Can Sinatras - "Obscurity Knocks"
18 The La's - "There She Goes"
19 The Sundays - "Here's Where the Story Ends"

Disc 2:

01 Ride - "Vapour Trail"
02 Pale Saints - "Sight of You"
03 My Bloody Valentine - "Only Shallow"
04 Lush - "For Love"
05 The Telescopes - "Flying"
06 Chapterhouse - "Pearl"
07 Catherine Wheel - "I Want To Touch You"
08 Bleach - "Trip & Slide"
09 Curve - "Coast Is Clear"
10 Five Thirty - "You"
11 Moose - "This River Will Never Run Dry"
12 The Family Cat - "(Thought I'd Died) And Gone To Heaven"
13 The Dylans - "(Don't Cut Me Down) Mary Quant in Blue"
14 Thousand Yard Stare - "0-0 A.E.T. (No Score After Extra Time)"
15 Ned's Atomic Dustbin - "Grey Cell Green"
16 Birdland - "Shoot You Down"
17 Manic Street Preachers - "Stay Beautiful"
18 Teenage Fanclub - "Star Sign"

Disc 3:

01 Suede - "Metal Mickey"
02 Swervedriver - "Duel" [radio edit]
03 Eugenius - "Breakfast"
04 Superstar - "Barfly"
05 New Order - "Regret"
06 James - "Laid"
07 Nick Heyward - "Kite"
08 The Boo Radleys - "Lazarus"
09 Saint Etienne - "You're in a Bad Way"
10 Stereolab - "Wow & Flutter"
11 Blur - "Tracy Jacks"
12 Oasis - "Live Forever"
13 Pulp - "Common People"
14 These Animal Men - "Speed King"
15 Mega City Four - "Wallflower"
16 Echobelly - "Insomniac"
17 Gene - "Sleep Well Tonight"
18 Menswe@r - "Sleeping In"
19 Supergrass - "Alright"
20 Cast - "Alright"
21 Elastica - "Stutter"

Disc 4:

01 Dodgy - "In a Room"
02 Ash - "Girl From Mars"
03 Sleeper - "Sale of the Century"
04 Marion - "Sleep"
05 Kula Shaker - "Tattva"
06 Ocean Colour Scene - "The Riverboat Song"
07 Babybird - "You're Gorgeous"
08 The Bluetones - "Slight Return"
09 Super Furry Animals - "Something 4 the Weekend"
10 The Divine Comedy - "Something for the Weekend"
11 Cornershop - "Brimful of Asha"
12 Silver Sun - "Service"
13 Spiritualized - "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space"
14 Mansun - "Wide Open Space"
15 Hurricane #1 - "Step Into My World"
16 The Verve - "Lucky Man"
17 Rialto - "Untouchable"
18 Catatonia - "Mulder and Scully"
19 Placebo - "You Don't Care About Us"
20 Gay Dad - "Oh Jim"

Last Friday, BBC 6Music spent a long time trying to work out what went wrong with Britpop in 1997 - that this album comes to an end with Gay Dad would have been the whole answer right there. Indeed, with Hurricane Number One, Kula Shaker and Silve Sun, that last disc shows the marketing departments slowly wheeling in and killing off the creativity. We're relieved, but surprised, that there's no Kingmaker there; we're equally surprised, but delighted, the vastly undervalued Trash Can Sinatras have been included. And it's nice to be reminded of the time when, briefly, Nick Heyward looked like he might just pull off a spell of indie credibility. Unfortunately, he timed his leap to Creation just as Creation was abandoning its credibility.

No Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, though.

The offspring should spring off

Neither Kimberley Stewart nor Damian, Ziggy and Julian Marley have achieved very much besides having origins in famous sperm1, so it must have been a difficult choice for the management at London club Prophecy when both tried to claim the best table in the house. It's a pity someone who had actually achieved something in their own right - like, I don't know, Maureen off Driving School - wasn't there to stake a stronger claim and solve the conundrum.

Apparently glasses got smashed, harsh words exchanged; eventually, the Marleys won the table. They did keep an eye on the door in case Bill Oddie's daughter swung by.

1. Please, don't even think of saying 'what about the Melody Makers' here. Thank you.

Something to listen to: 'Pol position

The good people over at Pitchfork are currently streaming Interpol's Pioneer To The Falls, the opening track from new album Our Love To Admire.

Another ride is up in flames

Carey Hart, who is married to Pink, put eight of his beloved motorcycles into a lorry - presumably that's even more fun than riding them - but, somewhere in Utah, the truck caught fire, wiping out a ridiculous dollar value of vehicles. Of course, he needs them for the job he does, which is riding bikes, so it's a bit like a carpenter losing his hammer.

Six weeks to live, but at least I'm not with Tony

As a nation came to terms with, yes, that was all the Sopranos was leading up to, they found their solace in the music. And just as those Britons who, ten years ago, felt like they really knew Diana, wound up walking home with Elton John's worst record of the last twenty years, Americans have been burying their loss in Journey:

The use of Journey's single "Don't Stop Believin' " in the June 10 finale of "The Sopranos" -- followed by oodles of media attention for the band and the show -- yields big returns on the charts this week. The 1981 track re-enters Hot Digital Songs at No. 21 with 41,000 paid downloads. It's up 371% in sales compared with the previous week. Concurrently, Journey's "Greatest Hits" album sold nearly 11,000 units this week -- a 111% gain -- pushing the set 17-2 with Greatest Gainer honors on the Top Pop Catalog albums chart.

The hope that soundtrack appearances can break a new band is going to take a bit of a hit; the pushers who are trying to persuade Grey's House to drop a sensitive unknown singer-songwriter onto an episode are now going to have to compete with the majors hoping to hook less-risky catalogue tunes into the same place.

"Always down and keeping it real"

Presumably Victoria Beckham's happy at the sort of leak of the truly horrifying Full Stop, a weak, milky rap where Glamour Magazine's entrepreneur of the year tries to suggest that we should forget the "good girl" because she's - yes - "always down and keeping it real". Nas is on board for as long as it take his people to put the Switch card through the machine and transfer the fee.

Are we hearing things, or does she really claim that she wants to live "like hot knives"? How does one do that - hang around in dingy student flats and wait for the loan cheque to clear?

We're choosing to see this as a threat - "sure, object away to a Spice Girls reunion - if you don't want my clumsy musical stylings safely drowned out by a bellowing Mel B..."

Together at last: Cuties, swearing, dancing

Raiding Sarah Records' back cagoulogue, the stuff Alan McGee used to do before he started turning up on News 24 and putting on bands that tip their hat to the tweescene, from next month, London will be offering a Twee As Fuck clubnight.

Private equity buys up Dick Clark

Dick Clark Productions, which owns rights to American Bandstand, the American Music Awards and a massive catalogue of live performances has been snapped up by a partnership between Redzone, the PE fund controlled by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, and Six Flags, the amusement park operator. (Six Flags, in its turn, is owned largely by Redzone.)

The talk is of synergy and digitisation:

"This is the next step in the evolution of Six Flags — moving into the family entertainment space," said Shapiro, a former programming executive at ESPN and ABC.

Cross-promotional opportunities are plentiful, he said. Six Flags' concerts could be re-branded to promote the American Music Awards, for example, and during the New Year's countdown show, "I can see Dick or Ryan saying, 'Let's check in on Los Angeles at Magic Mountain, where such-and-such band is performing live.' "

Clark will continue to co-host the New Year's Eve show with Ryan Seacrest, Shapiro said.

Having seen Dick struggling somewhat on the last New Year's Eve programme, we suspect that wasn't considered the deal breaker.

Last-minute crisis

Of course, one of the additional risks in holding back the distribution of Glastonbury tickets until the last minute is that, while you might thwart touts that way, you don't leave much time to sort out things if they go wrong.

Like, for example, if wodges of tickets got stolen from a sorting office.

Glastonbury has said they will "do their best" to allow those who have had tickets disappear en route to get in, but although the Mirror is probably being over-dramatic suggesting "thousands" have had their tickets stolen, the opening up of the possiblity of letting people in despite them not having their tickets has added an extra layer of confusion to this year's event.

Meanwhile, the weather forecast for the weekend is now:
Tomorrow: Day - rain, 16 degrees
Night - Light rain, 12 degrees
Friday: Day - Rain/ thunder, 17 degrees
Night - Thunderstorms, 12 degrees
Saturday: Day - Showers, 18 degrees
Night - Showers later, 10 degrees
Sunday - Showers, 17 degrees

Consistency from Noel Gallagher

Now, what was the reason Noel gave for missing Paul McCartney's wee London gig?. Oh, yes:

“I was gutted about missing the gig but when your missus is pregnant, it’s like you’re pregnant, so I didn’t go out.”

Very admirable. So, erm, is this how pregnant people behave, then:
NOEL GALLAGHER may be a legendary caner but he was quick to try to jump on this wagon at 4am yesterday after a booze-up with KASABIAN’s SERGE PIZZORNO.

The OASIS star began at the Mojo awards in London, took in CORAL gig and ended at Soho House via the Groucho Club.

It's like he's making it up as he goes... mmmmm

Newton meets the Osbournes

A room with Sharon Osbourne and Victoria Newton in it? Doesn't that thretaen to open a black hole in the universe or something?

Still, Newton believes she got a big exclusive out of it:

'Jack had sex with Paris Hilton'

You'll note the quote marks. But surely even Sharon isn't so desperate for the spotlight that she'd start waving her kid's used condoms above her head?

To be fair, no. In fact, nobody said that Jack Osbourne had had sex with anyone:
Ozzy said: “Paris was always hanging around our house. I’m not sure if she was a friend of KELLY or AMY — which one was it, Sharon?”

Sharon looked a bit sheepish and stumbled over her words as she replied: “She was Jack’s, erm, friend.” Ozzy’s jaw dropped and he exclaimed: “He didn’t shag her, did he? Well done, my son!”

Newton, of course, thinks this is good enough to stack up the headline, quotes and all, and also offers her on-the-spot analysis of this bombshell:
I take my hat off to Jack. He’s got a bit of personality but pulling Paris is punching above his weight.

Two not-especially-attractive people famous for being children of someone famous? Surely that's a perfect pairing?

Still, we love the idea that Sharon will discover that, having granted the Sun an exclusive interview, she and Ozzy were deemed so dull the story was hung on a throwaway suggestion that the presenter of a programme about bungee-jumping on ITV2 might have possibly had sex with a drunk driver.

She is dull, though:
Sharon is also looking for a house in London near to X Factor boss SIMON COWELL in leafy Holland Park.

She said: “It gets tiring travelling when we’re filming the show. Our house in the country isn’t that far away but with the traffic it can sometimes mean spending four hours a day in the car.”

Yes, but it's not like you're driving, is it? Besides, if being on the M1 is such a trauma, why not take the train instead, and do us all a favour?

Jacko clears case

The many-tentacled world of Michael Jackson lawsuits has one less limb this week. After months of claiming to have never heard of Prescient Acquisition, who claimed to be owed millions for helping Jackson refinance the loans on the Beatles catalogue, just as the jury were being sorted out to hear Prescient's claims, Jackson settled. Nobody knows how much for, but naturally, the speculation is at the large end of the scale.

Now, perhaps, Jacko can concentrate on that 9/11 fundraising single...

Thanks a bunch, Mel C

Now that Melanie C has been more or less bounced into giving Halliwell and Brown something to do, we're in for lots of this sort of thing - apparently, Simon Fuller has issued the Spice Girls with a list of dos and don'ts ahead of the reunion:

Do not talk about money that you will potentially earn from the reunion.

Talk about memories of the Spice Girls with affection and pride.

Do not get into spats between yourselves over plans and decisions – is it worth it?

Respect each other’s personal lives and commitments.

Respect each other’s views.

Raise any queries with Nicki (Chapman) and myself at the scheduled meeting.

Do not confirm or deny any rumours until everything is in place.

Do not worry about schedules and time — this will all be arranged with everyone in mind.

Do not become pregnant –please!

It sounds slightly less like a fun trip down memory lane, more like one last mission, doesn't it?

Still, I suppose Fuller did at least say please as he regained dominion over the women's uteri.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Have MTV thought this through?

Now, we're all for a spot of public health campaigning, and awareness raising is always a good thing, but MTV America's plans for HIV testing day sounds like an idea that has the potential to go terribly awry:

MTV News is seeking young couples willing to get an HIV test — on camera — for National HIV Testing Day. The couple will talk to MTV News about why they think getting tested for HIV is important, and then take our audience through the actual process of getting tested, showing how difficult or simple it is. Potential candidates should be in the New York Tri-State area and available before the afternoon of June 22.

Are they sure they want to run the risk of someone discovering they're HIV positive with five minutes to go before Pimp My Shoebag? Is that really the sort of life-changing event you want to risk in the name of light entertainment?

Keyboardobit: Richard Bell

Candian-born keyboardist Richard Bell has died at the age of 61.

Born in Toronto, Bell's key role came after he was approached to play keyboards for Janis Joplin while in his early 20s. His time with Joplin included numerous live dates and an appearance on Pearl, the album released after her death.

Relocating to New York, Bell worked throughout the 1970s and 1980s as a sought-after session musician, before being recruited to The Band in 1991. He remained with them for three albums and eight years, until the death of Rick Danko finally brought The Band to a close.

By now living in Toronto again, Bell returned to session work (he also played accordion and saxophone); producing and composing; and would appear with Porkbelly Futures Danny Brooks & the Rockin' Revelators and Burrito Deluxe. It was with Burrito Deluxe that he would make his last record, this February's Disciples Of The Truth. But even before the CD was released he had received the diagnosis of cancer, the disease which would eventually claim his life.

Get yer tickets for the tout debate

Next week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is going to investigate ticket touting. The people who will be giving evidence are as follows:

At 10.30am The Rugby Football Union
The Football Association
The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club

At 11.00am Harvey Goldsmith CBE
Concert Promoters Association
DF Concerts
National Arenas Association

At 11.30am Ticketmaster
The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR)

At 12.00noon eBay
The Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA)

At 12.30pm Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Shaun Woodward MP, Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State
Department of Trade and Industry
Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MBE MP, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions
The Office of Fair Trading
John Fingleton, Chief Executive

So, that's an hour and a half of people generally against the idea of tickets being resold, against half an hour of people who might have an opposing viewpoint cobbled together at the end.

Not entirely the most balanced of slates, then; and not many people there representing the people who actually go to concerts.

The terms of reference:
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee announced on 1 May 2007 an inquiry into ticket touting. The Committee is particularly interested in the following issues:

The underlying causes of ticket touting, and its impact on performers, promoters and the public;
Whether or not resale of a ticket, at face value or at a higher value, should be permitted in principle; and whether the acceptability or otherwise of resale depends on the circumstances in which tickets are offered for resale;
The impact of the Internet upon trade in tickets;
Whether or not tickets’ terms and conditions banning transfer and onward sale are fair or enforceable;
The merits of new approaches by ticket agents attempting to prevent transfer of tickets, including wider use of personal ID; and
Whether or not the existing offences of sale by an unauthorised person in a public place of a ticket for a designated football match, or for events at the London 2012 Games, should be extended to cover other sporting or cultural events.

While this sounds superficially balanced, the sense that this is more 'selling tickets on is a bad thing' than a totally open-minded approach - after all, planning to consider the merits of Glastonbury-style ID controls would suggest an expectation of a decision that controls are required.

Poor Ike

Ike Turner is complaining that the Tina biopic What's Love Got To Do With It "ruined his career":

"You know, during the time I was doing drugs, my attorney coerced me into signing a contract that said I wouldn't sue them if they got someone else to play me in a film.

"I didn't know I was signing away my rights and that they could portray me any way they wanted to. You have to have a villain and you have to have a hero, so I was the villain."

Hmm. On the other hand, it might be a little bit more the "wife-beating" bit of your character that ruined your career, Ike.