Monday, June 27, 2011

Glastonbury 2011: Quick morning press round-up

There was a strange moment yesterday, following the discovery of Christopher Shale's body in the Glastonbury toilets, that showbiz reporters were forced into covering a political story. So we tended to hear about how close he was to the Wayne Rooney caravan when he died, rather than his links to the Prime Minister.

Now the papers have had a chance to catch up. But if showbiz reporters had taken on strange roles yesterday, they weren't alone. The Daily Mail reports that Michael Eavis had appointed himself coroner:

At a news conference, Mr Eavis said: ‘I’m told it was a suicide situation in the early hours of the morning … It is a personal situation, but it looks like suicide.’
To be honest, even if Shale had taken his own life - perhaps especially if Shale had taken his own life - was it really appropriate for Eavis to be giving pronouncements on how he came to die?

Back with the music, over in The Sun, Gordon struggles to think of something to say about Laura Marling:
LAURA MARLING brought a welcome touch of normality to Worthy Farm.

With so many questionably-dressed people - both on stages and in the fields - it was refreshing to see somebody wearing their usual clobber.
Apparently so "refreshing" it demanded a sneering headline:
Laura Marling’s boring Laudrobe
Now, there's a load of Glastonbury coverage on The Sun's website, but I've yet to discover any of the bloke bands who turned up in work shirts and jeans be called "boring" for failing to have worn a lion costume. Funny that.

To give Rachel at 3AM in the Mirror her due, she did attempt to review the music. A bit:
During my bum breaks, I caught Jamie Woon's set and it was fantastic. I've heard a lot about this chap, but haven't listened to his stuff before. Sitting in the middle of a field with a pounding head and cider was the perfect way to be introduced to Jamie's chilled but strong, powerful tunes.

I spent a while sitting outside the dance tent and enjoyed watching the sweaty ravers from a purely visual perspective with my Vimto lolly (three pounds! Three. Pounds).
Hang on, she's already starting to file her expense claims.

Neil McCormick in the Telegraph isn't the sort to fall back on writing about ice lollies. He's noticed that - hey - there's something funny about a big US star being on a dairy farm:
Beyonce brought the sunshine to Glastonbury. Somehow the very idea of the urban pop queen strutting her stuff in mud-spattered wellies and pac-a-mac seems wrong, illustrating the disparity between her glamorous image and the down and dirty dairy farm festivities.
Hey - did you know Neil knows Bono? Out of U2?
Removed from the comfort zone of their usual sci-fi staging, U2 were forced to rely on road warrior skills, and proved consummate crowd-pleasers whose greatest strengths lie with heart and art, not space-age showbiz. At the end of the set, Bono pulled an Irish and a Union flag from the crowd to drape over amplifiers but that was about as political as it got, if you discount the limp balloon of a tax protest.
Hmm. I know he's your big chum, Neil, but it wasn't a "limp balloon" until security thugs went in and started to push the protestors about.

Interesting, by the way, that there were other political banners which didn't have security sicced on them - for example, the Don't Buy The Sun flag held aloft in front of the Pyramid stage - which does make it look even more like Glastonbury was just closing down anti-Bono protest.

Alexis Petridis, for the Guardian, saw the set of the other controversial act from this year's line-up:
Whether or not you agree with Michael Eavis's assessment that it was a "mistake" to book the Wombles for Glastonbury, it's hard not to feel at least a little impressed by them before they even play a note of music. On its final day, Glastonbury is being blasted by pitiless sun: it's a brave person who chooses to take to the stage dressed in a giant furry costume. Equally it's hard not to be a little puzzled by their decision to open their set with their best-known hit, Remember You're A Womble: when it finishes, alas, quite a lot of their audience chose to Womble off elsewhere.
Over at, freed from the deadlines and constraints of a print edition, the Glastonbury blog is the first place to turn for the latest from the field, right? Oh, Rebecca Shiller has filed. What did she make of Beyonce?
Last night, Coldplay headlined Glastonbury for the first time since 2005.
Oh. It turns out nobody has posted anything since lunchtime on Sunday, and that was about bloody Coldplay.

To be fair, there are a couple of news posts from later in the day, but 'Beyonce played' and 'Paul Simon played' hardly feels like you're getting much in the way of special insight.

Mind you, the coverage by sponsors Q makes NME seem like Reuters. A couple of news items - most recent is "here are the highlights that you might like to see today" - and a lazy Twitter box which seems to have relied on the website to do all the work - and that's it. Was that worth the sponsorship money?

[Part of Glastonbury full coverage]