Sunday, June 26, 2011

Glastonbury 2011: View from the sofa - Saturday

Cussedly, the BBC Red Button service fell off our TV last night, which made the opportunity to roam over the BBC coverage a bit harder. And BBC Four wasn't interested at all last night. It meant that I started to hit the "here's a GUIDE to Glastonbury" and "here's a person in our studio area doing some poetry" pieces that I'd managed to avoid on the first night.

Naturally, I avoided Coldplay at all costs, but did catch Guy and Chris doing a post-set chat with Jo and Mark "apparently the ghost of John Peel" Radcliffe.

Hold on. In an uncharacteristic twist, I'm about to say something positive about Coldplay.

Chris Martin, in particular, looked like a man who had just had the time of his life. Compared with Bono's attempt to try and explain how U2's set was probably the cleverest and most historic thing that had ever happened, Martin looked like someone who'd just really enjoyed himself and had been thrilled to be asked. Which was beautiful and refreshing to see.

They played a clip of the set after, and obviously it still sounded like weaponised turgidity, but at least their attitude was lovely.

Lots of space found across the BBC for Janelle Monáe, despite her having moved swiftly from the "brightest hope" to "not going to happen" column.

More Noah And The Whale last night, this time from a stage where the camera could get far enough back to have more than two of them in shot in at the same time.

Jessie J did her set sat on a massive, throne-like chair, and then brought on a kid from the audience to sing along with her. Coming at Saturday tea time, it was a bit like an attempt to reboot Jim'll Fix It. Jessie J did have mud smeared all over her face, making her look like part of the walking dead. Which, again, didn't shake off the sense that this was a Jimmy Saville joint.

At least her set was engaging, unlike Rumer, whose show was so blandly inoffensive the National Viewers And Listeners Association might have rejected her as entertainment for their Christmas Children's Party on grounds that she lacked grit.

Three triumphs yesterday: Glasvegas (although the blue light did nothing to shake the 'late night in a city centre Pizza Hut' feel to the set); the Daniella Nardini-plays-PJ Harvey of Anna Calvi; and Elbow. You've got to love Guy Garvey for taking to the stage with trousers covered in mud, like he'd just been out on a ramble before the show. By the time he got the audience doing a reverse Mexican wave and then twisted it into a spontaneous game of Simon Says, he'd won Glastonbury.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]