Wow, so that was that, Glasto 2010. One of the most chilled and beautiful few days of my entire life. We arrived late Wednesday evening to surprisingly little traffic, and got under way with lugging the tents, bags and crates to the gate, then on to find a suitable camping spot. Everyone had seemed to pack light and brought equally manageable tents to put up, except for me – I’d brought a mansion of a tent with two wings, and was hammering away well past sunset whilst the others cracked into the ciders.
Thursday morning we woke in an unbearably hot tent at about 8am. This was the norm by Sunday as the festival was blessed with weather more akin to Rio than Somerset, but there were precious few hours of sleep and by Sunday it was taking its toll on everyone. With little musical offering on the Thursday, we took a chance to soak up the atmosphere. Green found the cider bus and duly remained there for the entire weekend. He’d somehow gravitate towards it and if ever anyone was lost, that made the perfect, if messy meeting point. Also found out on Thurs that Herbal E’s and flares are two things that simply don’t work.
Friday and the tunes kicked off. We saw the legendary 80 year old Rolf Harris open the weekend with some classic aussie sing alongs, but kept stopping to explain each and every line and also invited ooo’s and aww’s from the crowd, more cringe panto than glasto. Went over to the BBC introducing stage to catch a couple of teasers from Mumford & Sons, then over to the Stranglers at West Holts. After getting lost in the Shangri-La and Block 9 we set up camp at the Pyramid to see, to everyones amazement, Snoop Dogg giving one of the most memorable Glasto performances ever. Having polished off the mini Pimms and Soco cans, Dizzee came and left, and we quickly tired of Gorillaz’ languid performance and met the rest of the guys at the Acoustic stage for the Bootleg Beatles, the biggest Beatles tribute band who topped of Friday’s antics perfectly.
By Saturday I was smashing everyone on the tanning front (not surprising) and Bailey not only managed the classic t shirt tan mark, but also a rather distinct forehead tanline where his little fringe flopped over. The heat soared, and we saw Lightning Seeds open the day, yet ‘Three ‘Lions’ seemed unconvincing. Jackson Browne was a class act not to be missed, but the highlight of my day was Dead Weather, Jack White’s latest side project who’ve already notched a couple of hits in two years. They closed their set with ‘Will There Be Enough Water?’, an apt one for the conditions, which was probably the loudest and piercing thing I’d ever heard in my life, and, sounding nothing life the album version or any live version previous to this one, a real nugget of musical history in the making. Regrettable, or so I thought, I missed The Cribs and Steve Harley & the Cockney Rebel because they both clashed with Shakira. As Gabby had sat through plenty of artists she’d never heard of, it was only fair I watch something she actually wanted to. It was an impressive sight though, the entire crowd facing the Pyramid stage (except me and Bailey!) trying to shake the ol hips. It was surprisingly easy to find everyone when we’d gone our separate ways. By the final days phone batteries were dead and buried – although there was the Orange chill and charge tent, which acted as a microcosm of city life, an unwelcome reminder of our reliance on phones, facebook and technology. After witnessing two women fight over an Iphone charger, I was bored and we soon found that ‘the bit by the pyramid stage by the hill’, which sounds painfully vague, was a successful meet up point, as was the cider bus, rendering phones redundant. After stocking up with beers and Sainsburys own brand dry cider from the tent, we got a bit of Jamie T at the John Peel Stage and went onwards, to the cider bus, getting a giant yorkshire filled with mash and gravy on the way.
Sunday, and everyone had pretty much ran out of money and beers and energy, except from Clarke, whose beer fags and tits diet kept him polishing off a wine box at 9am ready for another session. He is our representative of the Keith Richards gene. The footie was an unwelcome distraction in the heat. The football field was a field, with no shade, and the tiniest of screens. After seeing Germany smash 3 goals past a sorry looking England, we got back to business with Ray Davies. Dedicating his set to Peter Quaife, his former Kinks bandmate and friend who’d only passed away a few days earlier, it was a poignant moment. Playing Sunny Afternoon, the track that was number 1 when England won the world cup in 1966, blunted any bad feeling from the match as we all just chilled, soaking it all up. Jack Johnson seemed the perfect follow up, as the sun beat down on the bank overlooking the pyramid stage. With the weekend drawing to a close we headed to the West Holts stage to see one of the acts I’d been looking forward to for days, Toots and the Maytalls. Clarke ordered in a goat curry while we skanked into the sunset. At this point, I had to test out the long drop. As we were camped relatively close to the pedestrian gate, we’d managed all weekend to go for team shits at the veritable shrines that were the portaloos on the way to the car park. Miles away from our favoured loos here, I bit the bullet and thought of England.
Then to Stevie. Words cannot really describe the motown god…Crowds stretched back as far as they eye could see for his debut Glasto appearance. Some amazing moments when he did my favourite cover of all time, The Beatles’ ‘We Can Work it Out’ from a ‘Motown does The Beatles’ album i came across years ago, and when he launched into Superstition, with people launching flares as if it was the Milan derby.
A truly amazing weekend. No sure if it was the banter, the drink, the sun, the friends or the music, but everything clicked to make it one of the most memorable occasions of my lifetime – and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else who attended. It’s amazing this quaint somerset farm 40 minutes down the road turns into an epic city for everyone once a year.
Photos – Josh Moore – Holga CFN 120