Friday, July 01, 2005

Glastonbury 2005 - Friday

6.30ish am - wake up to the sound of a thunderstorm outside. Thinks - good, it's getting out of the way while I'm still asleep. Return to slumber.

7.30ish - Al wakes me to say there's water leaking in. A half-asleep glance shows me she's quite right, so I chuck a towel over the wet bit, and slip off the blow-up mattress so she can carry on sleeping, and go right back to sleep.

9ish - woken up again, it's definitely still raining, and I need a piss. Sticking my head out of the tent whilst pulling some shorts on, Mick says it's rather muddy out there, tho our patch looks okay, so I head for the bogs by Gate D. Within yards it's getting boggier, the ground we nearly camped on hsa a couple of inches of water around each tent. By the time I get to the 'road' junctions - fuck me! The path to the other stage is like the Somme (a sick comparison maybe, but sadly the only one that seems appropriate) and the main road that is normally driven down is a fast flowing river. And not just any old fast flowing river, but one obviously full of shit and piss! Yummy - I just hope I haven't failed to spot some minor cut on my feet as I wade though quickly.

The bogs themselves are comparatively okay.

Wander back to the tent and try and dry me feet - why? Gawd knows. We amble into Mick n Dianes cos it's roomier, and they have Tea. We sit and watch the rain and the thunderstorms go by. Al says she spotted one of the dance tents being hit by lightning when she went for a piss (probably two entirely unconnected events), Radio Avalon is reporting the same thing happened to a beer tent, and that no stages are opening for quite a while yet.

We sit. We smoke. We drink tea. We watch lightning.

It's probably about two when we finally decide to brave the outside world. We've heard the Undertones kick it all off, so there's obviously stuff happening out there. Last night, it took about three minutes to get from ours to the Other Stage, today it's more like twenty! And it's not a pretty site when we get there. A veritable island in the middle of a lake. On we walk.

not quite sure how we end up by the main stage, but it's fairly dry where we are, so we hang around a while and hald watch the Thrills. First band of Glastonbury, but we don't really give a fuck. I think I must have eaten something funny cos my memory then goes a little awry...tho I recall having a long involved conversation with a bloke nearby with a Prisoner t-shirt on. I miss mine :(

There's a plan to relive the early nineties by going to see eat Static, Michael Dog & System 7 (stars of my first megadog in '93 or 4) but I'm not quite sure what happened about doing so. We definitely wandered into Dance East at some point and see some band with wibbly wobbly noises and repetitive beats, but I'm damnde if I know which ones! Not helped by being dragged out and having a row wuith Al about my apparently dumping her as soon as we got in the tent. Which I probably did.

At least the Dance village path is relatively clear back to the Pyramid where we get in plenty of time to see the band of the day, the mighty White Stripes.

And fuck, but are they mighty or what? Never could such a couple of distant pinpricks make such a noise. From the opening blasts of Dead Leaves & dirty ground we're moved to the swamps of the South. Despite the mud clasping our feet to the ground everyone sways and tries to jump as Jack and Meg bounce off each other. Blue Orchid gets people screaming out straight after and there's no let up as they blast through songs new and old - Hotel Yorba followed by Jolene, thank fuck it isn't really dry, or I'd probably be down the front getting crushed to death in a wonderous mania. At the end of the encore, those seven simple notes chime out loud and clear and there's a virtual fucking eruption as the armies of seven nations assaulat our ear-drums. Untoppable, everyone drifts of very very happy.

Before long we have to stop drifting and take careful charge of our crafts as we fight our way up through the rivers and streams which are still flowing strongly. Walking through the Dance Village there are massive queues for PROD and the Silent Disco so it's back to the tent for more mindless chat and booze, but thankfully no sound of the 'Thailand Twat' tonight.

Glastonbury 2005 - Thursday

Wake up at seven fifteen and crawl out of the tent cos it's far too bloody hot. For some daft reason, we only brought my tiny one and a half man tent and slept in one of the ones we brought down for the two late arrivals. This at least means that mne is still nice and cool comparatively, tho not that cool. I manage to fall asleep again with me head in the tent and legs in the bit of shade cast by it. Which is nice, as it means I've slept in it for every one of the nine Glastonbury's I've been to in the last twenty years. I fear it may be the littlest hobo's last visit to the festival, so at least it isn't just acting as a wardrobe.

Sometime between nine and ten I hear the one of the most dreaded sounds of the festival - the first inklings of the 'Glastonbury twat'. Some young tosser going on about his time in Thailand, and about how it was so amazing and spiritual, and...some other shit that I manage to close my ears to. When finally dragging myself out of bed at half ten, the whole group confirms that he is indeed a worthy contender - not merely talking bollocks, but crap straggly beard and hair as well, not to mention the guitar that is lying dangerously close to him. No sign of a jesters hat tho.

Bravely we ignore him and have a lovely cup of tea before going a-wandering.

It's the first time Al has been to Glastonbury, her only other festival has been Leeds (where we've both done Workers Beer for the last five years or so), and she's more than a little surprised at the size of the place - but how could you not be? The Pyramid Stage area is bigger than the entire Leeds site!

It's a beautiful day and wandering around the Green fields and such like is lovely (tho who the fuck would possibly spend over a hundered quid on one of those massive pieces of ethnicy art??!!). We either meet up with Mick & Diane, or they came out with us anyway, and we find a nice looking cafe (Greenpeace one quite possibly) to break our fast in. Bloody hell - it's even more expensive then the service station was on the way down! The eggs are somewhat nicer, and the coffee definitely so, but £6 a meal, & £1.50 for a coffee??!! Glastonbury is no longer cheap by a big stretch of the imagination.

But wtf? It's nice food and sets us up for the day. We wander off to find Debi's stall (MsDiamante I think it's called, selling lots of semi-kinky plastic etc clothing that's not at all cheap (£650 for a silver chainmail skirt!), and far far too hot for this weather. It does look pretty good tho, but somewhere rather cooler methinks. I get a few bits of body jewellery off the nice woman and we stroll around Lost Vagueness, just seeing what's what and where and making plans for later. Time passes, as it does, and pretty soon we're sitting outside either the Tolpuddle or Bread & roses supping on some pints. And not just bloody Bud - but a quite nice pint of Guinness! Lovely stuff. Four pints later, it's probably time to go off and do something else. Buggerred if i can remember what tho.

Wander round some more, meet Steve (the eyebrows) Ian & Chris help them settle in - even managing to talk Chris into sleeping in my tent rather than the nicer bigger one! Life must be good. The weekend is looking good. Have a glance over the timetable, decide that I'll try and get up for Joolz and then amble around slowly tomorrow, but other than that it's time to drink and smoke. And amble some more.

And so it goes till about two, or something, when we decide it's time to make merry in the tent once more.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Glastonbury 2005 - Wednesday

Mick & Diane turn up at ten on the Wednesday morning, and Al & I are already ready. Astoundingly, we set off at 10.45, only 45 minutes after we had planned to! An easy drive as well, straight down, with no holdups whatsoever, and into the carpark right next to the entrance we wanted to go in.

Through the gates with no hassle too, the seemingly ridiculously OTT ticketing system worked fine and by 5.05 we were on-site. 'The green fields are closed' came the cry as soon as we entered, so we tried to think where else we should camp. Obviously we decided pretty much upon 'right here, then'. The former geographer amongst us kept going, 'no no, bit further on, this bit looks like it could get boggy if it rains', and, with only a wee grumble, we accede to her and walk on a little bit.

8pm, tents all set up (one takes quite a while as it belongs to a mate who is coming down tomorrow and we have no idea how it goes up, when we've finished we're convinced it's wrong, but good enough, so screw it.) - time to open the beer and have a barbie - the smoke from which obviously goes straight into our tents. Hey ho. Call charlie over and say hello, followed up by calling Debi (at her first Glastonbury too, working up in Lost Vaguenss) to have some lovely tea before wandering off to look around the site and find the cider bus.

That takes rather longer than expected, as I've never even tried to find it before, what with cider being vile & all, but tis not too hard. Pint in hand - rapidly made up to one and a half thanks to the addition of the pint of the only one amongst us who does normally drink the damned stuff - and amble around chatting to various peeps who turn up (including one Master Dub - the only Urbanite I manage to meet all weekend, slacker that I am).

Afore too long I realise that cider is not only pretty vile, it's also pretty good at getting one drunk, so I decide to amble back to the tent. Even more astoundingly than our setting off on time, I find my way straight back to our tent (via the Dance villagem, which looks pretty damned funky) and clamber in with my already sleeping beloved, and off we go.