Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My Glastonbury Report, Part 6

Laurence led our way towards the front to see Bruce.The first obstacle to overcome was the sea of fold up chairs.This is another of the things that bug me as well as the flags.People are so soft these days.In the old days people didn't need chairs to sit on at festivals.They were happy sitting on the ground.I don't mind the chairs on the campsites but in front of the stage is out of order.It is a scathing indictment of modern day society.They sit there on their fat lardy arses, staring at video screens,stuffing their faces,and claim they have been at a festival.At my first festivals i didn't even take a tent,i used to just curl up around a campfire.
Anyway, i digress, we eventually arrived at a good spot to the right of the stage where the ground dipped away in front of us so we got a great view of the stage.We chatted away to pass the time.Sean was really pleased because his team South Africa had beaten the British And Irish Lions in the Rugby match which they had shone live on the Queens Head Stage.Sacha had a flask of Jack Daniels mixed with some fruit juice that was really lush,i think i had more than my fair share.We guessed what we thought Bruce's opening number would be.I said it would be Hungry Heart or Dancing In The Dark. Bruce eventually came on stage and i think Clarence Clemens was the only other.He sang a song called Coma Girl which just shows how thoughtful Bruce is because this song was recorded by Joe Strummer And The Mescalero's.Joe is a Glastonbury legend and there is a memorial to him up near the stone circle.The lyrics seemed really apt to festivals

I was crawling through a festival way out west,
i was thinking about love and the acid test
but first i got real dizzy with a real rockin' gang,
then i saw the coma girl, and the excitement gang
and the rain came in from the
wide blue yonder through all the stages, i wandered
oh coma girl,
The coma girl was beating with the oil drum gang
some fast food fanatic was burning down a burger van
Nobody was rippin the teen scene dead.

Or something like that,it was great anyway.The next two songs were Badlands and Prove It All Night which i think were from Darkness On The Edge Of Town.You will have to forgive me for any mistakes because i am not a Bruce expert.In fact i have only ever bought one Bruce album which was Born To Run.Lots of people have raved about his live shows though which i think is his forte more than the albums and i was beginning to see why.Apart from Clarence i didn't know who else was in the band except Nils Loftgren who i recognised and i used to have an album by him as well,Cry Tough.I listened to a few more numbers including The Ghost Of Tom Joad but i couldn't concentrate,i was desperate to go for a wee.When i couldn't bear it any more i took my bearings off a nearby flag and told the others i would be straight back.I could see where i needed to get to but it was hell getting through the jam packed crowd.The relief when i finally got to the urinals was something else.I decided not to even contemplate rejoining my comrades,it was just too much hassle so i headed to the Mandela Bar to get a pint.It was 20 people deep at the bar.I was tired and irritable now."I can't be doing with all this hassle",i thought to myself.Then i had a bright idea.

I decided to go to the Acoustic Stage and chill out.A quick bit of power walking and i was there in about 5 minutes.It was almost deserted except for about 200 people digging the Kilfenora Ceila Band. "Brilliant",i thought, "This is the life", and got myself a pint with no trouble,it went down without even touching the sides and i ordered another.The Kilfinora are from Clare and have been going about 100 years.I saw them here 5 years ago and they are supurb,all 11 of them and the small audience were having a great time dancing to them.I had a little jig myself but i kept spilling my pint so i sat down.When i went just outside the tent to have a smoke the strange thing was that you could hear Bruce as well from about 300 yards away.Wouldn't it be funny if the Ceili band had recorded a live album at Glastonbury with Bruce in the background.After about 20 minutes i thought "This is crazy, i am missing the greatest show on Earth sitting here", and headed back.This time i watched from a more sensible position and saw Bruce do,The Promised Land, The River, which was supurb,Radio Nowhere, The Rising,Born To Run, Hard Times Don't Come Around Here No More, which i love, Thunder Road, Land Of Hope And Dreams,American Land, Glory Days and Dancing In The Dark which i had a dance to as well.It was really great.

I can't remember a lot about what happened after Bruce except i think i left my friends at about 2.30.I bought some coffee on the way home and saw some people sitting around a fire and thought i'd join them.When i sat down though they cleared off which is the effect i have.I sat there on my own staring into the flames and i realised it was only one week to the night since i saw Van Morrison in Bristol.It seemed like a faraway childhood memory.I reflected on the events of the last few days and something Margaret said earlier quoting Dickens Great Expectations "Such larks Pip,such larks".

And there was to be more larks tomorrow !

To be continued...............................


VanMan said...

Brilliant post! At the IOW festival, a few decades ago, I just had my warm coat...no tent, no girl friend and no fire...but it was great!

Anonymous said...

Dear Pat,

That's supurb, it's a great joy to read your reports !

Many thanks !

Pas trop fatigué ce soir ?

Julia N.