Sunday, August 09, 2015

Review: Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2015

The annual extravaganza at Glastonbury Abbey was a huge success despite the disappointment of the non-appearance of Joan Armatrading. I think this is the 19th year that the great Michael Eavis has organised this event in the ancient setting of the abbey grounds. This is the 5th time I have been since 1999 when Michael was kind enough to send Kim and I two free tickets to see The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play here.


 This year I went with my friends Chris, Chrissie and Sasha. It was a beautiful summers evening when we arrived. Already there were about 15,000 people there enjoying picnics in the sunshine.It seemed even busier than the crowd for Robert Plant last year. We had to walk all the way across to the far side until we found a nice spot with a good view of the stage. When we arrived there was already a band on-stage called 'The Drystones' who had been drafted in at the last minute because Joan Armatrading had pulled out due to acute Laryngitis. It will be interesting to see if she makes her next gig in Scotland on Tuesday. The Drystones are a local folk group and the crowd seemed to quite enjoy them. The most memorable song for me was their version of Plastic Bertrand's 'Ca Plane Pour Moi'.

  We tucked into our picnic after that. As usual we had brought far too much food so I will be living off picnic food for the next few days. We had also brought copious amounts of wine, cider and beer. The next band on were 'The Shires'. They are an English country duo of Ben Earle & Crissie Rhodes. After only one album they have attracted a lot of attention and are the first English Country band to be signed by a major Nashville label. I though they were quite pleasant but compared to other Americana influenced bands such as 'First Aid Kit' I don't think they are that great. The most memorable songs for me were their versions of 'Dreams' by Fleetwood Mac and 'Islands In The Stream' by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton.

           It was up to Ray Davies and his band to make the night really memorable and I must say he was on great form and delivered a brilliant set of songs which included 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else', 'Tired Of Waiting For You', 'Sunny Afternoon', 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion','Dead End Street', 'Victoria/20th Century Man', 'Till The End Of The Day', 'Misfits', 'Come Dancing', 'Long Way From Home',' Rock N Roll Cowboys', 'Oklahoma USA', 'All Day And All Of The Night', 'Days', 'Waterloo Sunset' , 'Lola' and 'You Really Got Me'.  I think there were a few other songs as well but I didn't know what they were called. I was a bit disappointed that he didn't do Village Green Preservation Society but there can be no doubt that Ray Davies is one of the greatest songwriters in the history of British popular music. Easily up there with Lennon, McCartney, Jagger, Richards etc. He is 71 now so it was a privilege to see such a great artist performing so well.

                                                                   The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display and then we packed our stuff up and headed homeward after a brilliant evening.   Thank you very much Michael Eavis for organising the event
and thank you to Ray Davies for a great show.


2 comments:

Sarah Wiseman said...

Great write-up as usual Pat :) (still can't believe I didn't see you there as I walked around the site a couple of times). Great setting, totally agree with you re. The Shires (pleasant but no great shakes), I thought The DryStones were great. I went up the front for Ray Davis (moshing at 55!) and being up close and personal made it really special - I sang along to every song and loved every minute of him. Went back to my friends near the back to watch the spectacular fireworks - and didn't the Abbey look wonderful lit up! Can't wait to see who they book for next year as definitely plan on going. X

Pat said...

Thanks for your comments Sarah, it's a shame we didn't meet up. Glad you enjoyed it and had a nice evening.

Cheers, Pat.