Sunday, December 04, 2016

Glastonbury 1993. My Eleventh Glastonbury.

If anyone tells you that it is always rainy and muddy at Glastonbury don’t believe them because after 1990 it didn’t rain again until 1997. In 1993 we were all back again in the same area of the site and it was another scorching hot year. Near us in 93 there was a burger van, it was designed to look like a great big burger. A man served burgers from it for about six days. By Sunday night he looked completely frazzled. I think anybody would after spending nearly a week inside a burger!
Lou Reed was back again for the second year running but this time as part of a reformed Velvet Underground. We were really looking forward to seeing one of the most influential bands of all time. Sadly though, they didn’t live up to expectations. To me they sounded tinny and dated. Thousands of people had gone along to see them after reading about how important they were, but after a few songs people started leaving to go to other stages. It must have been very disappointing for the band seeing the audience start to leave. The other thing for me was that there was no Nico because she was a major part of what made them great but unfortunately Nico had died five years earlier. At Glasto John Cale did all of Nico’s vocals but it wasn’t the same. The Velvets broke up again shortly after that tour of 93 and Sterling Morrison died in 95.

I went to the Theatre Tent with Dominic to see Attilla The Stockbroker with John Otway. I had Otway’s autobiography on my bookstall and I thought if I got Otway to sign it I would get more money for it but I didn’t get the opportunity. They were hilarious though. The highlight for me was Otway singing ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ and Attilla translating it into German. At the end Attilla said that he had heard that Otway had voted Conservative in the election so he gave him several headbutts by bashing his head into the microphone.
Another act that I really enjoyed was Christy Moore who was on the Pyramid Stage before Lenny Kravitz and The Kinks. Christy’s first song was ‘Welcome To The Cabaret’ and Christy said in his self-deprecating manner. “Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen for coming along to hear The Kinks and Lenny Kravitz and Christy Moore, I’ve never heard of him before!”.

The stone circle had been put in place in Kings Meadow in 92 which became a very popular area for watching the sunrise from. We used to spend a lot of time up at that end of the site which was much more peaceful than down in the Babylon of the main arena. There was a nice wine place in the Field Of Avalon. I think it was called Avalon Organic Wine which was cheaper than from the other wine outlets which charged £8 for a plastic half size bottle. The other place we really liked was the Acoustic Stage which was nice and shady from the hot sun. I enjoyed lots of bands in there but often I didn’t have a clue who they were. Sharon Shannon was kicking up a storm in there though on her accordion. I was so impressed I bought one of her albums called Blackbird.

There was a band on in 93 who we knew from Wiltshire called Citizen Fish. The singer was Dick who was also in the Sub-Humans. I think they played on the Avalon Stage. I never saw them but we met Dick wandering around in the crowd one evening and had a bit of a chat. There were lots of great acts that year such as Robert Plant, The Verve, The Orb Midnight Oil, Stereo MC’S, Teenage Fanclub and many more but my memory of it all is very hazy. Van Morrison did his usual Sunday afternoon slot and one thing I particularly remember about that was Kate St John doing the G-L-O-R-I-A elocution lessons during Gloria. I think Van finished his usual brilliant set with All In The Game, In The Garden and Daring Night. I always used the feel that musically the festival was over for me after seeing Van. Nothing could top Van The Man.
People had continued to pour over the fence in 93. If the official figure was 100,000 people, you can be sure the actual attendance was at least 150.000. It was hard for people to find room to put a tent up. It was so crowded, tents were being put up right near the smelly toilets. In order to get a licence for 94 Michael promised to build a double fence to keep out the gatecrashers. This was to prove to have both dramatic and painful consequences for me personally. We were back again in 94 and that year had one of the most memorable performances ever. You can find out about all this next time.

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