World of Mud (Best Glastonbury Ever)

Liam Gallagher, the Pyramid Stage, FridayAs you may have noticed from the previous picture, I’ve just returned from a deeply muddy, but fantastic, Glastonbury weekend (well, Mr Eavis said it was the best ever, and it’s not like he says that every year or anything).

This year, for the first time, I arrived on site on the Wednesday morning, barely a few hours after it had opened to the soon to be unwashed masses. Once I had located our regular camping spot just above the Pyramid stage, I spent around 30 fun minutes struggling to erect two tents as the rain lashed down on top of me, and the gusting wind tried its best to force the tent out of my hands. And once they were finally up, I got to sit and shelter from the rain watching other newly arrived festival goers struggling to put their tents up, and the soft ground and gusting wind conspiring to send a selection of recently-erected gazebos up into the air, flying off not very safely towards the overhead electricity pylons. The people camped behind me set up their tent and gazebo combo, then left for their cars to retrieve the rest of their gear only to return shouting “someone’s nicked our gazebo”. It was left to their neighbours behind me to explain how it had shot up into the air and floated off into the distance, unsavable, and could now be found scattered in pieces over by the long drop toilets.

One order for wellies promptly placed with Sally back in London, I settled in for the weekend. Thursday brought moderately better weather, those wellies I was almost thinking I wouldn’t need (fool), and a crushingly predictable England defeat shown on the Pyramid Stage video screens.

By Friday the sun was beaming down, and, my face a cancer-inducing shade of pink, we even had to seek refuge in the shade by the Other Stage’s mixing desk during the surprisingly good I Am Kloot. Thankfully, things had cooled down a bit in time for the excellent Snow Patrol and Franz Ferdinand later on. We polished off Friday by watching the Kings Of Leon, and then this lot, on the main stage.

Oasis, the Pyramid Stage, Friday

Lamb, Jazz World Stage, SaturdayIn the end, Friday’s weather turned out to be the best of the weekend, and we awoke on Saturday morning to the not so sweet sound of rain dripping down onto the roof of the tent, something that it essentially continued to do for the rest of the festival, casting something of a shadow over proceedings, but not enough of a downer to stop us from enjoying the Scissor Sisters on the main stage, followed by the second half of Keane on the Other Stage, in the pouring rain. After that, I headed off to try to see Stewart Lee in the Cabaret tent, but ended up catching Lamb playing an unexpected stand-in set on the Jazz World stage, which was particularly great for me, given that I’d had to miss them on the Friday night so that I could catch Oasis. It also looks likely to have been one of their last ever gigs.

Paul McCartney, the Pyramid Stage, SaturdayLater, the rain held off for most of Macca’s set, so we were able to watch without getting too wet as he played a whole pile of Beatles songs, and thankfully not too many of his shabby solo ones (although a “we’ve just been joined by the BBC” (so let’s let off all the expensive synchronised fireworks) Live and Let Die was obviously great).

On Sunday it continued to rain for most of the time, but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying one of the highlights of the weekend (immediately after one of the low points–a torrential downpour that saw us ducking into a strange cowboy themed dance tent for shelter), watching this bunch of scally reprobates play a strikingly similar set to the one we saw at the Apollo the other week (although I had to resist the urge to pogo in the mud when they finished with Whippin’ Picadilly, but then you just can’t dance in wellies anyway).

Gomez, the Other Stage, Sunday

And I almost forgot to mention a trio of “celebrity” sightings: Howard Marks pushing past us as we left the Other Stage, Eastender (and friend of the Libertines) Dot Cotton being interviewed next to the New Bands tent between the Raveonettes and The Delays, and the bloke off BBC3’s Glastonbury preview show doing a piece to camera next to our tent on the Thursday afternoon…

Same time next year then? See you by the mixing desk for U2.