Saturday morning brought Hayseed Dixie to the Pyramid stage with their unique brand of hillbilly rock covers. My initial enthusiasm started to wane after a while, in the face of what was, essentially, the same joke repeated for the best part of an hour, but there’s still some degree of amusement to be had as they start to play each song, and it slowly dawns on you what they are actually playing. (Er, yes, it’s an AC-DC song. Again.) Towards the end of their set we wandered off in search of breakfast, and shortly afterwards, our first hot and spicy ciders of the weekend.
Rohan was interested in seeing a debate in the Leftfield tent, so we made that our next destination. Unfortunately not only was the debate we’d come to see not happening, but it had been replaced by a series of excruciatingly bad protest singers. Having seen one comedy band already that day, we didn’t really need to see any more.
One chap introduced a song by explaining in some detail how it was about a good guy who gave the destitute soldiers returning from the Napoleonic wars some dignity by employing them to dig tunnels in Liverpool. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but if I remember correctly, I think the start of the song then went something like this: “You were a great man/who employed soldiers/returning from the Napoleonic wars/to dig tunnels/in Liverpool/for some dignity…”
When we finally left the area he appeared to be singing a song that consisted entirely of the repeated lyric “this is a bad song”.
After a short detour through the market stalls (what are all these people queueing for? Have they finally introduced the much anticipated Glastonbury queueing field? Oh, no, I see, they’re waiting for “Wellies. Saturday. 9AM”), it was back to the main stage, to see the Kaiser Chiefs, in fine form, play their shouty, (Brit)pop-y anthems.
Definite kudos to lead singer Ricky Wilson, who repeatedly dived into the audience with only a dedicated team of beefy security guards to protect him. At one point, the band asked for the huge inflatable diplodocus that had been bouncing around the crowd for most of their set to be brought up on stage (is it just me, or do crowd props seem to be getting ever more elaborate–did someone actually blow this thing up?) where it sat for the rest of their set (playing bass guitar, I presume).
As 4pm approached, the time when the whole of the festival was due to join hands
and contact Arthur Scargill and make poverty history, in a moment “carefully coordinated across the whole site”, we found ourselves in the tiny Guardian lounge tent, waiting for the Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini to play some of her Sundays-esque guitary tunes (and indulge us in some of her endearingly quirky between song banter). Sadly, despite what the following day’s Q daily paper would say, no one in the Guardian tent paid any attention to the 4pm “moment”, and I was thus deprived of my chance to make poverty history or hold anyone’s hand. Presumably the Grauniad doesn’t care about world poverty, and if the G8 summit goes awry next week, and poverty survives the month, it will be all our fault.
Eschewing the delights of The Coral (well, if you’ve seen The Zutons, why bother?) we returned to the tents to listen to Keane play their song, followed by half of New Order’s set, before squeezing into the back of a packed John Peel Tent to see what was probably everyone’s band of the weekend, The Magic Numbers (and no, they are not, apparently, led by Justin Lee Collins after all; I won’t believe it until I see them both in the same room at the same time, though).
Razorlight, our choice of headliner, were quite good. Although, if Jonny Borrell is reading (as I’m sure he is), would he mind awfully not wearing that white suit next time. With all the lights reflecting, it does make it rather tricky to get a decent photograph.
Afterwards, we went up to the Green Fields to sit and watch the lovely twinkling lights all over the site, as drunken, drugged people played with flares and set off fireworks all around us (at one point I watched three people who didn’t seem to be quite sure where they were walk through a small fire), and people everywhere tried to sell us drugs. One lady had brought her small daughter along to help out, and another person who approached us was perhaps the politest drug dealer I’ve ever met: “excuse me, could I interest you in…” was as far as he got before I sent him away.