Won’t Get Fooled Again?-The Tale of Glastonbury 2007

Glastonbury Festival took a year off in 2006 though Julien Temple’s documentary Glastonbury made up for the lack of a festival, it was still good to return to Worthy Farm to meet old friends and make new ones as our little band started to grow. 2007’s festival had an ok line up, but the Pyramid Stage was naff, with only a few nuggets among the chaff, and of course The Who were closing the weekend off so that was essential. It did end up unfortunately being one of the most oppressively miserable festival experiences I’ve ever had but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This year I went down with my friend Janet who picked me up in sunny Bristol, well, when I say ‘sunny’ what i really mean is pissing rain. This was the first thing which should have set my Spidey Sense tingling but it was a wee bit wet when we headed out on the Wednesday morning very, very early. Janet is registered disabled which means she could grab easy access, which meant we drove past all those annoying queues and went right down to the front near one of the pedestrian gates. Smashing!

After a wait which wasn’t too long in what was now a lovely sunny summer’s morning, the pair of us got the nod from a sound security guard who advised us to grab our stuff, and head to the main gate to get in. After another short wait the doors opened and all the disabled folk and their helpers (or blaggers like myself) wandered onto the site, found the spot we’d set up in 2005 and in the wind, put our tents up and waited for everyone to show their faces. This included Jan who was a new face, as well as Barry and the crowd from Scotland in all their translucent glory.

Eventually we all set up, got to know each other again and I picked up a cold after an especially late, but fun Wednesday night chatting, eating burgers and getting to know our neighbours from London and Australia who were fantastic all weekend. As it turned out, it was good we had nice neighbours because nice things were at a premium at this year’s festival. I’ve mentioned before in these series of blogs how the festival had changed, and especially how it’d become very different in terms of the people attending as it was now ‘one of those things’ wealthy people do to say they’ve done it. Also what was a problem was the drugs had changed because of this new demographic. When you’ve not got much money you’re happy with a wee bit of speed, a few pills and if you’re really, really luck some coke which is probably cut with baking powder anyhow. The wealthier people, not to mention the fact large parts of London decanted there for the weekend (as does Bristol) meant the rise of ketamine, which meant seeing kids wandering around having shat themselves and frothing from the mouth. Any drug that makes you shit yourself frankly isn’t any fucking fun, but for some reason I noticed a lot of ketamine casualties in 2007.

This however wasn’t too much of a problem where we were. The neighbours were on the whole, nice people, our crowd were jolly together and by the Thursday we were up for the festival even though I was struggling with a developing cold that only beer could get rid of. As long as it didn’t rain I was ok. Then it started spitting on Thursday night……

I went to bed on Thursday with the sound of rain battering on my tent and the thought that ‘it can’t be like 2005 again can it?’. Well, it wasn’t. In fact it was probably worse. The flooding was everywhere again.

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The skies were grey and angry. It was raining on and off. Parts of the site were waterlogged, flooded and muddy and dear fuck, there were crusty jugglers being cheery not far from where we were camped. It was a miserable start to the Friday and the festival proper, which seeing as now people were flooding in from the Wednesday was meaning that a lot of very annoyed people strapped on a fake smile and did what they could to enjoy themselves, myself included.

So full of false bonhomie I got dressed for the conditions feeling like I was Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando getting ready to kill a load of bad guys in a variety of horrible, but fun ways, but substitute ‘bad guys’ for ‘mud’. Out I plodded with a rucksack full of toilet roll (always carry toilet roll at a festival), water and beer (always carry beer) and headed into the rain to have fun!

I tried to have fun. I really  did. But when you’re watching Amy Winehouse mangle her way through a set with the rain pissing down and the water seeping into your boots as the mud slops into them then it’s very fucking hard to have fun. Very hard indeed, but I tried hard but I spent most of Friday giving up trying to watch bands on the main stages because it was so muddy, though the rain did stop and it did dry out enough in some places for a bit, at least, until the next bout of rain came pissing down on us. Friday ended with Janet and some of the others watching Bjork being alright. In fact the best I can say about any of the acts this year is they were alright, but The Who weren’t alright, they were as far from alright as you can get.

I again. get ahead of myself.

Friday saw the neighbours whisk a few of us off into the night for some debauchery and this is where a discrete veil needs to be pulled over the events of the rest of the evening……

Saturday broke in a gloomy haze and brown people walked in a brown world saying brown things as the mud dominated everything. those parts of the site which had dried out were actually a brown, sludgey mess, and getting around was a chore and a half.

I only saw a few bands on the Saturday choosing instead to spend most of my time in the comedy tent, but I did see Babyshambles who were indeed, a shambles. I’d loved The Libertines so to see Pete Doherty become a fucked up caricature of himself with some of the most oppressively loathsome scum in the London hipster/drug scene egging his wankery on was depressing. I left when Kate Moss sauntered on to ‘sing’.

The evening was about comedy, though Iggy Pop and the Stooges provided the one, real, true highlight of the weekend putting on a show that was completely immense. After that we headed back to our campsite for the night, only to be whisked away by a couple of our neighbours for a bit of fun (this is a blog all by itself!) down Shangri La til well past dawn. As I left the others coming down in a muddy field and walked back to a slightly less muddy field, I stopped off at the long drops before grabbing some sleep.

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As I sat there trying not to nod off, the first drops of rain fell in yet another shower. I headed off to sleep happy, but fed up wading through sloppy or sticky mud.

Sunday was the last day. The general mood in the camp was enough was enough but we wanted to see a few things so decided to leg it early on Monday morning which was fine by me but only after I saw The Who. Sunday at festivals is always a slow start, and this was no exception but the showers had stopped and it was actually sunny, so taking advantage of this I stomped off to the Leftfield to see Tony Benn and Mark Thomas. Sadly the tent was rammed, so the only place to stand was in the mud, sinking slowly of course.

After bumping into a mate from a comedy forum I used to post on and chatting for a bit, I headed back to camp to get changed, chat say cheerio to our neighbours and get ready for The Who.

Then it started raining. It was also cold. I was low on beer. I had no clean underwear left. The Who however would make things better!

As i stood there in the field in front of the Pyramid Stage with the rain lashing down in the cold summer evening to a bunch of nearly pensioners try hard to sing ‘hope I die before I get old‘ while acting like old reactionary tossers, and generally being utterly bloody rubbish. Now for those who enjoyed their set or who weren’t there I’ll try to make it clear that I love(d) The Who. They were a band I adored as a kid growing up. But watching them in a cold rainy night in a field with the bevvy running out and the band generally being quite shite was a crushing disappointment. I felt like I’d been spending Christmas with a bunch of uncles who all smelled of spirits and wee who constantly told you how things were better in their day.

I endured the end of The Who. Sank my last beer. Walked back to the tents where Janet was intent to go at dawn the next morning to beat the rush and before the rain really kicked in. Unfortunately about an hour later the rain really kicked in and it pissed down so that the next morning I got up and looked at my tent which has survived nine years of festivals and decided to leave it as the Festival was going to give abandoned tents (they ended up not doing this) to a charity to distribute in disaster areas. This shaved some time off our packing up time and like 1998, I made my escape from a festival which was a proper rollercoaster of a year.

Getting home, I was muddy, fed up, cold and miserable. I had a bath, some kip and headed out for a pub lunch before having an early night and wondering whether I’d bother with going in 2008. After sleeping on it I decided nah, I’d go but I needed a break whether I knew it or not to give me a recharge as after all, by 2007 I’d been going to festivals in some shape or form since 1989 and Glastonbury since 1992, so I’d got some festival miles racked up. There’s only so much mud one can bloody take when you get older but I was going to be at the festival in 2008

Come back next time for the tale of Glastonbury 2008 and 2009, the year that never was…

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My First Glastonbury, or What The Buggery Bollocks Happened 20 years Ago?

As I’ve mentioned previously, in 1993 I was living in Bristol  working at Comics and CD’s and having a jolly good time, but as the summer of 1993 approached I realised I was living not far from the Pilton Pop Festival, or Glastonbury as it’s better known to non-Bristolians. So I could go down and experience my first real Glastonbury Festival!

This is where I make a confession. I’d been to Glastonbury in 1992 when I was still living in Nottingham. It was a total and complete disaster. We ended up not leaving Nottingham til very early Saturday morning, and then I foolishly dropped some pills just as we were passing Bristol and came up just before we got near the site which meant I spent hours not knowing what exactly was real or not, plus I was being smuggled in the back of a van with four other people so we could get in and frankly once we were in I was in no fit state. I vaguely remember hanging round the Green Fields and it wasn’t til the Sunday afternoon that I started to get over the trip and becoming lucid again. By this point it was time to leave as the person who drove the van had to sign on first thing on the Monday morning so we had to get back to Nottingham pretty early on Sunday afternoon. Basically, it was a fucking dreadful time.

Never trust a hippy and just say no!

Moving on..

So in summer 1993 I wanted to experience my first full Glastonbury. Only problem was the shop and working there, but a solid week of making big sad eyes at Chris who owned the shop, and Sam who actually did most of the day-to-day work in the shop meant that Sam especially just turned round and said ‘oh just bloody go, I can’t have you moping around being miserable’, so with her permission I was ready to go on the Friday, but I had to open up on that day and not only that, I had no tent, booze, food, and no ticket. All I had was on my back so I utterly and totally winged it.

To be honest, I had tried to blag a ticket from the ticketshop in the centre of Bristol, or some of the shops on Park Street which sold tickets, but they’d sold out in the week running up to the festival and I’d already checked that the bus which ran from the bus station to the festival site was regular enough and quick enough to get me down without worrying about hippies and when they need to sign on..

The Friday came and I opened up and waited for Sam to show up with the plan being that once she came I’d be off, and somehow try to get down and get in. Sam turned up, took over the till and as she did a bloke came in with a huge box of comics, and seeing as anything related to pricing up comics, or buying collections was my side of things I knelt down to look through the box expecting to see the usual load of rubbish with the odd one or two gems. I was pissy as this was wasting my time.

Then I looked at the first few comics. They were Valiant Comics. Back then they were hot items and quite a few issues were especially rare, so when I saw this…

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I realised I might be onto something as this issue was exceptionally scarce and being sold in excess of £50 at Comic Marts. Going deeper into the box I found more scarce titles, not just from Valiant, but Marvel, DC and various other companies. It was, basically, a goldmine but I was torn between giving this bloke a fair price, and getting my arse down to Glastonbury. So I came up with a figure after giving this collection my best going through and fired out the ‘line ‘well, it’s good stuff, how about £60?’ hoping that he didn’t see my face when I noticed Rai #3 like Sam did who by this point was behind the till looking concerned about me being stuck in the shop and trying not to laugh as I was acting my arse off to try to make £60 sound like a fair price.

And fuck me, he thought it was too and this must have been a box of 200 comics. His only haggle was he had to pay for a taxi to get the box to the shop, so I said we’d chuck him a fiver to cover it. He was happy, left with his 65 quid and I could barely control my grinning face as I took the dozen or so prime issues he had in the box, bagged them, priced them up and realised just with those alone we’d make nearly 200 quid profit if we sold them at that price.

With that, Sam told me to piss off to Glastonbury after a job well done and who was I to refuse the demands of a pretty woman?

I grabbed one of the spare backpacks we had upstairs which we had as Chris (one of the owners) would dump stock from his real job upstairs, and promptly legged it down Gloucester Road to the bus station, only making a stop at Tesco’s in the centre to fill my backpack up with booze, not to mention get a toothbrush and some toothpaste as some level of civillisation was required.

While at Tesco’s I bumped into a lad who’d hitched all the way from Cork, and was also stocking up for booze for the festival. He was camping with mates who were hopefully already onsite and he also had no ticket. Don’t ask me to remember his name, it was a long time ago and brain cells have gone to their Valhalla in that time, but for the sake of this we’ll call him Cork Lad which does make him sound like a superhero who has the power of cork at his disposal.

After myself and Cork Lad stocked up on booze, we headed over to Bristol Bus Station which back then was smelly, loud and dangerous, so pretty much as it is now. We found the big, obvious queue for the bus to the festival and here I bumped into a friend of a friend in Leicester and she was there with her Goth boyfriend. Again these braincells are fighting forever in Valhalla never to return, so we’ll call the friend of a friend FOF and her bloke, Bloke. Now we’ve got that settled, we’ll move on….

The four of us were chatting in the queue for the bus, and we all realised we didn’t have tickets but this was back in the day when you didn’t need tickets to get on the shuttle bus from Bristol to Pilton but you either legged it over the fence with the help of some helpful Scallys, or a Yardie gang from Bristol or London would throw you over the fence or find another way. We all agreed that finding another way made more sense, even though FOF and Bloke had nothing apart from a rucksack between them. Only Cork Lad had access to a tent and that was his mates tent who he hoped was set up and ready at the festival but we were hardly worried about that as we’d started drinking and I’d made a very deliberate point not to touch the stash of Class A Substances stashed in my boot until I was in the festival, or as a possible bribe to get past security to get in as as I’d been told this was a way people had got in.

Eventually the bus turned up (an old double decker which is probably still used today as a shuttle bus for the festival), we boarded it after paying our fiver return to get there and back and we were on our way!!!!

This is where I need to point a few things out-I didn’t bring a tent because I didn’t own one, and I had the insane (to me now) idea that seeing as the summer of 1993 up to that point had been lovely, things weren’t going to change and anyhow, I’d blag it if it did rain.

Oh the rashness of youth.

I’d also only brought one change of underwear, 12 paracetamol, and toothbrush and some toothpaste. In fact I looked somewhat like this….

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I’m second on the right in this picture as you can probably see. This was taken about a year or so later in Leicester and I’d not changed much in dress sense or look but that’s pretty much exactly how I looked except I had a black Nexus T-Shirt which meant I had a big yellow flash going down one side like in this picture..

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The point being that if you watch Glastonbury-The Movie and look really hard you can spot me in it twice wearing that T-Shirt, but I’m jumping ahead of myself…

Back on the bus, myself, Cork Lad, FOF and Bloke are trying to work out how to get in when we realise that only myself and Cork Lad have been before and I was caned the previous year, and Cork Lad was driven in two years ago so basically we didn’t have a bloody clue. Now the journey from Bristol to Pilton takes about 90 minutes at festival time and the route used to be peppered with touts, especially from Shepton Mallet onwards, but we were confident we’d find something, and if we didn’t then well fuck it, we’d just sit around somewhere, drink our beer and get the first bus back to Bristol.

This is where I need to point out the bus back then dropped you at an offsite carpark, and not as it is today in a carpark which is part of the site, but at a drop off point about a half mile from the festival itself. They still use this today as a more general drop off point rather than just a bus station. Here it is from a few years ago…

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Anyhow, the bus started buzzing as it became clear we were getting near the site as we’d passed Shepton Mallet so we were not far.

And then we all saw it.

We were on the top deck of the bus so we had a perfect view and it was a perfect day as the festival site was unwrapped by the trees as we got nearer and we got an awesome sight unfurl in front of us.

This is what it looks like a few years ago:

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It was smaller back in that summer of 1993, but the sight was still awesome as the trees unwrapped themselves to give us a perfect view of the scale of the festival with it’s gaudy tents, and then there was the noise. You could hear this constant buzz of excitement coming from the site over the roar of the bus engine and by now, the excited chatter of the passengers on the bus!

This was it, we were at the drop off point and the four of us worked out our bearings and followed everyone down a very long, and very dusty path (which if I’m right, is now part of the festival site itself) which is where we finally lost Cork Lad as he took a sharp turn away from the rest of us and trotted off with a jaunty spring in his step and we’d never know is he really did have the power of  bark tissue ever again.

This left me, FOF and Bloke working out which way to go, as most people were heading to   one of the main pedestrian gates which meant getting near the masses of police which were outside which wasn’t a good idea due to the lack of tickets and all of us having illegal substances on our persons. Then in a fantastic stroke of luck a passer by saw us and advised us to walk down to the performers gate which is where he got in yesterday, so taking his advice we did just that and were almost instantly offered a ticket from a passing car leaving the site. We refused thinking it was dodgy, and walked on only to look back and see someone buy it, walk past us and walk straight through the gates past the large security guys who had by now seen us obviously look like three people without tickets.

By this time it was getting to be late in the afternoon and I just thought ‘fuck it’ so strapping on my best brass bollocks I strode up to the largest member of security and asked bluntly ‘how much to get us three in?’. The chap grinned, took a look at us and just when I thought we were going to be turned into glue he replied ‘a tenner each’. I shouted the other two over from their position cowering 100 yards away and the security chap showed me the racket he was working which was taking some used ticket stubs giving them to us, who then walked to the performers gate and his mates would then let us in after taking our stubs and then pass them back to the first security man. It meant we we couldn’t leave the festival as we didn’t have performers wristbands or a stub but we had no intention of doing so. It was around 5pm on the Friday afternoon and we were on site and part of Glastonbury festival!

We walked deeper into the site from the performers entrance and the entire site opened up to us and we walked in a daze for about an hour taking the sights, sounds and smells in. Eventually we found the cider bus….

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We stayed there for a bit and got ourselves sorted. We had beer. We had cider. We had drugs. We didn’t have tents, changes of clothes for any wet weather but The Velvet Underground were on and things were good.

For that first night we dashed around the site trying to take it all in and we were getting drunk on it, and of course the beer, cider and Class A Substances taken in moderation.

We headed up to the Green Fields which is where we were told to go by a customer of Comics and CD’s who’d I’d bumped into, so we followed the signs but got stuck on the way up by the various bits of anarchy happening all around the site. I don’t mean the slightly organised, slightly pretentious and slightly corporate anarchy on these days, but genuine ‘have I just bloody seen that?’ anarchy. Eventually we went from being in a tent playing cheesy 70’s disco and shifting my boogie to this classic from the era, which I loved when I was ten and didn’t know better, but hey, I was having fun. We really did need to get to the Green Fields and the Stone Circle though.

So tearing ourselves from cheesy Eurodisco we walked up to the Stone Circle just as it was getting dark, sat down, and then realised it was dark and we were looking at a sight very much like this and we wept…

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Not because there were no more worlds to conquer in this domain laid out in front of us, but because there was so much out there and we’d barely scraped the surface of what was out there. That and the gin and speed of course.

We stayed up most of the night, found a sound system (in fact this one) jumped around a bit, had a cup of tea, found the Hare Krishna tent, chilled and asked if we could crash for a few hours which of course they were quite happy to let us kip with the large amount of people who were doing the same as us and as the sun slowly rose I nodded off for a few hours sleep to get my energy levels up for the Saturday ahead of us.

A few hours later I woke up lying on the carpeted floor of the Hare Krishna tent as FOF and Bloke were munching away on breakfast of veggie curry the Hare Krishna’s had kindly dished out. So after a cup of tea, some breakfast and a wash under the cold tap (which was needed as it was hot, and we were all sweaty from the day before) it was back off into the site for more fun and adventure and to stare and the weird, wonderful and potentially lethal sights out in the site.

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I have no idea how that thing stayed up all weekend without killing dozens of people but still…

Saturday morning. What did we want to do? Well, it’s at this point we realised we didn’t actually have a programme or a timetable, so we trundled to the Pyramid Stage area to mingle at the information tent on the right of this picture:

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They didn’t have any programmes a lovely young girl managed to rustle up and couple of timetables for us, and there was every intention of seeing bands but first a relaxing stroll round the festival site.

Now at this point I have to stop again and point out that the idea of a ‘relaxing stroll’ round Glastonbury Festival then (and now) is easier said than done, but back then there were so, so many distractions, so we wandered round the site. Met some weird and wonderful people, saw Ozric Tentacles, and at some point Spearhead but the afternoon was mainly wandering, getting sunburnt, eating falafels and getting ready for The Orb later that night. Before then we spent some time hanging around the Pyramid Stage as the sun was going down and it looked somewhat like this…..

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This isn’t my picture, it’s one I’ve found by scoring the internet but it does look as if someone took a memory, painted into onto film and then it’s back here as this is exactly how I remember things. It’s even at roughly the same angle and distance from the stage as we were. I’m buggered if I remember who was on stage, but it didn’t matter. Things were golden and wonderful.

As the sun was going down we made our way to the NME Stage, which is roughly where the Other Stage is now.

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The stage was at the bottom of a field at the bottom of a slight hill, plus tents were everywhere the further back you were so by the time we got there the field was rammed to the gills. Doctor Phibes and the House of Wax Equations were playing, and they were putting on a show which set up The Orb perfectly which meant using up some of the last of the Class A Substances which we still had, but it was bloody worth it as there was a low hanging cloud over the site which the band beamed the message ”watch the skies” onto . That show still ranks as one of the best live gigs I’ve ever seen, so it was a pity about the Stereo MC’s who were and are, one-trick ponies who came on afterwards which saw us all wandering off for a long night of fun.

I watched a high-wire show. I watched trapeze artists flying in the dark. I talked to weird and interesting people as we worked our way through the night (I honestly can’t remember half of what happened) to the Stone Circle for the sunrise.I remember looking round and seeing someone filming the entire thing (anyone filming anything was a rare sight back then, so they stood out) so somewhere in that video, I’m there with FOF and Bloke, but the main show was in front of us….

Once the sun came up, we hung around the Stone Circle for a bit, chilled before going back into the main site to get some food and somewhere to sleep for a bit. I remember we found a cornflakes stall, sat there joking with the staff before making our way to the NME Stage and crashing in front of it which is where we spent most of our Sunday sitting there on the blankets we’d bought, drinking the last of the gin and supping cold cider while chatting away to whomever near us in what was an increasingly wonderful atmosphere as the Sunday of Glastonbury then was open doors to locals so lots and lots of picnic blankets were springing up, and several people took pity on us three as two days of sleeping rough, partying and running around had left us looking exceptionally disheveled and looking in need of some charity.

I remember seeing Back to the Planet and wishing I hadn’t as they were dreadful, but Senser who were on next were bloody astonishing and to this day, I wonder why they didn’t become bigger than they did.

It was now getting late into the afternoon in what had become a brilliantly hot sunny day and we had to make a decision whether to stay the night, or go back to Bristol. Bloke was pretty sunburnt and FOF was a bit worried, so they decided to go back and even though I had to be back at the shop on Monday morning I decided to hang around for one last night, plus I’d spent two or so days in other people’s company at Glastonbury and I wanted to go off on my own.

So I did after seeing FOF and Bloke go off with a plan to meet up with them the following week at the Cadbury House back in Bristol. Once they were gone, I headed back into the site, wandered round the stages and settled in front of the Pyramid Stage for a while chatting to a pair of girls from Cardiff who I spent the rest of the festival with. By now you know my brain cells are fighting in Valhalla never to return and they’ve taken with me their names, so we’ll call them Girl 1 and Girl 2 which makes them sound like extras from a film, but they kind of were. You see, it felt like being in a film that weekend. Everything was vaguely unreal and by now I’d turned into something from Mad Max 2 which meant I was having the time of my life but sadly without the car chases and the crossbows strapped to my wrist.

Remember the Nexus design I mentioned earlier? Spot me here in this screengrab from Glastonbury The Movie

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Again, I spent the late afternoon and the evening talking, bantering with anyone, before making our way from the Pyramid up into the Green Fields before again settling down for a  sunrise up at the Stone Circle which was exceptionally emotional as it was the last night. Sure, some people would stay for a few days, some for a few weeks to help clear up, some lucky people might even have got up off their arses and changed their lives because of it, but I was a visitor and once the sun came up it was over for me. I said some very sad farewells to the girls making an arrangement to pop up to Cardiff to see them which I did, but I might tell that story another time..

I walked down from the Stone Circle with the girls making sure they went back to their tents ok, and headed back to get my bus back to Bristol while walking through the memories of 70,000 people on my way out..

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There’s a sadness at the end of festivals (and comic conventions but I’ll outline that another time) that cannot simply be told. It’s like having your Christmas and birthday at the same time for three or four days solid and then at the end of it having it all taken away in the most painful way you can imagine. The only reason the pain isn’t agonising is because there’s a chance you’ll come back, which to this day I have.

But to finish off this story; I made my way up the hill to the bus. Jumped on it, sat down and promptly slept for the rest of the journey back to Bristol. Around 10ish or so on the Monday morning I got into the bus station and decided to make the walk up from the bus station to Comics and CD’s.

Once I got in the shop, I managed to shock Sam but looking quite different. I’d become a bronzed Adonis as I’d spent the weekend wandering around with my jacket stuffed in my rucksack, or most of the time topless, plus I’d barely eaten, plus I’d been walking to even though I should have been dead I felt quite fit and healthy apart from the lack of sleep which saw me nodding off as I sat down to have a chat with Sam to tell her about the weekend. This made her send me home, and I plodded home to fall into bed and sleep which brought to climax the end of my big adventure at my first real Glastonbury.

Now there’s stuff I’ve forgotten, but every time I watch Glastonbury-The Movie, the film they made which was mainly filmed the the 93 festival, bits and bobs come back to me. For example, there’s a scene in the film with a couple of girls (one is in a white dress) dancing around the crowd in front of the NME Stage, and that was not too far away from where we were sitting. Look closely and I’m there….

There’s also this Youtube video  which is astonishingly evocative in places and brings back memories and gives you an idea of the little bits of chaos that was everywhere instead of as it is now where it’s seperated into areas.

Glastonbury 1993 wasn’t my first festival as I’ve pointed out, I’d been to the Heineken Free Festivals  in Nottingham, not to mention a few raves in 89 and 90, and Reading Festival the previous year to see Public Enemy and Nirvana. I’d never experienced something like Glastonbury properly in a way which made my senses overload, and I frankly could not bloody wait for 12 months to pass so I could go to the next one but that’s another story…

As I write this there’s eight weeks to this year’s Glastonbury and I can’t wait. It’s the 20th anniversary of me going as long as I dump 1992 into the wheelie bin of history. I intend to make this one the truly life-changing event 1993 was, but this time I won’t blink when I stare into the brightness of the future. You see, as much as 1993 did change me, I backed away from where I should have went in life, but as I’ve said in previous blogs, the power of hindsight is the one superpower I want.

So, sorry about the cryptic end. I didn’t want to end on a sad, or a melancholy note. Just a mildly ambiguous one….

Next time: back to comics for the tale of UKCAC…..

5 O’Clock In The Morning…..

Video

I don’t go out clubbing or partying or much anything young and exciting like what I used to back in the day when I were a lad.

But when I did I used to love that glory hour between leaving wherever you were, be that a club, or a pub, or a party and the hazy walk home and I’m going to tell a few tales of those long nights such as the time when missing my train after seeing a gig in London ended up with me sitting laughing like a loon on the Embankment laughing at the Houses of Parliament, or the time after a house party in Leicester of sitting by the canal laughing at the sun coming up, but this video is relating to a specific time in 1993 so let me tell you a story Dear Reader..

In 1993/4 I was living in Bristol and helping run Comics and C.D’s, a comic shop which sold second hand vinyl and C.D’s based on the Gloucester Road. Bristol back then was a different time, place and country to the Bristol of today. Things were still rough round the edges, and people still held fresh memories of the riots in the 80’s.

But one night I decided to pop to the Cadbury House after work for a few beers which wasn’t unusual as it was a Saturday and I didn’t have to work the next day. I ended up in a long night that I can’t quite remember the details of going from the Cadbury, to the Thekla and then a house party and then walking home on a beautiful summer’s morning around 5am with the sun shining and everything glowing, which may have been down to the drugs, but hey…

The thing is as I left the party the Sabres of Paradise was playing and in particular this song ”Wilmot” and you can see the video of their song above.

Since then this is what runs through my mind in those increasingly rare times when I’m coming back from somewhere late to my comfy bed. It’s a great tune and it’s a perfect representation of a certain time.

So enjoy….