Monday, 29 June 2009

Glastonbury 2009

This weekend has been Glasto weekend in the UK. The much loved and biggest performing arts festival in the world (175000 attendance), an eclectic mix of artists and delightfully eccentric and unique. Glasto also signifies the start of the summer here, though often there is more rain than sunshine resulting in a mudbath, but that's all part of the experience. However, this year the festival was graced with mainly warm and sunny weather.

Unfortunately I've never been to Glastonbury in person, but I always make a point of watching it every year on TV right into the early hours. And what a great festival it was this year too! Amongst the newer bands The Doves and Fleet Foxes stood out for me, what wonderful harmonies the latter had - reminded me a little of The Beach Boys.

But two long time artists stood head and shoulders above the rest for or me, the first being Neil Young - his Heart Of Gold is one of my all-time fave songs. Looking every day of his 64 years, straggly hair flying wildly and an instantly recognisable voice, he totally wowed the audience. Rockin The Free World was amazing and he had the whole audience rocking along with him, brilliant stuff. There was a magic happening and it was wonderful to watch.

Saturday night's highlight for me was Bruce Springsteen who I've been a fan since before I got into U2. I've seen him play live five times over the years and I've never been disappointed, he is simply brilliant live. He did not disappoint at Glastonbury where he was on stage for two and a half hours - quite short for him, he usually does a three plus hour set . Not bad for a man of 58 (and unlike Neil Young Bruce does not look his age). His energy in amazing and the thing that shines through is just how much he is loving every moment of it. He often talked to the audience and a one point he said about joy replacing sadness and that's exactly what this performance was about, fun and joy, it brought a smile to people's faces - including mine. As I sat in my living room watching I wished I'd been there to be part of that live experience.

Bruce did a great mix of songs including some of my favourites, Badlands, Promised Land, The River (so beautifully performed, the best I've seen), Thunder Road and Born To Run. The encore was Glory Days and Dancing in The Dark, perfect to end on. The energy never diminished, I don't know how he does it! He is very much a man of the people still, and he frequently came off the stage and went down to the audience having physical contact with them. It was all about the music and communication and it was wonderful. We may have lost The King of Pop, but The Boss is still captivating us with what great music and a great artist should be all about.

So now it's goodbye to Glasto for another year, it'll certainly be hard to top this one. I wish U2 would perform there but somehow I don't see it, though Adam is a fan of the event. No other festival is like this one, maybe it has to do with the magical place it is held and the ley lines criss-crossing the area, who knows.....

All photos taken from BBC website


  1. you mean they TELEVISE glasto????????????

  2. Erm yes.... you can watch it live

  3. Loved it but what was with all those flags on enormous poles?! From further back you could just not see anything of the stage. I hope that is not the latest fad because if I am behind that at U2....