The video screens either side of the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury are invaluable for those of us who are now too old to mosh. On them, in between acts this year, was a film that featured a young mans face in stark black and white being slowly zoomed in on, as a voice over told of the trouble hed faced trying to cope since his dad died. “Every 30 minutes a child looses a parent in this country” makes you think! The film Winstons Wishes was made by my ex wifes best friend Shreepali and it stood out by not having high profile actors or a Coldplay backing track. Much as I love James McAvoy, theres a sneaking suspicion that seeing him get upset at meeting those in need, may be a good acting job
One of her previous projects was a radio 4 series In My Fathers Footsteps where she interviewed daughters whod taken on their fathers jobs. In one of those programmes she interviewed Micheal and Emily Eavis. I loved hearing about how Michaels eclectic musical tastes took him to smokey London venues where hippies, rockers, and the rest all rubbed shoulders. In 2004 there was an FMS do at the Pilton farm strange to see the site as it is 51 weeks of the year! Micheal Eavis came down and chatted to all present. I mentioned Shreepali and he remembered her with great affectionand rightly so shes a top lass!
Perhaps the best night out I ever had with her was one time in Cardiff, when along with Iona and Khalid we went to Ariadnes Thread, a special instillation by a South American theatre group. It was a maze that you went in one at a time at 15 minute intervals. Inside, actors were in different rooms doing weird things..in one room there was a crazed looking portrait on the wall of a woman with a white painted face, only it wasnt it was an actress who, as you got closer, started mimicking your actions letting off a disturbing high-pitched giggle. The freakiest part was in a blacked out room where silent, unseen hands lead you to a wall where you stood with your back to it..suddenly, you were rotated backwards and realised, as they were putting the lid on, that youre inside a coffin. This then was wheeled around as you start to get a little panicked inside..an amazing experience!
Shreepali recently won a BAFTA for the short film ‘Dawn’ which you can see here
The thrill of not knowing whats round the corner is something The Glastonbury Festival offers in buckets, in the things you see and the people you meet. This year my personal favourites were the 3 giant seagulls who came and snuggled up to us in the Theatre field.
Sarah bought a tutu this year and the very persuasive woman at the stall got me to try one on Its 5 leaf, oh that really suits you! Im not saying I wasnt tempted but with a £25 price tag, I managed to resist! Walking near the Pyramid stage later we see a couple walking towards us.and the guy has a Tutu on “Hey Mate! How come you only went for the 3 leaf and not the 5?” “They do 5 leaf! Im gutted!” – Turns out his local pub is the Farmers Arms near my mum and dads in Swinton.
You can’t possibly see everything there. Im sure Shirley Bassey was wonderful, but so were the cricket team we saw set up in the Greenfield mudbath in full whites with shin pads and even an umpire. Full toss was the order of the day.
I loved the idea of The Arctic Monkeys doing Diamonds are Forever, but if we’d have seen that we’d never have met that nice Electrician guy at the loos (it was between Arcade Fire and Bjorks sets: “Anyone need a baby wipe?…..Can I have 5 Im going for a crap” “You can have 3!”). After Nick Lowe (a wonderfully bitter and twisted solo set) we were all set to see the Killers when Si spots some spinning fire and off we go to investigate. It was a troop who juggle with fire, fire on hula hoops, fire on majorette poles, fire filled whips crackingetcetc. “Oh I’ve seen the Killers before – I’ll catch the end of the set” I think to myself as I marvel at their antics.
When decisions have to be made – Fog’s your man. He instigated the ‘tea-time rave’ and was on the ball for Sunday night. I was definitely on for the Kaiser Chiefs and The Who and he sussed that the Manic Street Preachers would probably do a greatest hits set which they did, I didn’t realise how many of their tracks I knew. We settled ourselves into a great spot where we could see what was going on and the music was loud. There were guys dancing near us, one with his top off “Is it true you lose a six-pack if you dont exercise for 5 days?” “This isnt a six-pack” “So whyre you showing it off?” “He’s the one who got naked last night” he says pointing to his over dressed mate with a benie hat on “Really?” and he nods with a pained look on his face “and Ill probably do it again later”.
The last time I saw the Kaisers was at Glastonbury 2005 (when I only caught the end of their set after work). Their crowd pleasing anthems worked a treat. Songs like ‘Ruby’ that had seemed okay to me before suddenly lept into life….smiles all round! Some good photos of them here….
The music that started with the Beat on Thursday night (Rankin Rogers still got it), ended with The Who giving a masterclass in stadium rock with every power chord rippling through your body. Who’d’ve thought the scream of a pensioner in torrential rain (during Wont get fooled again) would bring out the goose bumps Awesome!
The act that REALLY did it for me however was the Marley Brothers doing a set of (mostly) their dads songsand the sun even came out – incredible stuff. We got right to the front and were filled with the spirit of Jamaica (rum from my flask) and Yoy-yoy-yoyd along to all the songs! 4 generations of the family on stage they should do it more often!
I also got to say a phrase I’ve never said before “16 pints of lager please!”.
Bob The Chiropodist
Photos by Simon – cheers dude!