Earworms of the Week - Glastonbury 2007 edition.
I couldn’t possibly hope to predict with any degree of accuracy pretty much any of the bands that I’m likely to see over the next few days. Years of experience have taught me that it’s foolish to try and second-guess where you will be at any time or how bothered you will feel about hacking across an enormous muddy farm through 150,000 people when you’ve had a couple of pints of cider and you’re feeling quite comfortable watching this hippy playing the spoons, thanks very much. It’s also of course an absolutely impossible task trying to second-guess which songs of the songs that I hear are going to stick in my head (have you walked past that Wine Bar near the Other Stage that plays back to back 80s classics?)…. But, all that aside, here’s a quick list of some of the acts that I’m hoping to catch at some point over the course of the weekend, and some of the songs that have been buzzing about my head over the last few days in the run up to the festival.
> “Apply Some Pressure” - Maximo Park
An obvious choice, but when I went to see Maximo Park the other week, this was the song that disappointed me the most. It was a great gig though, and I think they’ve got some fantastic material and the right kind of sound to get a crowd really moving.
It’s a bloody good song too, and my iPod tells me that it’s my most played song, and you can’t argue with that.
> “Rabbit” - Chas ‘n Dave
How could it be anything else? We’re planning on camping somewhere near the new Park stage (or more accurately, we’ll be camping where we always camp, only this time they’ve plonked a new stage down in the same field). As this is where the mighty Chas and Dave are playing, it would be a shame to miss them for the second Glastonbury in a row. I am mildly disturbed by the reports that it’s not the original Dave though. What’s that all about?
This Wednesday night will also see the return of the “Chas n’Dave Game” that is best played over a few pints of pear cider. The rules? They’re very simple: you just think of any band and then decide if it sounds better with a “Chas ‘n” or with an “’n Dave. Perhaps a few examples will help:
Guns’n Dave or Chas’n Roses ?
Arctic Dave or The Chas Monkeys?
Arcade Dave or Chas Fire?
Kaiser Dave or Chas Chiefs?
I think you get the general idea. Be warned that it’s fiendishly addictive and you’ll be doing it for everything.
It’s my contention that when you play this game, not only will everyone generally agree which one sounds better, but that 8 times out of 10, it will be Dave that comes out triumphant.
Anyway. It passes the time.
> “Night Boat to Cairo” – Madness
They’re playing at 01:30am on Sunday morning on one of the stages at Lost Vagueness. Apparently they are going to attempt to get their crowd to break the world record for snogging, which was set somewhere in Hungary and is about 5000 people. I’d better take the wife, eh?
I’ve seen Madness a couple of times before, and they have never been anything less than brilliant.
> “Fortunate Son” - John Fogerty
I have a bit of a soft spot for pedal-to-the-metal southern rock. Y’know, bands like Lynrd Skynrd, The Kings of Leon and of course Fogerty’s Creedence Clearwater Revival. The man himself still looks as though he’s come straight out of the backwoods, and may perhaps be a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but there’s no denying the power of this song, and how could I pass up the chance of shaking my bootie to “Bad Moon Rising”? Try not to dwell on the mental image that may conjure up, and think instead upon the inspired use of the song in the transformation scene in “An American Werewolf in London”.
> “You! Me! Dancing!” - Los Campesinos!
Another band that are playing on the new Park stage, just around the corner from where I’m planning to camp. I haven’t heard all that much of their material – just a couple of songs – but I have heard Ben raving about them solidly for most of the last six months. This is a great tune. Gotta love those exclamation marks.
> “Yes” - Manic Street Preachers
They’ll never play this in a million years, but it’s my favourite song off “The Holy Bible”, my favourite Manics album, and I live in hope. I think the only time I saw them play much material off that album was when they played the Reading Festival in 1994 the day before they released the damn thing. Whether they play this song or not, it’s now been several years since I last saw this band performing live. I’ve seen them many times over the years, but I think the last time was when they were touring “This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours” back in 1998. They’ve not really done anything as good since, but I think it’s high time I saw the old boys again, whilst I still can.
> “The Decision” - The Young Knives
This is a triumph of hope over experience. I’ve never yet made it all the way down to the John Peel stage to watch a band, and if it’s going to be muddy, that long trek seems even less likely to happen than normal…. And yet, and yet…. I’d really quite like to get down there this time to see this lot singing about the Horses in the New Forest.
> “Orion” - Rodrigo Y Gabriela
No matter how many times I say I’m going to do something different this year, I often find myself at the main stage to see the day’s headliners. I’m not quite sure why this is, and I’m positive that it means I have missed out on something much more interesting happening somewhere else. I don’t mind watching Coldplay or Radiohead, but I’m still confused why I went to see Oasis a couple of years ago. They were awful. Anyway. With this in mind, I’m seriously considering giving the Killers a miss when they headline the Pyramid Stage on Saturday night. Partly this is because the bands onstage immediately before them are deeply uninspiring to me (Paul Weller? No thanks), partly because I’ve seen the Killers play on this stage before, but mostly it’s because Rodrigo Y Gabriela will be headlining the Jazz stage at the same time. I saw them play at Rock City a few weeks ago and they were fantastic – who knew that a pair of acoustic guitarists could be so mesmerising onstage? This particular number sums up their appeal to me: it’s the cover of a Metallica instrumental from “Master of Puppets”, and in spite of being entirely acoustic, if anything, it rocks more than the original.
I think they’re going to be something special and I want to be there to see it. Besides, John Fogerty is onstage just before them, so I’ll probably be there anyhow. Anything to avoid Paul Weller.
> “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor” - Arctic Monkeys
I’ve not seen the Arctic Monkeys, so I’m going to pass up the chance to see Iggy and the Stooges and make the muddy dash from watching Rufus Wainwright and Arcade Fire on the Other Stage over to the Pyramid to watch Friday’s headliners. They’re awkward buggers though, so I imagine that they will play this early into their set, but it’s such a good song that I can’t think that it could possibly fail to get everyone jumping up and down.
An obvious choice, but what a great record.
> “The Saturday Boy” - Billy Bragg
The Braggster is going to be playing his traditional Sunday evening slot in the Left Field bar, and as usual I imagine that he will do it with a completely blank setlist and will take requests. He’s as much stand up comedian now as he is musician, and he’s always entertaining. The man is a veritable Glastonbury institution. He’s done plenty more famous songs than this, but this one has always been my favourite. And he does the trumpet solo for this song by playing air trumpet directly into the microphone. What more do you want?
Of course, there are thousands of bands playing at the festival this weekend. Even a quick glance down the listings produces some names to conjure with: Shitmatt, anyone? Sh*tdisco? You Say Party, We Say Die? Alloy Mental? F**k Me USA? Yoda? Zzz? Kasabian?
Through the magic of mobile phone technology (a rather snazzy Motorola Rizr Z8 since you ask), I’ll try to keep you posted with what actually sticks on my internal jukebox over the course of the festival....
I imagine you can't wait.
If you’re going down to the festival, then look out for the tall bloke in the Santa hat – that’ll probably be me.
Right. I'd better go pack.
[all pictures from 2005 - if I can survive that, then I can survive anything. I'm not scared of a bit of rain!]