Friday 29 June 2007

there'll be peace when you are done...

Earworms of the Week - Glastonbury Aftermath edition

> “Faster” – Manic Street Preachers

I am an architect, they call me a butcher…

That’s a first line that will ever conjure up images in my head of Richey slicing “4 REAL” into his arm with a razor blade in front of Steve Lamacq. Amy Winehouse eat your heart out.

I love the Manic Street Preachers. As a band, they seem to stand entirely on their own: there is no one that I can think of that is remotely like them. There was a time when I thought that James Dean Bradfield had one of the most difficult jobs in the world – putting the ridiculously wordy, literate and overly complicated lyrics of Nicky Wire and Richey James Edwards to music. The lyrics on “The Holy Bible” in particular are incredibly dense and often disturbing, and the fact that the album is so good pays tribute to Bradfield’s skill. This song in particular is a good example of what makes the Manics brilliant:

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer,
I spat out Plath and Pinter

Who else sings songs like that?

They don’t play material from “The Holy Bible” very often (although more now than they used to), and I was very, very pleased when they launched into this one.

> “Newborn” – Leon Fields

Leon is one of my friends, and this is one of the songs that he played at an open mic session at the Rabbit Hole in the new Park area of the site (the other songs being equally cheerful numbers by happy souls like Joy Division, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Nirvana). I don’t know how familiar you are with Muse, but this song is both extremely fiddly to play and is sung in an extremely high register. It took a hell of a lot of bottle to play this in front of an audience on an acoustic guitar, and I think Leon just about pulled it off. Mind you, he did start the day with a breakfast punch of industrial strength Somerset Scrumpy mixed with red wine….

> “Behave” – Charlotte Hatherley

It was Charlotte’s birthday when she played the Park stage, watched from the wings by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, and to be honest she looked like she would rather have been anywhere else but where she was…. And the second her set was over she flounced off the stage without a backwards glance and disappeared. Still, I thought that she was pretty good, and this song in particular has stuck in my head. It has a slightly wonky guitar line that I just can’t seem to shake.

> “Rockin’ All Over The World” – John Fogerty

Until he played this right at the end of his set, I’d more or less forgotten that Fogerty actually wrote this song (how much money must he have made out of the Quo?). It was a fantastic set and this was a great way to finish up. Even Fogerty’s guitar solos have guitar solos and he looked like he had an absolute ball throughout. I can easily imagine that he walks around everywhere with a guitar around his shoulders and one of those little portable amps strapped onto his belt… that way he can solo everywhere he goes.

Brilliant. You could say that I liked it, I liked it, I la-la-la liked it, la-la-la liked it.

> “Golden Skans” – The Klaxons

I’m not sure about Nu-Rave, I just think that this is a great song – made even better if you substitute the last “Haaaaa!” in the chorus with a wookie noise.

> “Hallelujah” – Rufus and Martha Wainwright

This is a lovely song at the best of times, but this sent shivers down my spine. Rufus made a bit of a mess of the order of the verses, and the sound throughout the set was a bit ropey, but it didn’t make a bit of difference. Gorgeous.

> “James Bond Medley” – Dame Shirley Bassey

It’s always great to watch a Bond theme performed by the original artist, and here we got three for the price of one: “Goldfinger”, “Moonraker” and “Diamonds Are Forever”, all sandwiched together and belted out with gusto by the great welsh diva. Brilliant. I saw McCartney doing “Live and Let Die” in 2004, and I thought that was pretty good (it had fireworks and flamethrowers and everything!), but this was even better. It was somehow a quintessentially Glastonbury moment that the mud covered masses were stood in their wellies in the mud watching a diva in a bright pink ballgown doing her thing on a Sunday afternoon.

Tina Turner for 2008? A-Ha? Monty Norman?

> “Day Tripper” – The Bootleg Beatles

The Who may have been closing the festival over on the Pyramid Stage, but compared to this lot they just don’t have the back catalogue… As a direct result of the hour I spent in the Acoustic Tent, I lost my voice. I imagine I wasn’t the only one. Audience participation is not a problem for the Bootleg Beatles. They do exactly what they say on the tin.

Plus it was pissing it down outside, so there were other advantages to being in a tent, and no 20 minute guitar solos or pointless new material….

> “I Will Wait For You” – Tiny Dancers

I saw this lot in the Social in Nottingham a little while ago, but I was more than happy to slog my way down to the John Peel stage to watch them performing at Glastonbury. They’re slightly quirky and I can’t really ever see them being Coldplay-big, but they are surely destined for bigger stages than this.

I love his tiny guitar too.

> “You! Me! Dancing!” – Los Campesinos!

When I watched this lot play in the Park at lunchtime on Friday, they were the first band proper that I saw at the festival. Our tent was close enough to the Other Stage that I had been able to listen to Mr Hudson and the Library (not bad) and Reverend and the Makers (single aside, not very good) from the tent, but that’s no real substitute for actually pulling your wellies on and standing in the rain in front of a stage, is it?

Los Campesinos! were shambolic, obviously… but they were also fantastic. This is just such a brilliant pop song.

Naturally, Ben was there too.

> “Fluorescent Adolescent” – The Arctic Monkeys

You used to get it in your fishnets
Now you only get it in your night dress
Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness
Landed in a very common crisis

Unbelievably, Alex Turner was born in 1986. Quite how he manages to write such incisive lyrics is a marvel. The Arctics had an absolutely colossal crowd on Friday night, and although they are pretty no frills as a live act, they totally deserved it. They’re a brilliant band. They rock too, which is always a good thing.

> “New England” – Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg’s traditional set in the Left Field on Sunday night was an absolute joy. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching this guy performing his songs… even when it’s just him and his guitar. I love the fact that he gave up about a third of his set introducing the crowd to his “Jail Guitar Doors” charity… a charity that was founded when a guy wrote to Billy Bragg asking for his help raising a bit of cash to buy some instruments to help prisoners find a positive creative outlet for their feelings and frustrations. Three days after he had posted the letter, Billy Bragg rang him at work and offered to help. We were played a film about the charity, treated to a couple of impassioned speeches, a raffle and at one point Bragg even brought onstage a kid who has been out of jail on probation for four days and encouraged him to play us a song using Bragg’s own guitar. It was brilliant. The world is absolutely a better place for having people like Billy Bragg in it.

This song should need no introduction. When I saw Bragg here in 2002, he simply said “I’m Billy Bragg and this is my song”.


My favourite act of the festival.

> “Carry On My Wayward Son” – Kansas

Not strictly speaking a band who played Glastonbury (although they are currently touring the USA apparently)… but thanks to Guitar Hero, this is a song that simply will not budge from my head. I was singing this all weekend.


Apparently the Foo Fighters have covered this. Part of me really wants to hear their version, but I think it could well be the death of me.

Is that the end of Glastonbury 2007 on this blog? Who knows? I haven't seen C's photos yet....


  1. I have the foo fighters cover, and its done as a joke.

    Dave pretends he doesn't know the lyrics, and calls some guy out of the audience to sing it. So, some random guy has the ultimate karaoke experience singing "carry on my wayward son" with the foo fighters as his backing band in front of thousands of people.

    And scarily enough... I've seen Kansas in concert. Actually an extremely talented band, just not my kind of music.

  2. Kansas is playing at my towns local festival next week, I'm so embarassed.

  3. I have found a Boston version of "Carry On My Wayward Son" (of that helps...?)

  4. Completely agree with you about the scale of the task facing James Dean Bradfield on The Holy Bible. It was brilliant to hear them play 'Faster', but unfortunately it got me expecting more. Couldn't have seen '4st 7lbs' charming a Sunday evening Glasto crowd, it has to be said...

    And you know someone who drinks red wine and Scrumpy - I thought it was just my mate Matt and I who did that?!

  5. Same here concerning Bradder's skills. "Faster" is awesome & I've always got off on it live.

    "Behave" is a smashing little song, Charlotte gave me the eye once, y'know.