To a lot of us Phun City and Glastonbury Fair a year later, were glimpses of the future. Glimpses of a community sharing possessions, living with the environment, maintaining their culture and whatever is naturally available, consuming their needs and little else. It was a powerful vision.
Mick Farren: Watch Out Kids (1972)
I’m guessing that there will be a lot of idealists packing their organic hemp backpacks and preparing for yet another Glastonbury as I type. Some might even remember the first festival where the entrance fee was a pound (including a free carton of fresh milk) and T.Rex topped the bill just a month before the release of Ride a White Swan.
I’m also guessing that there will be many, many more revellers with next to no interest in living with the environment and consuming their needs and little else and whose main reason to attend will be the chance to sing along to the chorus of Gold Digger when Kanye West takes to the stage or maybe catch a glimpse of some celeb like Wayne Rooney or Kate Moss. When the party ends this lot will depart happily leaving sleeping bags, tents and a mountain of rubbish behind for someone else to deal with.
As I’ve mentioned before, although I have been to a number of festivals over the years, I’m a small venue type of guy who likes seeing the whites of a singer’s eyes. On Saturday, for instance, I’m heading into McChuill’s in Glasgow where Ali McKenzie and the Band of 1000 Dances will be playing a set – incidentally, this Ali is the former singer with Ronnie Wood’s old band The Birds and not to be confused with the Subs/Shakin’ Pyramids drummer Ali MacKenzie.
Wearing a court jester hat, queuing up for the chance to be charged a fiver for a bacon roll and having my view of the stage obstructed by some eejit waving around a crap flag aren’t too high on my to do list.
Oh, and while I’m at it, when I am desperate for some badly needed shuteye I don’t want some neighbouring trustafarian tapping on his bongo drums outside my tent for hours on end either. This did once happen to me and the said trustafarian asked me the next morning if I’d enjoyed the vibes he had created.
Saying that, this year’s Glastonbury line-up, as always, has a fair number of acts that do appeal to me. And if I had shelled out over two hundred quid for a ticket one of the performances that I would most like to take in would be FFS, or Franz Ferdinand and Sparks if you prefer.
They might have jointly penned a track called Collaborations Don’t Work that but their recently released album is on the whole a very enjoyable listen. From it, here’s Johnny Delusional:
Also playing over the weekend will be Tuff Love, Sleaford Mods, Buzzcocks, The Pop Group, Patti Smith, Lonelady, The Fall, Slaves, Belle and Sebastian, Alvvays, Paul Weller, Django Django, Courtney Barnett, The Waterboys and Fat White Family. And, of course, Glastonbury isn’t just about music and this year features everything from Puppet theatre and a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to a Northern Soul Party with Eddie Piller and anti bullying workshops, to name only four events scattered across the site.
Also on Saturday I’m gonna be making the short trek from McChuill’s to Mono, where hopefully I can finally get my paws on a copy of the new album, Rest & Be Thankful, from one of the country’s most consistently fine yet underrated songwriters, Joe McAlinden, formerly of Superstar, who now seems to be styling himself and his band as _Linden.
Here’s the title track:
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