Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Glastonbury 2013- as reviewed from a sofa

So it's all over, 3 days of potential mud fest was postponed as the sun came out for a glorious Glastonbury weekend and what, for many, kicks off the official festival season.

Seeing as i had no ticket this year i decamped to Bristol  to watch the happenings on TV. Below are 15 acts reviewed using the classic 'star rating' system. See below for a sentence on each!

I couldn't have written this without the excellent coverage the BBC provided throughout (and my parents widescreen tv), so big thankyou to them :).

Haim ★★★★
The LA band really seemed to enjoy their set and the crowd did too. The album is shaping up very nicely.

Savages ★★★
Crikey Jehnny Beth and Co have got some tunes that really drive but this felt like an intense and often awkward performance.

Rodriguez ★★★✰
Fast becoming a legend here as well as in South Africa, Rodriguez played his debut Glastonbury and though sometimes it was occasionally an ambling performance peppered with one liner jokes, his music is simply unforgettable.

Rolling Stones ★★
Billed as the headline act to top all headliners, from a tv point of view they seemed a bit past it, but i doubt i could do it at their age! Mick Jagger did his bit and was an excellent frontman,  but Keith Richards seemed bemused and off pace. Those that were there said it was fantastic, even if the Daily Mail did describe it as 'Night of the Living Dead!' in their somewhat amusing/harsh Monday headline (delete as appropriate).

Ben Howard ★★★
I'm not always one for major label fayre such as Howard but he was jovial and entertaining, his surfer folk  going down well on a breezy afternoon in Pilton.

Editors ★★★
Very much a stadium act now, Editors can draw a pretty decent crowd, hence their slot on the Other Stage. Playing well known tracks from the first few albums interspersed with material from new album, The Weight Of Your Love. Tom Smith is a dickensian looking frontman with sideburns to match but he was energetic and got the crowd moving.

Chic ★★★★✰
It would be fair to say that Nile Rodgers is better known now than ever before to the masses. I'm reading his auto-biography 'Le Freak' which is a great read into the roots of Disco. His band, Chic, have got some great tunes and if you just want to feel a little bit more alive you just have to listen to the likes of He's The Greatest Dancer, Dance Dance Dance or the likes of Why by Carly Simon (which Rodgers wrote), to get a boost. A set packed full of classics, good times.

Arctic Monkeys ★★★★✰
Although they played the same time as Chic, the good news is on the tele- *editors note- did i mention i didn't go yet?- you can watch both, but Alex Turners Monkeys were unstoppable tonight. Hit after hit delivered with panache, energy and technically tight too.

Portishead ★★★★
A band that don't play too many live gigs, their set up live involves alot of visual elements, it's cinematic, urban decay and it was a treat to see them live (on tv). *editors note- i do have all 3 of their albums so i'm a little bit biased.

Alice Russell ★★★✰
I do quite like Brighton's Alice Russell, and she didn't seem phased by the big stage her success is affording her. A real highlight is Heartbreaker Part 1, i've listened to it several times since via Spotify and it was superb.

Solange ★★★★ 
Not just Beyonce's littler sister, Solange's music isn't RnB as we know it but stands looking askance at 80's electronic pop as well, which makes for an intriguing listen. Flat buddies might include Jessie Ware and AlunaGeorge. She really enjoyed the set, came across quite humble and it was quite a sight watching the crowd synchronise a jig in front of her.

Tame Impala ★★★✰
A quite windy wind threatened to sour the set but their blend of psychadelia went down well, even if a record does afford them more space-age effects than possible live.

Jessie Ware ★★★★
She's from Laaandaaan! It's nice in and amongst all the Notting Hill, Fulham, Shoreditch, farmer folk to have a nice slice of intelligent dubbed soul music from the East End Hammersmith. Ware enjoyed the set too and even got adventurous by moving to the edge of the stage at one point, something she said was her limit. Thankfully the beeb blocked out the swearing on iplayer by reversing each swearword. They rated it as 'guidance'.

Gabrielle Aplin ★★★★ (based on one song)
I always want her surname to be spelt Alpen as it reminds me of cereal, but much like Muesli, there's more to Gabrielle Aplin than meets the eye. She's got a Lisa Hannigan style of charm about her that seems quite befitting of her style of music and some well written music too. I heard her perform 'Home' from the introducing stage on Radio 2 in the car and was actually quite struck by the lyrics::

With every small disaster
I'll let the waters still
Take me away to some place real

'Cause they say home is where your heart is set in stone
Is where you go when you're alone
Is where you go to rest your bones
It's not just where you lay your head
It's not just where you make your bed
As long as we're together, does it matter where we go?
Home home home home

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