I love the smell of Glastonbury in the morning. It smells like... OK, not quite victory. But not quite defeat either. More like bacon, coffee, marijuana, mud, sweat and beers. And, there is no getting away from it, cow shit...
“Glastonbury! Are you seeing clearly now the rain has gone?” Guy Garvey bounds onto the Pyramid Stage, flooding the festival with avuncular game-show cheer, like that favourite teacher who always managed to get the kids on his side at school.
In a welcome blast of sunshine between downpours, an excursion to the fringe stages on the southern slopes of the Glastonbury site provides a welcome relief from the liquid mud lakes and crowd crushes around the main arenas.
Thunder, lightning and heavy downpours over Glastonbury right now. Deep joy for the 125,000 people already onsite, with more arriving every hour. It seems the gods of rock are angry. And they are not the only ones making a racket.
Lots to dig into this week, not least a song to sample from the Hiss Golden Messenger album that I’ve been alluding to for so long. Strong Ronnie Lane vibes there, perhaps. Among some biggish new entries here, some lesser known names to check out, too: Jennifer Castle; 75 Dollar Bill’s weird adaptation of desert blues; the new Blonde Redhead album that increasingly feels like their strongest in an age; and Hurray For The Riff Raff, magnificent on Letterman.
“Welcome to an evening of country and eastern,” smiles Robert Plant as he gestures expansively round this fabled Paris venue, taking in not just the lively capacity crowd gathered here tonight but also to his latest musical collaborators, The Sensational Space Shifters.
Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...