Having a blast at Glastonbury
July 1, 2003
By Special Diary Guest Keith Stodart
Well how you gonna write about this one then? says Mike at 5.30 am while we’re aimlessly walking around the Glastonbury site.
What you gonna put in?? more like what should I leave out !!
I’m going to write a condensed version we’ll call it the flashback version.
Myself and Paul Barr arrived in the early hours of Friday morning and pitched our tent in the dark, having a couple of cans of beer prior to getting a few hours shut eye. We were in the Hospitality area so there were some small luxuries such as mobile toilets with hot water and proper flushing loos, well until Saturday night anyway.
Friday was a great day and rather eventful, but that’s for another time maybe.
I got a call from Mike at around 16.30 on Saturday to say they had arrived we were at the other side of the festival site so we arranged to met at 17.15. As we headed back to meet Mike we bumped into Dave Chapple and Arthur. Arthur was deep in conversation but we said hello to Dave. Dave asked where my kilt was and I told him I had to take it off this morning due to the heat (it’s 100% wool), but it would be on later, and what a godsend it proved to be, oh! oh! that’s another story
So we had a few with Mike before he had to go and get his stuff together prior to the show. We went to watch Interpol then went back for a few beers prior to Love coming on stage at 20.00.
We got ourselves into a good viewing position about ten minutes before the band were on, the band excluding Arthur were doing some sound checks. There appeared to be some technical problems with some of the equipment, Mike told me later his amp blew during the set, but at 20.00 Arthur took the stage.
No messing about “Your Mind and We Belong Together”, the crowd look stunned by it all and rapturous applause followed the song. Then followed the FC set and apart from the trumpet solo, being drowned out a little on Alone Again Or it was a near perfect set. It was great to see the crowd reaction especially the youngsters, who were singing along to every song. There’s a whole new generation of people out there getting into Love and that can’t be a bad thing.
It seemed to finish in a flash, but don’t they say that “time flys quickly when you’re enjoying yourself”
The band left the stage but came back to play Seven and Seven is, at which point I think I just grinned from ear to ear.
We met Mike in the bar after and after initially having a small celebratory Bushmills We went onto the pints. At this point we also met Scottish Susan and Lee who were still rather hung over from the previous night. I wonder why that was??
Anyway we missed the Coral and while we discussed who to go and see next the clock ticked on and yes you guessed it we never saw anyone. Well not true actually as Lee went to see the Chemical Bros., I think.
So it was bar drinking in the Hospitality area, I may had you had to but the drinks (it wasn’t that hospitable) and there was a DJ playing tunes and people merrily dancing away as the night wore on. There was a bit of celebrity spotting going on as well, but by the time it gets quite late you know the faces, but just can’t quite get the names.
The DJ was playing a mixture of down tempo soul and commercial house music and things were starting to get a bit stale when all of a sudden “The Sound of the Suburbs” by the members came on followed by The Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen” and The Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen in Love”, the place erupted, it was dance on the tables time.
Joy Division, New Order you name it was coming on, there had obviously been a change in DJ. Before you knew it time was up 2am curfew here I’m afraid. So we got politely asked to leave by the Scottish security staff.
Now I have to mention the security staff in the Hospitality area, they were all Scottish and just to keep up with our bad reputation most of them were pissed. Sorry that not quite true, it was just the guys on the gates to and from the area. These guys appeared to be working 24 hours a day, only staying awake through alcohol and chemical substances. Despite whatever they were taking they did a great job and I only hope that have started to recover by now. The worst advice of the whole weekend however came from one of these security guys, ” Try the hot spiced cider,” he said. Paul and I participated in a pint of the said stuff on Friday and I can honestly say, don’t go there. Paul drank about a quarter of his while I drank three quarters of it in about 90 minutes. I was still tasting it on Sunday.
OK so we’re thrown out of the bar and by this time I’m talking to a young girl called Kay!!?? Who was working for a charity concerned with Dyslexia (is that how you spell it?) she’s looking for famous people to sign here T-shirts and get their picture taken. Naturally, I offer Mike’s services, which of course is no problem to him. After this I walk round with her a bit just chatting about her work, she says that because she volunteers for this charity work she get’s a free pass into Glastonbury, seems a good one to me, although I must say she is a pretty dedicated and genuine person.
As she heads back to her friends and her tent I hook up with Mike again but there’s only Scottish Susan left, Paul had gone for some shut eye. We walk round the carnage of the site until 5am at which point Susan disappears only to be seen later lying under a pink blanket in front of the Other stage. Mike crashes in our tent
Oh I just remembered I mentioned earlier the benefit or wearing a kilt. Well Imagine the scene, it’s cold dark and you need the loo. Now there’s no loos around and you don’t won’t to simply walk over against a wall and take a leek. So what do you do? Well let’s just say, true Scotsmen and empty paper cups, nuff said. Just watch what you’re drinking!!
Sunday is hangover day, well for Mike anyway, we pack up our tent around noon and have left the site by one 13.30, we drive Mike back to Bath so he can catch up on his sleep. Paul and I head back North.