Sunday, July 20, 2008

Glasto Roundup

Hi kids,
A special treat today in the form of a Glastonbury Oh Eight review by none other than the male model from Claremont, the youngest of 15 children, Mister Thomas Rohr.

"Glastonbury is a festival we’ve all heard about how awesome it is and blah blah blah. For that reason I had absolutely massive expectations when going to my first one this year. I have been to Leeds Festival and a few other biggies before. However, this blew all of my expectations out of the water and more. It truly is a festival everyone has to experience to get a real grip on it. The main reason is that it’s about so much more than the music, it’s about the mud, the kids, the old school hippies, the incredible set-up of the vast different areas and pretty much the mammoth size of absolutely everything. 180 000 people went this year and to get a grip on the size of the whole site, it would take about an hour to walk from one end to the other. Along with this, there were one or two bands that played as well.

Day 1.

Kings Of Leon headlined on the Pyramid Stage on the first night and delivered another absolutely Stellar Performance that the music world has come to expect from this unfairly good-looking and incredibly talented Mega-band. However, before these guys played I had the great experience of meeting Franz Ferdinand in the crowd, as they were handing out flyers for their secret gig later that night. When this happened, I managed to get the drummer Paul Thompson to comb my hair with the comb in his back pocket. I did catch the first half of their gig before I went to Kings Of Leon and they played mainly new songs. Their sound was incredibly crisp and I think we are all going to be listening to another cracking album from this Glaswegian quartet very soon.

However, the biggest highlight of day one for me came from Foals. Foals album Antidotes is for me, one of the best releases of this year, so I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see them live. They produced an amazing live sound with front man Yannis Phillipakis playing lead guitar, singing and leading the band with a brilliant level of flow from beginning to end. They produced amazing synth driven breakdowns linking songs (not dissimilar to their album) and then had the crowd moving with their catchy riffs and ever-changing percussion beats.

Foals - 2 Steps Twice

Foals - Big Big Love

Day 2.

I started the day with a very average set by the teenagers. They were literally like a band you’d watch at school with there sound levels all over the place. The lead guy was trying to keep a good energy, but with the sound as shocking as it was, he was really pushing diarrhea up a snow hill. Which was such a shame considering the splash these French dudes have made on myspace over the last year or so.

Soko – Love No (Teenagers Cover)

After that Holy Fuck really lifted my spirits with an energising performance. The guy MC-ing the John Peel stage regarded them as one of the biggest highlights of Glastonbury ’07, which is a massive wrap for the 4-piece Canadian electronic outfit. Then I was lucky enough to catch Black Lips and Band of Horses back to back. Black Lips had pig heads on stakes on the front of the stage and one of the singers came out wearing almost like a scream like mask over his head. They had a massive amount of energy and probably one of the most rock n roll attitudes of any band I saw over the three days. A really great high-energy show concluding with one of the front dudes kicking over one of the pigs heads on a spike (they were real by the way). Band of Horses came through with a stirring set culminating in the chick standing next to me coming to tears during it. They are incredibly tight for a seven piece and have now 2 good albums worth of material which all culminated into an hour and 10 minutes of absolute pleasure.

Black Lips – It Feels Alright

Band of Horses – Is There A Ghost

Amy Winehouse who played before Jay-Z did finish her set early as she could barely stand and she also punched a guy in the audience (bless her cotton socks). The biggest highlight of the day and I would say the Festival was Jay-Z. This guy copped so much flack for being the headliner. A lot of people blamed the initial low ticket sales on him being named and the Gallagher brothers really let him and the bookers of the festival have it over his selection. This all proved as Fuel on a roaring fire as one of the biggest names in Hip-Hop put on a ripping show. He started with a 2-minute video, then he came out with Wonderwall over the top miming the words with a guitar around his neck. The whole crowd was singing along then he cut it and said “I just got one thing to say . . . I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT A BITCH AINT ONE”. That was the most responsive I saw the crowd in the whole 3 days. It was awesome! (check it out yourself).

Jay-Z - Renegade Feat. Eminem

Day 3.

The first band I saw on Day 3 that were worth mentioning would have to be the Duke Spirit. These guys are certainly up and comers. The lead singer is Kate Moss’s niece Liela Moss. She is incredibly fit and has a phenomenal stage presence. Along with that they have the music to back-up the look. They were playing on one of the smaller stages but still pulled a reasonable crowd and really rocked out with Moss wearing a lycra body suit and pulling out some unreal dance moves.

The Duke spirit – Love is an Unfamiliar Name

The Duke Spirit - Win Your love (live KEXP session)

Crystal Castles went absolutely nuts. The lead chick was climbing up the scaffolding, crowd surfing and genuinely going absolutely mental. So mental that after 20 minutes they pulled the plug. Then everyone went nuts and starting booing. So they played another two songs at that same intensity and then got pulled for good after a half hour. Who would have thought computer game music could get so intense. After this, I ducked over to see the Presets and you’ll be glad to know that they represented the homeland amazingly well. They had the roof of the dance lounge lifting. To finish up the festival, I caught the end of the Verve’s set. I would describe Richard Ashcroft as a mix of Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher. He was incredibly egotistical on stage. Either way, it was a comforting way to finish off the festival singing along to Bitter Sweet Symphony with about 120 000 other people.

Crystal Castles – Untrust Us

The Verve - Love Is Noise

It truly was a remarkable 3 days. I guess my only recommendation is to do this festival as many times as you can. I genuinely don’t think you could ever get sick of it. Along with that, I’m sure every year you go you would discover a whole new area and a whole new aspect to add to the list of things to love about this festival."

Thanks T. Rohr, sounded like a tough gig.

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