It may have been a couple of months since I got back, but here's my post-Glasto roundup.
I think I arrived earlier than I have before. First weren't running the bus from Bath this year (boo!), so I got a train to Temple Meads and the shuttle bus from there. It all went pretty smoothly, and even though it started pouring with rain just after I got on the bus, it was sunny by the time we arrived on-site about 40 minutes later. They've sorted-out the traffic this year, so only buses could go through Pilton. I don't know where the cars were sent, but it made the bus a lot quicker not having to sit in all the plebby car traffic. Hurrah!
I'd sent my tent up and had a cup of tea by about 1:30pm, so I headed off to find some music. I spent a lot of time at the Small World Solar Stage where I caught Crystal Masters (sort of bluesy/country stuff), Celeste Lovick (who I thought was excellent - I bought one of the CDs she was selling), and Cornelius. I spent the rest of my Wednesday poking around the Green Fields and enjoying the site in its pre-mud state. Shrek III was inexplicably cancelled in the evening, but hey ho.
On Thursday there was a big fire at a scrap-yard outside the site, but the huge amounts of black smoke that hung around in the sky all day provoked some debate. I had discussions with random people about everything from 'terrorist attacks on music' to 'Street is on fire', but thankfully all were false. I spent most of the day catching the bands playing on the Bandstand, including The Doubtful Guest, who were as good as ever.
Friday kicked-off with breakfast at Henry's Beard, then Kate Nash on the Pyramid stage. I don't really know much about her, but she was ok. I stuck around for The Subways (who were unimpressive) and Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly, who were ok. I then trundled off to the Other stage to catch Vampire Weekend, mainly thanks to people going on about how good they are. They were ok, but I think they suffered from the immediate downer that my brain adds to any Other Stage performance. I wandered-off to the Green Futures field to watch Caroline Lucas wipe the floor with some Tory in a debate entitled 'Can the Tories Deliver A Green Agenda?', one of a number of interesting events in that tent. I then strolled over to the Avalon stage to catch Hazel O'Conner, which was suprisingly good. I then caught a strange act called 'Dancing On Your Grave' by 'The Cholmondleys and the Featherstonehaughs', followed by a cute singer/songwriter called Hera from Iceland/New Zealand (another set I liked enough to buy the CD afterwards). There then followed a few hours of managing not to meet-up with some friends, but I did catch the surprise Franz Ferdinand set on The Park stage.
Saturday morning saw the site beginning to dry-up a bit after the rain on Friday, with the Pyramid Stage not looking too bad. First up was Shakin' Stevens, who was pretty poor actually. For some reason he now refuses to sing 'Green Door', which leaves 'This Old House' as the only song anyone cares about. Martha Wainwright was up next, and she was suitably barmy. I didn't catch her whole set though as I had to be at the Leftfield for 12:30 to catch Seize The Day, who were as excellent as ever. Immediately after them came the mighty Flipron, who I've probably seen almost as many times now as I've seen anyone. Then it was back to the Pyramid to see the ever excellent Crowded House, followed by a bit of James Blunt (who really isn't that objectionable - I don't know why he gets so much stick). It was then time for a comedy break, so I went to the Cabaret tent to see Simon Munnery, Jeremy Hardy and Mitch Benn - all excellent as usual. Jeremy Hardy just doesn't do enough stand-up. Then it was off to the Jazz World stage to see Imagined Village, who had Billy Bragg on for a bit. I can't really remember the rest of the evening thanks to cider overload, but I think I saw Massive Attack. I definitely ignored Jay-Z.
Sunday morning brought another very pleasant breakfast at Henry's Beard in the Green Fields, then on to the Pyramid stage to see Marina Topley-Bird. I also caught Scouting For Girls on the Other Stage, before heading to the Pyramid Stage to get a spot for Leonard Cohen. I caught the end of the unimpressive Neil Diamond and the better than expected Goldfrapp, before the highlight of the festival, Leonard Cohen. He was blinding, as expected... and I've managed to see him live! I never thought I would. All is well with the world.
Monday was lovely and sunny. I spent a good few hours strolling around and poking at the (now much quieter) markets. It really was a lovely, sunny day. After the nightmare of last year's departure (thanks to See Tickets awful bus planning, the weather, early starts, and other rubbish), this year was about a million times better. Just look at the lovely, sunny and mud-free bus station!. The mud came over the top of my boots there last year, and we were all close to being hypothermic. Good times.