Dan Davies is staying the distance… but it feels like a marathon.
The rain was patting on the roof of the tent when I woke up today. The thought of facing it filled me with dread. So I went back to sleep again.
It takes a long time for the rain to stop, when it does I venture out and notice we now have a considerable amount of tents in front me have now cleared. Leaving a long green patch leading to my porch and mud caked boots.
I leave our camp site and bump into some friends. “How’s it going,” I say. ‘Not the best,’ says one of my mates. We silently trudge up to the main stage. You can see the look in people’s faces, mostly staring down at the mud, taking one difficult step after another and hoping that the mud-torture will please stop. You have to be honest, weather aside, a lot of the doom is chemically created. Sunday’s fallout is not good anywhere but at Glastonbury it’s magnified.
We go and watch two of Marleys performing ‘Exodus.’ The sun comes out during ‘One Love’ the audience visibly lifts. With a more pronounced suck on our boots we bounce over to the further-a-fields once more. As we pass the Left Field tent I’m drawn in by laughter and hear Mark Thomas. He’s ranting about running circles around the loopholes for the right to protest in Parliament Square… as long as you apply to do so in writing.
Feeling suitably moved to the left I continue up to the Avalon stage to catch Billy Bragg perform a set of new torch songs and festival favourites. He’s on fine festival form chatting his way through songs, without being too preachy about it. The set has a busky feel, and he even plays us a busking classic ‘Waterloo Sunset’ which we all sing along and sway to. Next he plays a cover version of ‘One Love’ with amended Drop The Debt lyrics – and actions! ‘Tank Park Salute’ brings a tear to my eye, and an affectionate homage to us, the audience, came with ‘Faith.’ This is my Glastonbury.
Trudging further through Eavis’ topsoil, I head over to the Jazz World stage. I delight in another festival discovery, found in Beirut. A group from New York but bizarrely with a name like Beirut, it doesn’t sound the slightest Krautock. Instead it had a distinctly Latino feel, or the soundtrack from a lost Western. A bloke in a cape stumbles past on a brassy trumpet fanfare, slips and falls on his arse. He starts rolling a ball of mud around and makes it into a smiling face. The clown then tries to get people to appreciate it but it all turns into a bit of a mud slinging match.
We pack up the contents of the tent to a Go! Team soundtrack then left the tent behind to catch Jamie T. I swear the boy looks about 15, wearing a cap that made him look even smaller. For a slight lad he completely holds sway over the audience as he jitters through his hits. We stay at the John Peel stage for the final act of the night, we make the mistake of going to get one final drink though we find that we can’t get further than the outer rim. We can only guess and get second hand rumours of what’s going on with Beth Ditto as she spends a lot of time off the stage. With ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ screaming in our ears, we leave. The rain batters our heads as we wait for a bus but we no longer feel it.