4play: Glastonbury Memories

The Glastonbury Festival is underway, and NME.com will keep you informed on what you're missing. (So far: Vampire Weekend, Santogold, Get Cape, and rain). Here are four songs that I saw live during my two visits to the festival, in 1999 and 2002. I've got so many amazing memories of that festival - from wandering around at 4am with my pal Nico and a girl from Coventry, looking for a teepee that was playing Trap Door*; to the mass Korean wedding that we spent two hours looking for in 2002. Also, live music was performed.

* Yes, I realize I mentioned this in my post last year, but that's just how insane it all was.

The Beta Band - Life: There was hardly anyone at the Other Stage when they started, because of those lousy White Stripes on the Pyramid, but it quickly swelled to a massive crowd for Los Beta Bandidos. "We won't play any Wurzels, Oasis or Travis!" said a cheerful Steve Mason, and they were amazing. And finally, six years later, I've forgiven them for not playing 'Dry the Rain' that night. [Bonus: some video!]

Jurassic 5 - Jayou: The dance tent was SO PACKED for them. And they tore. shit. UP. Everything that is good about live hip hop happened in that tent. Some breakin' to close out the set, after Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist spent ages showing off and blowin' minds.

Seafood - Western Battle: The first part of a double bill that's made in my dreams, the 'Food were on before The Music in the new bands tent, and Kev Penney was wearing a t-shirt that said ROCK N' ROLL MOTHERFUCKER. Kev H, meanwhile, said "We're Glastonbury virgins! We're not real virgins, though... we're all studs!" and that embodies the dorky charm of these guys. Also, 'Western Battle' is a fantastic song with about six choruses.

Elbow - Coming Second: This was the show where me and about thirty thousand friends sang back-up vocals on an Elbow song. Got 'A Cast of Thousands' to hand? Yeah, that's me in the acknowledgments. This set drew entirely from 'Asleep in the Back' and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Although 'Scattered Black and Whites' didn't make me cry, the way it did at Reading the previous year, it was still pretty stunning. Did I mention that I love Elbow?

[download The Beta Band - Life]
[download Jurassic 5 - Jayou]
[download Seafood - Western Battle]
[download Elbow - Coming Second]


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