Cheer up, England. We might be terrible at football, but at least we still have the best music festival in the world.
Ah, Glastonbury – the only place on the planet where you can start your day watching Rolf Harris and end it wearing a fake moustache in a dystopian cyber-punk future-zone surrounded by rusting military airplanes. Actually, you could probably simulate that effect at V, but you’d have to take an awful lot of drugs.
Anyway, with apologies to those of you who weren’t there and are just a tiny sick of hearing about it by now, here are the things that, for good or ill, defined Glastonbury this year.
Is it possible for it to be too sunny at Glastonbury? During the day, shade became a precious commodity, with punters cramming in to every covered area. Next year: free igloos for all, please.
“Highlight of the festival!” “Genius!” “A triumph!”, blared hordes of pimp-rolling marketing managers who you just know hadn’t listened to a note of Snoop’s music since 1993.
Thousands bellowed along to The Lightning Seeds doing ‘Three Lions’. Dizzee’s World Cup song sent us into raptures. ‘World In Motion’ blared from every dance tent. And then… the inevitable miserable defeat. What were we thinking?
The whole “best Glastonbury ever” question is meaningless, unless you’ve genuinely been to every one (and if you have, your memory and critical faculties are probably shot to bits by now) – but it’s hard to shake the suspicion that a thunderous U2 set could have tipped this festival into the realms of the truly legendary.
In various after-hours tents I witnessed people going utterly batshit, eye-rolling mental to: Bon Jovi’s ‘Always’, George Michael’s ‘Freedom! 90’, John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’, and The New Radicals’ ‘You Get What You Give’ (twice!). 80s, 90s, noughties, it doesn’t even matter if we liked the song in the first place, it seems as long as it’s old, and we know the words, we’ll go crazy.
Nitrous oxide balloons
A drug that makes you feel mildly dizzy for six seconds? Brilliant. I’ll take ten.
These ranged from the good (Muse and The Edge, Scissor Sisters and Kylie) to the underwhelming (La Roux and Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory). Still, at least James Corden didn’t turn up to duet with Dizzee. In the absence of any better scapegoat, I’m blaming the tubby berk squarely for England’s football collapse.
She guested with Dizzee and The xx, and drew a stonkingly vast crowd to her own set on the Other Stage – so it’s no surprise the Glastonbury site thronged with willowy women in floral headdresses. Truly, Florence has become the patron saint of Top Shop faux-hippies everywhere.
The new “bollocks!” Mildly amusing during the day, unbelievably annoying at 10am on Sunday when you’re trying to sleep beneath the glare of a pitiless sun.
Why was everyone raving about Pet Shop Boys and Stevie Wonder? And why was Gorillaz’ set such a dreary slog? Because PSB have a back catalogue of gleamingly brilliant songs, and they unleashed them all. If you don’t have that, no amount of special guests will fill the void.