Not Going To Glasto? Here’s Some Far Better Things To Do

Me? Oh, I’m going to be there. Currently my working days begin, end and feature nothing but Michael Eavis’s yearly(-ish) shinding: making plans, working out who we’re going to cover, wondering whether or not to take wellies and so on and so forth. It’s hard work, don’t you know. Fun, but also hard work.

Still, as someone who in the past has overslept and failed to secure a ticket, or occasionally just gone “fuck that for a game of soldiers” and stayed at home, I know how maddening it can be sitting at home watching Glastonbury on the telly. Which is partly why, all-giving guy that I am, I have selected some activities for those of you not going to partake in (I say partly because, at the end of putting this list together, I was actually thinking maybe I could just phone in sick this weekend and do them all meself, so much fun do they sound).

And so, tents not at the ready, here we go…

Watch the new season premieres of Entourage and The IT Crowd
Seriously: if you ARE going to Glastonbury and you haven’t already seen every single episode of these two shows, either a) sell your ticket, blow the profits on box sets and settle in or b) take a DVD player for your tent, because you have some serious catching up to do.

If you’re not visiting Worthy Farm and you’re unfamilar with two of the world’s best TV shows, then you should probably begin watching now: because there are seven-and-a-half hours of The IT Crowd and 32-and-a-half hours of Entourage you need to get through before the Season 4 premiere of the former airs on Friday and the latter’s Season 7 begins on Sunday. These two shows are televisual chalk and cheese. Entourage is an American show about a hyper-successful Hollywood film star and his band of hangers-on winging their way through Los Angeles and all its attendant Lottery-Winner-but-better perks. The tagline for Season 7 is “Once you have it all, what next?” The IT Crowd by contrast, takes place in the dingy basement of Reynholm Industries in London and stars three IT technicians. You want variety? You got it…

And even if these two don’t float your boat, in this day and age you have SO MUCH amazing telly to watch. On the Entourage-hosting HBO alone you have How To Make It In America, Hung, Treme (whose first season just finished in the States last night), Bored To Death, Big Love, Eastbound & Down and loads of others. All of the above are amazing and with a little, er, creativity on Google, they’re all yours.

Get out of the Barfly, take a trip to Soho and celebrate the life of a true rock and roll star
Mere hours after the adaptation of his brilliant autobiography, ‘Dandy In The Underworld’ made its theatre debut, celebrated/loathed Soho peacock/ pervert/artist/writer/Quentin Crisp wannabe Sebastian Horseley was found dead in his Meard Street apartment. The cause of death was “a suspected overdose”, which is not difficult to believe given that, as well as being literally crucified in the Philippines and wandering around Soho in a four foot hat, he made a million on the stock market, then spent it all on crack, heroin and prostitutes (he estimated having paid for sex over 1,300 times. His ‘Guide To Whoring’ is here).

I’ve not seen the play yet, but I have read his book and it is moving, funny, annoying, decadant, stupidly try-hard, shocking and brilliant. I started off thinking ‘This guy is a cock, and a boring cock at that’ and ended up thinking he was kind of a genius. “People always ask me if I believe in life after death,” he says in it, “and I always tell them: ‘I don’t believe in life before death.”

Go to Hard Rock Calling
Glastonbury has got Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder. These guys have got Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and loads of amazing pubs and restaurants with ROOFS in walking distance. Not a bad second at all, especially if it shits it down. And you get to be a part of the below, which is scientifically proven to still be the most uplifting experience available on the planet. Look! What’s friggin’ Murdoc got that can match this?

See Jonathan Ross’s “outrageous” exit from the BBC, featuring Russell Brand
Whatever you think of Wossy – and personally I think he’s an overbearing, overpaid goon who has as much talent for interviewing people as I do for knitting underwater – it’s hard to deny that the last ever ‘Friday Night With Jonathan Ross’ will be A Genuine Event. Last week, in an entrance that the Daily mail described as “ostentatious”, the Sachagate twosome arrived at Richard Branson’s pre-Wimbledon party in Ross’s England flag-covered Morgan sports car. This Friday Ross and Brand will, for the first and last time, publically discuss leaving a message on Manuel from Faulty Towers’ answerphone saying that the sex with his granddaugter was “consensual, while she wasn’t menstrual”. Let’s be honest: it hasn’t ultimately done either of them that much harm, so they’ve no real reason to hold back.

Punch your fists at Bon Jovi’s final O2 show
When Bono’s busted up his back, you have to wonder why the trail of though in the Eavis farmhouse didn’t go: “OK, so we’ve lost one bunch of super-size pomp-rockers who people pretend not to like but will be absolutely irresistible when they start reeling out the hits on the Pyramid Stage and everyone’s overdone the E/MDMA/mephedrone. Which other ones are around?” Come on: even the most ardent Animal Collective fan would be hard pushed to deny that, while it may have lacked the – yawn- “cultural significance” of Jay-Z, ‘Livin On A Prayer’ at Glasto would have been the best thing ever. So while we’re all having to endure Muse being “a spectacle” AGAIN, ditch your prejudices and get the hell down there. Modestly, the man claims to have seen merely one million faces and rocked them all. Fact is it’s way over 100 times that now. And you could be next.

Watch Larry David in a Woody Allen film or Vincent Gallo in a Francis Ford Coppala film
Annoyingly, both ‘Whatver Works’ and ‘Tetro’ have been out for some time elsewhere in the world, but this week they are both finally given a wide release in the UK. The former stars Larry David, the Seinfeld-and-Curb-Your-Enthusiasm-creating absolute top dog of US Comedy. The latter stars Vincent Gallo who, among other things, has curated ATP and is selling his sperm through his website for $1 millon a go (though “the purchaser must find another surname for the child”). Neither director should need much by way of introduction. There are trailers for both below if you need further convincing, but in my eyes both of these are must-sees.

Enjoy the fucking World Cup!
Picture the scene: you’re at Glastonbury, it’s muddy, you’re trying to watch England on a screen obscured by shit flags while Avi Buffalo is droning on in the background and some knob in a comedy hat is stood next to you hilariously blowing a vuvuzela (in fact, Avi Buffalo’s new album doesn’t sound too unlike the monotonous drone that has thus far characterised the World Cup). If England actually make it through to the second round – yeah right: and maybe Oasis will reform to play the Jazz World Stage – then you are so, SO much better off in your local pub than you are on Worthy Farm. The last thing you need to spend three days doing before another hyper-depressing England game is doing a load of endorphin-pummeling drugs in a field.

Read the book that Liam Gallagher is going to make into a film
Seriously, anyone who groaned when Liam announced he was going to be making a Beatles film needs to do some fucking research. For starters, Liam is simply funding the movie, and is likely to hire some heavy duty talent for it. Secondly, and more importantly, ‘The Longest Cocktail Party’ is not really about The Beatles. It’s about their company, Apple, and all the ludicrous chancers who passed through its doors during its brief existence. Thirdly, it is brilliantly, irreverentially written: the first few chapters alone, detailing how it took them eight months to do the logo, which is just a photo of an apple, are hilarious. The film is likely to be closer to a cross between Spinal Tap and Barton Fink than it is to Nowhere Boy or Backbeat.

In the meantime, read the book. It’s awesome.

Visit two of the most un-highbrow exhibitions ever at the Tate
Alright, so the Tate Modern is literally one metre away from the NME Offices and thus pretty easy for me, but still… ‘Exposed’ opened at the end of May, and is all about voyeurism and photos taken on the sly. As well as Marilyn Monroe and the assination of JFK, though, it also features Paris Hilton blubbering on her way to prison (which is always nice to see). Opening more recently at Tate Britain, meanwhile, you’ve got Rude Britannia, which has been put together by Britain’s finest, comics, cartoonists and idiots. Harry bloody Hill is involved, for God’s sake. Among other images, it features that cartoon of a guy on a beach with a giant stick of rock that looks a bit like it’s his dick.

In other words, there will be much more gawping and sniggering than there will chin-stroking and serious appreciation at these two exhibitons.

And last but not least, watch Glasto on the BBC
Weird thing about Glastonbury: when you don’t go and end up at home watching it on TV and really wishing you were there, this is largely because the BBC make it look AMAZING. Often much more amazing than it actually is, in fact. Many are the perfomances that I’ve found underwhelming while on the farm, then got home, watched the clips and fallen madly in love. Again, knobs in stupid hats are much more entertaining flashed to briefly during a Pyramid Stage guitar solo than they are when they’re stood next to you.

Oh, and while you’re flicking between stages at the touch of a remote button, think of me ruining my beautiful new suede boots trudging through mud and overhearing a load of dork couples going on about what “a moment” Florence doing ‘You Got The Love’ was, then getting to the Park Stage only to find out the ‘Secret Special Guests’ are Kaiser Chiefs and watching them from behind a fucking flag.

Not going to Glasto? You ain’t got it so bad…