Sunday, July 01, 2007

Glastonbury 07: Friday evening

Bjork's Hyperballad. I personally think the album version is one of the most romantic songs ever written, while I don't think you could really say the same for this...although in hindsight, perhaps that's not such a bad thing.

On the way back to the tent I caught five minutes of Bright Eyes' set. Five minutes was definitely enough. B-o-r-i-n-g.

A drizzly Friday afternoon magically transformed itself into a pretty blissful evening, watching Martha Wainwright play to a sleepy crowd of probably only a few hundred people on the Park stage. When it comes to the younger Wainwrights I’m not a big fan of their songwriting, but when it comes to their voices, and them, I think they’re flipping great. Her dusky voice and endearing habit of making fidgety flamingo movements as she plays mark this, my first Martha Wainwright performance, as a highlight.

Rufus Wainwright is similarly charming, and his duet with Martha of Hallelujah is sublime. It’s slightly marred by my needing the loo every twenty minutes after one pint of lager, my only drink of the day, so I think that’s quite unfair, but I enjoyed the set. What the BBC hasn’t shown on its highlights section was the fact the sound people cut Rufus’s drag version of Get Happy when he ran out of time. Unanimous booing meant we had to watch the whole thing from the start again, and so the joke of watching his band prance around performing mock-Broadway dance routines wasn’t quite as funny the second time around. Still, he’s a charming man with a lovable warble.

By all accounts Arcade Fire were stunning, but standing further back from the soundstage minifig and I could barely hear anything at all. The Other Stage is a patchy place to watch any music. It gets the worst of the mud, has no natural incline and occasionally the music from The Queens Head pub threatens to swamp the sound. The crowd further back was composed entirely of people who knew none of the songs and were chatting; one of the perennial problems of festivals being that frequently, die-hard fans are competing for spaces with people waiting for the next act or suffering from too much inertia to move. It doesn’t make for a particularly electric atmosphere. After grumbling that we should have moved closer to the front, minifig and I eventually found a spot with enough room to fling our arms around each other and howl along to Arcade Fire like banshees. By the end of the show we are drunk and very happy. So, although I can’t say Arcade Fire were amazing, seeing Arcade Fire with minifig was.

Bjork was very late and we were both very tired. Minifig is disappointed by her minimalist rendition of Venus as a Boy (I loved it), and I am startled by her throbbing rave version of Hyperballad (minifig, along with basically everybody else, thought it was brilliant.) However, we both appreciated Bjork’ s confidence in screwing around with her best-loved songs and delivering a sparkling, colourful show that is nothing like sticking the CD on at home. And her voice is mind-blowing – it still scares me, but also delights me, that a human being can actually make sounds like that.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home