Glastonbury Festival 2009: Saturday Review
After an overwhelmingly wonderful start to the Glasto experience, my first day ended with some exploration of the after-dark wonderland that is Shangri-La. I retired to my tent around 2am, not due to any particular debauchery (unless you believe dancing to Michael Jackon in the reggae tent to be such an activity) but more down to the fact that our tent site was parked up on possibly the furthest spot from Shangri-La. At 6am I woke up to an impromptu guitar acoustic session by our, apparently rather talented songstress, tent neighbour Lois Winstone. Feeling surprisingly chipper it was off to the water basins for a make-shift open-air cold water splash down before grabbing my glasto buddy, Petra, and heading for the Greenfields to indulge in some hippy love and a big veggie breakfast (where we were asked by the most adorable young hippie lad how it was we liked our eggs). We fast discovered Greenfields is where it's at for decent brekkie tucker and vowed to make this a daily occurrence for the remainder of the festival.
Having eaten enough to keep us going well into the early evening it was off to explore some more of the camp site before stopping into the Other Stage for Jason Mraz. The sun was well and truly shining over Worthy Farm and throwing cups of water over the now sweaty crowd awaiting Jason Mraz seemed the only way to keep cool. When Mraz took to the stage his look was laid back and somewhat reminiscent of John Butler, minus the dreads. He worked his crowd with his smooth vocals and charisma, a favourite for so many and it's not difficult to see why: the saying that lads want to be him and ladies want to do him is particularly pertinent when referring to Jason Mraz. His set culminated with a performance of his recent single "I'm Yours" cleverly extended with the inclusion of a cover of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" worked into the end. Telling the crowd to sing along to the lyrics 'Every little thing, is gunna be alright' so that even London could hear, saw the congregated masses comply with shouty enthusiasm, leaving one to conclude that we must've got close to achieving just that.
After Jason Mraz it was back to the place we had dubbed 'bliss face hippy central', otherwise known as Greenfields. Some chill time was needed to cool down after Mraz's sun drenched Other Stage set. Solace was found in a tent that saw indie artists including an Irish folk singer and quirky English guitar playing songstress. We made a quick stop in at Climate Camp for a chat, signing of a well wishes poster for the Drax 29 folk and to check out their campaign exhibition before heading back to our tent to change & refresh for the evenings line up of Passion Pit, Florence and the Machine and Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen. On our trip across the festival site, we inadvertently ran into Dizzee Rascall playing to a ridiculously packed Pyramid Stage crowd and as we snaked our way through the masses we were treated to his tribute medley of Michael Jackson tunes. We were at our camp site by the time he played Bonkers but it was audible, as was the outrageously huge roar of his crowd. Dizzee is one of 2009's hottest pop acts and judging by his crowd pulling power at Glasto, he's here to stay.
Our Saturday evening begun with Passion Pit over at the John Peel stage. Passion Pit seemed to be one of those acts that were quite hyped but not remarkably well heard of otherwise. Quirky electronica style pop seems to be the way for Passion Pit, and it worked. Following Passion Pit in the John Peel tent was the also much hyped, and rightly so, Florence and the Machine. From the moment Florence took to the stage, right through until she gracefully said her goodbyes, she captivated her audience with her intoxicatingly angsty lyrics and euphoric vocals. She impressed too, as she climbed the stage rig in her heels. Flame red hair, black hotpants and a cape - Florence was not only insanely tantalising to hear live but a vision too. A true treat!
We couldn't help repeating the words 'AMAZING' as we made our way from the John Peel stage over to the Pyramid stage to secure our position for the act that seemed to be on everyones 'must see' list: Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen. The crowd was already huge and it was nothing if not a challenge worming our way through to our mates who had holed up by the sound stage. Bruce Springsteen lived up to all that everyone had hoped him to be and won the crowd over with a mammoth set list of 26 songs. Charming the pants off what seemed like the entire crowd (ladies and gents alike) - Springsteen reaffirmed what his screaming crowd already knew to be true: that he still is a truly world class performer!
What a way to draw Saturday to a close - after realising our attempt to reach Shangri-La and Trash City was set to be ill-fated, we grabbed some refreshments at Solidarity bar and had a dance backstage instead.