Monday, 29 June 2009

Glastonbury '09...

Well, what can I say? Surely this year's Glasto has to rate right up there with the very best. A combination of factors - the outstanding roster of acts assembled onto what has to be one of the most impressive bills the organisers have ever managed to attract and some fabulous weather conditions - made it a joyous occasion and, for me personally, one of the most enjoyable weekends I've had in a long time.

Let's start with the music. The acts ranged from the sublime (Bruce Springsteen, The Specials, Jarvis Cocker) to the ridiculous (pretty much everybody else). My personal highlights? Well, the sight of Florence from Florence and the Machine, resplendant in red wig and matching blouson was certainly a sight for sore eyes. Lovely looking lad, isn't he? I've certainly never seen a size 13 look so elegant on a stack heeled wellington boot. In the lingerie department, there was surely no one to match Bat for Lashes. Three more sumptously adorned pairs of pins than the drummer, guitarist and lead singer's I doubt will ever grace the pyramid stage again. Let's just hope the lad on the zither makes a bit more of an effort next time. But the most iconic image of the festival has to be that of a sweat-soaked Springsteen, backlit by a supertrooper searchlight, launching into a heartbreaking rendition of 'The River' with steam peeling off him and cascading off into the west country air like solar flares, making him look for all the world like the hardest working cowpat in show business.

But I guess the key to this year's festival's success had to be the weather. Barring a couple of spots of rain on Saturday evening, we were able to spend much of the weekend in the garden and thus were spared the dual horrors of making sense of the Beeb's inpenetrable interactive schedule on the red button and Frank Ferdinand.

Well done everyone!!



Friday, 26 June 2009

Post 1...

It's fairly quiet on the bus in to work. Obviously, we're all still reeling from the news about Michael Jackson. I'm particularly quiet, absorbed as I am in pondering how on earth I'm going to be able to afford the plane fare to get over there for the funeral. I'd expected a bit more to be going on out in The Streets but, sadly, there are few spontaneous re-enactments of the zombie dance routine from the Thriller video taking place in the airport corridor; no anguished, wailing crowds of mourners filming themselves on their mobile phones to assist the BBC's blanket coverage of The Death of Michael Jackson: Day One- at least, none that I can see in the vicinity of Cranford and the Heathrow hinterland. Perhaps it's too early for them - or, given the perilous amount of sunshine around, maybe it's too light. They've no doubt all climbed back into their silk-lined boxes until nighfall, when the festivities of necromancy can begin again.

I have it from a reliable source that many who've forked out astonishing sums to ticket touts ahead of the late Mr. Jackson's concert tour may well lose out - at least, that's what it says in the Metro newspaper I 'm reading over the shoulder of the lady sitting in front of me. It's also feared that swine flu may now be 'out of control' (I'm afraid I couldn't read anymore as she got off the bus at West Drayton Station.) I'm reminded of Greil Marcus's account of the ticket scam in operation ahead of the Jacksons' Victory tour. Callers, having first been vetted according to their postcodes (strangely, those from the wealthiest areas were dealt with first - which is why you see so many gormless white people skanking along rhythmlessly in most of the concert footage and why so many poor black families missed the chance to see their hero[es] in the [it's mostly] flesh) were then expected to purchase $100 tickets in blocks of at least four, all of this several months before the concerts in order to allow maximum interest to accrue on the substantial instant ticket sale revenues. This is now a customary part of the manner in which pop concerts are aggressively profitised, but back then it was razor sharp practice. Still, mustn't speak ill of the dead...

A young schoolgirl, convent-educated if the Mitre festooned badge on her uniform is anything to go by - is the first to break the mood of mournful introspection. "My dad's like well gutted. I liked Michael Jackson, but I'd like top myself if Enrique ever died". So, if you think this is bad, brace yourselves for a Holocaust of fifty year olds when Sr. Iglesias finally pops his clogs. Somehow though, the planet staggers on. And, inexplicably, I have 'Rock with you' running through my brain for the rest of the day...


Thursday, 11 June 2009

A is for...



Listen to/download the first episode of 'Morton Shadow's A-Z of Pop' featuring music by Randy Newman, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Funkadelic, Simon & Garfunkel, David Bowie and Nick Lowe.