25 Jun 2014

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury opened it's gates this morning for a weekend that promises to be a wonderful one.

I have many musings on the line up so let's jump straight in, in no particular order...

1. I find some of the line ups a little strange, for example Robert Plant before Jack White?! Surely it should be the other way round as Plant is a music legend. With a career spanning over 40 years with Led Zeppelin and other acts, Plant has the reputation and the back catalogue to headline. I always got the impression that Glastonbury like their legends to headline, whether they are cool and current or not, see Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones.

2. On the subject of Robert Plant, I heard a rumour late last summer that Led Zeppelin were going to be doing the 2014 festival circuit. I was travelling from Manchester back to the Lake District and a friendly guy in Subway started a conversation about festivals. He told me a few rumours surrounding the acts signed up for 2014 already and he mentioned Led Zeppelin. I am slightly disappointed that they aren't playing Glastonbury because they would have been a brilliant headline act.

3. I would also just like to point out that I love Jack White. He is one of my favourite artists and I believe he has the genius to keep on creating amazing music until he is an old man. His new album Lazaretto is just perfect and he always delivers a mind blowing live performance. Glasto-goers, he is highly recommended! Jack White plays the Pyramid Stage on Saturday night.

4. Lily Allen takes to the Pyramid Stage on Friday night. I can't wait to see her performance. I think she is doing some really interesting stuff right now and I am just waiting for her career to go crazy once again. And I'm sure she'll have some entertaining stuff to say about the festival! I was glad to hear that she had decided to come back to making music and was keen to hear her refreshing take on pop. She's a brilliant lady!

5. One of my favourite bands of recent years is Haim. Haim are playing the Other Stage on Friday and I cannot stress how important it is to go and see them! Their album Days Are Gone is a perfect pop record which draws inspiration from 70's disco and rock and 90's R&B. As a live band they perform as if they grew up in 1970's America, channelling elements of early Rolling Stones and that soulful kind of Southern rock. They are three super talented sisters and you would regret missing their set! I watched their performance at Glastonbury 2013 on my TV and loved it. I also managed to catch their UK tour earlier this year and that was definitely the highlight of my year so far. They have so much live rock energy.

6. Once again I have an issue with the running order... Saturday on the Other Stage looks a little like this: Manic Street Preachers, Pixies and then headlining is Jake Bugg. It's fantastic that such a new act has been put in to headline, however I feel that Pixies or Manic Street Preachers would have been a better choice. Both bands have a rich back catalogue that they could delve through to create long, quality set. I am wondering whether they have just chosen Jake Bugg to counteract Metallica who are headlining the Pyramid Stage at the same time?

7. A band that I would love to see live is The Subways. I have spent many an hour watching their live performances on YouTube and I love them. The Subways are performing on the Other Stage on Sunday midday. They bring an old school punk element to their live shows and their set list is full of energetic pop songs that I can guarantee you will know. They seem to balance the line of super cool rock band and record selling pop band. Their mix of male and female vocal is a beautiful sound!

8. The John Peel Stage has a great range of new music across the full weekend. There are too many bands to name, but here's a list of the ones that are worth while checking out, whether at Glastonbury or just on your computer at home:
- Kaiser Chiefs: new material is anthemic and vocals at times are Bowie inspired.
- Chvrches: sweet Scottish vocals over electronic pop.
- Temples: 70's inspired and very chilled rock. Big sound and bigger hair.
- Clean Bandit: A radio favourite and a big band. A very entertaining watch.
- Fat White Family: Funky is all I have to say.
- Royal Blood: Shortlisted for the BBC's Sound of 2014, a classic heavy rock band. I can imagine they will be fantastic live.
- Dry The River: Beautiful voices. Very chilled.
- MGMT: It will be interesting to see their live performance. Their music is perfect for a festival.

9. Emiliana Torrini has a stunning, stunning voice. It would be fantastic to catch her live. She is a favourite to chill out to. She is performing on Saturday night on the Avalon Stage.

10. Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit perform on the Avalon Stage on Sunday night. I saw Johnny Flynn at Leeds Festival a few years ago. He performed in a tiny tent and it was packed full because so many people were desperate to see him. He is high energy and his music is a beautiful mix of country, soul and blues. His voice perfectly blends with the music.

11. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip for one of the last times on Saturday night, at the Left Field. This duo have been making music as separate artists but the true magic is when they pair up. Expect laughs and banter along with a beautiful blend of poetry, rhymes, dub and bass. Definitely a unique one, but not one to miss. I saw them earlier this year and hope to see both artists again in the future.

12. Kate Tempest. Poetry has never been cooler. She is a poet, artist, writer, lyricist, performer. She is art. She performs on Left Field on Sunday night.

There are hundreds and hundreds more acts to list and I am just scratching the surface. All other information is on the Glastonbury website.

Of course, I am not there, but I will be catching up on TV and online with as much live streaming as I can.

C x

23 Jun 2014

Field Day, Victoria Park, London. Sunday 8th June

Field Day is the perfect festival for anyone who is not a fan of camping or the down and dirty vibe of a festival. There is no camping on site as the festival runs over two days, each say is self - encapsulated. Everyone is kicked out after the headlining act have finished their set and you are just a walk or train journey back home to your bed. Can you see why I'm a fan?!

If I was to define a perfect day at a festival it would be Sunday at Field Day. The sun was shining, the people were friendly, the food was beautiful and most importantly the music was top notch!

I arrived, best friend in tow, in time to see Temples take to the main stage. Temples are a band who's name I have heard so often that I felt it was important to see them. They effortlessly sailed through a set of 70's tinged psychedelic rock. We sat on the grass, soaking up the sun and just listened. Temples could be the soundtrack to a lazy summer day. Their music is so easy listening yet very addictive and the aura of cool around them just adds to the overall persona. No wonder everyone is talking about them.

The festival site was spacious but easy to walk around and thankfully there was no mud in sight! The stages and tents were scattered so that there was no noise clash, but close enough to drift from band to band easily.

There was a brilliant array of food stalls, you could get anything from falafel to paella, to a hog roast. We spent quite a while deciding what to feast on before we headed to the main stage for some music.

I have to address the toilets. Yes, there were portaloos, but they were quite possibly the nicest festival toilets I've ever been in. Although, as Field Day is only a day long, you wouldn't expect too much chaos.

The drinks were pricey, which I expected,  but as it was such a beautiful sunny day I didn't really mind paying to stay hydrated.

We topped up our drinks between bands and checked out some of the fashion.  I noticed that denim shorts are always a favourite for ladies at a festival. There were a lot of beautiful playsuits as well. The men tended to stick to quirky hats and shorts.

When The Horrors began their set most of the crowd seemed to be settled in front of the main stage. Their set was flawless and they were a perfect act to follow Temples. They played a varied set which included mainly new material, their new album continously being advertised on the big screen. They played a lengthy set as the sun went down and the crowd began to disperse. I feel that The Horrors have drifted away from their old sound, for which they are famous, and evolved it into something more grown up. I just hope that they have the energy to stick with this sound and really do it justice like they did at Field Day as think that if they carry on in this direction they could end up on the same kind of scale as a band like The Arctic Monkeys.

Pixies were the headlining act and boy did they deliver! They blasted straight into an epic set list, and by epic I mean quantity as well as quality. There was very little conversation from the band to the audience, but it just meant there was more time for music! The sun set as they played and for the first time all day it got a little chilly. Not that many people noticed, most were dancing or cuddled together. There was a really nice vibe from the audience by the end of the evening. Pixies played a quality set which kept the mood levels high. If you have heard of a song by the Pixies then I can guarantee that they played it!

Leaving Victoria Park was easy enough in the dark, there were plenty of wardens to help people on their way.

Field Day Sunday was overall a chilled, sunny and beautiful day and I can guarantee I will be back next year. And I'll probably go to both days!

C x