Arriving at Brighton’s Concorde 2 from the Kemptown side, we were greeted by I Am Kloot* and friends warming up backstage, door open to the beach and singing their hearts out to Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. If that was a surprise, the ensuing gig was predictably brilliant. This is a band without a weak spot, aside from two thirds of the trio’s need to pop off mid-set for a fag.
Record Store Day, the celebration of music imprinted on vinyl in shops staffed by people who still make mix-tapes, heaven in another word, goes from strength to strength. The high street music retailers may have gone, but a hardy nucleus of independent traders continue to survive and, on at least one day a year, to thrive.
As part of my attempt to catalogue all my music festival experiences, I am today trying to remember the first Glastonbury of the 21st century. John Peel was still the compere, the Park Stage did not yet exist, and neither did Shangri La. Doves were playing their debut album in the New Bands Tent. The Pyramid Stage, making a return for the first time since a previous incarnation burned down “in mysterious circumstances” before the 1994 festival, had been baptised by Robert Plant with a pail of milk from Michael Eavis’ herd. And hardly anyone had a tattoo.
‘H is for Hawk’ won many “Best Non-Fiction” garlands last year and so there are no shortages of reviews, yet it is just so good that markontour would not be complete without adding to the eulogies. I have never had an interest in falconry, or any desire to train a wild animal of any kind, but ultimately ‘H is for Hawk’ simply made me want to be outside and enjoying our wonderful planet while it is still a place of extraordinary diversity and beauty.