Seven days after seeing The National I still have ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ on repeat in my head. London does a nice line in chilled-out summer festivals these days and last Saturday The National were the perfect headliners in Victoria Park, somehow invoking audience euphoria from a set-list that veritably wallowed in melancholy. The previous night I had enjoyed a different kind up uplift in Brixton, with Loyle Carner singing about his mum again and Erykah Badu suitably eccentric in a stetson.
The western world’s greatest music festival is over for another year and 2017 was undoubtedly defined by the way that Glastonbury embraced Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve been going to this magical festival for 25 years and have experienced countless ‘Glastonbury moments’, when an entire crowd is moved to euphoria as one under the power of extraordinary musical performance, but I’ve never witnessed anything like this.
The British music festival season is in full so swing and so it is time for the first of many markontour reviews, starting with what remains the greatest of them all – Glastonbury. As usual the acts I saw will be scored based on what I scribbled down at the time and with a tendency to allocate extra stars to the new and unusual.
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.
If 2013 was the year the Stones came to Glastonbury, then 2014 was the year that Dolly Parton charmed the world’s greatest music festival. Here follows…