the janitor is afk

At some point tomorrow morning I’ll slip out of London and drive west – to Pilton, near Glastonbury in Somerset – through a maze of quiet back roads so that I avoid the traffic chaos that was making headlines today. Once there, I’ll be greeted by some fairly apocalyptic scenes, with early arrivals to this year’s Glastonbury Festival drowning – quite literally, in some cases – in mud caused by an unusually wet June. Scenes such as these, captured in pictures that were taken earlier today …

 

 

I’ll park the car, walk through mud and cow shit for about ninety minutes, and pitch my tent – high up above the festival site, near to my favourite stage, the John Peel Stage, which is the third or fourth biggest of the festival. Sigur Rós will be headlining this stage on Friday evening.

No matter how many times you have been to Glastonbury, nothing prepares you for its scale. Despite the sheer number of stages, music is really just a small part of what this festival is about. It began – and continues, where it can – as a quasi-utopian space in which there are as few rules as possible. For many years it was associated with CND, then Greenpeace, and these days supports a wide range of charities.

Besides music, the festival has massive fields dedicated to alternative lifestyles, leftfield politics, and various arts such as theatre, poetry and sculpture. There is a huge circus tent, a large series of deejay stages, silent discos, and legendary bars in a ‘naughty corner’ – or Shangri-La – in which free expression has been elevated to the status of an absolute value. If you spend your evening here, you can expect to be occupied until around 6am the next day.

As for the music, when you see this …

 

pyramid 1

 

… it just takes your breath away. Every. Single. Time.

There is usually a sculpture mounted above this stage – Glastonbury’s main stage, known as the Pyramid. Last year is was this awesome CND clock …

 

cnd clock

 

This year the Pyramid stage will be topped by a sculpture of a lightning bolt, in memory of this man …

 

bowie glasto

 

This is the first thing I will go to see tomorrow. In 2000, Bowie performed a set at the festival that has taken on a legendary status. The main musical action at Glastonbury won’t be starting until Friday, but at 1800 tomorrow, a huge crowd is expected to gather at the Pyramid to pay homage. The massive screens on either side of the stage will flicker into life, and Bowie’s set will be replayed in full.

I have seen this set several times (catch it here). But seeing it again at the very stage on which it was performed, and with such a large crowd, should be something very special indeed. Here he is, performing Heroes that day in 2000. Watch him speaking just before the song begins. Magical …

 

 

As for the rest of the festival, which runs until Sunday, I’ll see what I can post in terms of pictures and snippets of writing as I go along.

In the meantime, I will, as they say, be afk …

 

glasto bowie

Radiohead lyric postcards

Radiohead are selling these rather wonderful lyric postcards on their website. Each represents a song on A Moon Shaped Pool.

What I like about them – the way the interweaving vocals are represented on the cards. Here they are – not the best pictures, but you’ll get the idea …

RH card 1

RH card 2

rh card 3

RH card 4

rh card 5

RH card 6

RH card 7

RH card 8

RH card 9

RH card 11

RH card 12

RH card 13

Furillen update and important news

There was a Radiohead event at the sim this weekend – nothing too fancy, but highlights included

  • a playlist featuring all of the studio albums in chronological order
  • a slideshow of 400 pictures
  • our very own moon shaped pool
  • a giant radio
  • a landscape texture based on the album cover of A Moon Shaped Pool
  • a few fake plastic trees, and
  • the obligatory fake Chinese rubber plant.

Here are one or two pictures taken at the sim during the weekend …

Flowers

 

Fake Plastic Trees: Radiohead Redux

 

Moon and Tree

 

Moon, over a Moon Shaped Pool. Radiohead event at Furillen

 

Mellow Yellow

 

He is a DayDreamer...

 

https://flic.kr/p/JcMBWU

 

Then, on Sunday, there was the opening party for the exhibition of pictures taken at Furillen, as curated by Mareea Farrasco. We all owe her a huge debt of gratitude for pulling this together so well, and providing a space that was large enough and bright enough to do justice to the collection.

If you haven’t visited yet, it’s at Mareea’s wonderful IMAGO gallery.

It was good to see so many people at the party, and to catch up with some old faces from previous Furillen events. The music harked back to several of those, with tracks from Bowie, Prince and Radiohead jostling with the odd blast of Abba and even a bit of funk.

So … what next, at Furillen? Well, there is something that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time …

 

floyd at furillen

 

This will, I hope, be one to remember. Mareea will be helping with this event, and I know one or two others who also want to chip in. I’ll ‘dress’ the sim accordingly, there will be wall-to-wall music – pun intended – and a photo contest based on a song that will be announced in due course. Along with this, there will be a slide show, and some ‘Pink Floydian’ stuff laid out around the place. There will also, of course, be a party held at some point over the weekend. Maybe even several …

If you have any ideas or want to make a contribution, please get in touch.