Monday, June 29, 2009

From The Outside Looking In - Glastonbury 2009

There has been some fuss in the press today. It is said that the BBC spent as much at £5 million on their coverage of Glastonbury across TV, radio and on-line. How many millions do they spend annually on soaps and sport, none of which I watch? I don't watch much TV as a rule, but I certainly still pay the same licence fee. This weekend I watched enough to almost make it worth it alone. I'm not saying that everyone should feel the same way but I'd like to thank the BBC - this is precisely the never-ending dilemma faced by a public-service broadcaster. Please stick to your guns...

This must be also true of choosing acts for a festival but from all accounts it was quite some festival, even by it's own standards. There was rain, and the concomitant mud, but only in reasonable proportions and would it be the same without it?

Starting as it didn't go on... Friday dawns over one of the many camp sites.

The festival atmosphere should electrify but someone left the charger on too long. By lunch time on Friday the sun had appeared and so it remained for all three days! Thanks to all the aforementioned BBC coverage I soon came to one conclusion - I should have tried to get a ticket!

I thought all three headline acts were excellent and enjoyed every moment of each. What however impressed more was just how much the newer acts were gathering coverage and large crowds. The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs - though not very new as they recently released their third LP, It's Blitz, were show-stopping. Three genuinely new artists in 2009 were:

La Roux, whose début album would have been a run-away at the top of the UK charts on Sunday were it not for the demise of Michael Jackson. As it was it made #2, which was an incredible result for the duo of Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid and single 'In For The Kill' has already become one of the signature sounds of 2009.

Little Boots was another obvious winner and also deservedly so I think.

The third artist that I put in this category will be no surprise either, even though that first album, 'Lungs', is not physically released until this coming Monday (in the UK). Florence and The Machine were simply on another planet.

It would be hard to persuade anyone who had come across them for the first time, that fifteen months ago they were almost unknown outside South London. As well as the main set, which was on TV, they also recorded an acoustic BBC6 Music Hub Session on Friday:

BBC6 Music DJ was Cerys Matthews and she joined them for a duet with Florence Welch.

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