Festival Reviews

No major changes on the site itself to mention this year. The Silent Disco was now in the Garden stage area, and there was a sizeable Fox at the top of the field for the Woods stage and an elephant hanging from a hot air balloon in the Big Top tent. The woods themselves were a myriad of colour and sounds with many delights to be discovered.

Sunday was glorious weather; the rest of the weekend was overcast and generally autumnal. Less of a family feel this year with the kids already being back at school but an increase in the pre-Uni crowd was evident. As ever a decent vibe and many smiling faces.

Palma Violets were a rocking start for the early arrivals on Thursday with a crowd surfing, stage invading set and the festival as a whole kicked off on Friday with a laid back, jam orientated Ryley Walker on the Garden Stage just after midday on the Friday.

Loose Music's Andrew Combs brought a fine country vibe to the Woods stage followed by a trio of ladies who stormed the rest of the afternoon. Frazey Ford stared off gently with some very fine songs from her solo album followed by the rising star that is the formidable Nadine Shah who put on an electric performance in the Big Top tent. The trio was completed by a sonic if somewhat distance performance from Torres.

Back to the Big Top for a superb show from a psychedelic driven Pond who really excelled as did, the fun filled Diagrams in the Tipi (Uncut Stage) tent. 

TY Segall's Fuzz blasted the last remains of any Friday daylight out of the sky and plunged the world into darkness with their sonic horizon filling sound. Final choice of the day was Tame Impala or Low. I went with the latter and was rewarded with a spell-binding set from the band containing a lot of new material.

Low seem be to on a creative high again. Adam mentioned that he was surprised to be invited back to the festival where last time he threw his guitar into the crowd (not gently either). Thank heavens they were asked back though, this was a show totally focussed on the music, no major lighting or videos, just the music.

Saturday started with a soon to be indie Welsh legend, H. Hawkline. Huw and the boys really had some cracking songs in the sunshine followed by The Duke Spirit who delivered a rocking return on the Woods Stage.

Madisen Ward & Mama Bear gave a delightful show of country blues to a packed and overflowing Tipi tent audience after which Stephen Steinbrink brought some heart wrenching solo tunes to the same stage followed by a young Flo Morrissey who then charmed another substantial crowd on the Uncut stage with her angelic voice.

A sojourn to the tented base camp was followed by a widescreen rock show from My Morning Jacket who packed a 60 minute set with as many songs as they could. Leaving time for an encore, I got the impression that they left the stage, only to be told there were no encores?

Tonight's Saturday headline for the 10th anniversary of the festival was the much sought after Surfjan Stevens, whose shows the previous week leading up to the festival were given 5 star reviews across the board but, could that translate to a festival field? Well quite frankly, yes. I don't think I have ever seen a festival audience so quiet and reverential. Dawn Landes was in Surfjan's band this time around and the whole unit seemed  to gel exceptionally well together. It's just hard to actually find anything lacking in the performance, stage lighting, sound or enthusiasm of the band; this was darn near as perfect festival set as you could wish for. some more thoughts on this particular set are HERE.

Sunday was a slow peaceful start but we did make it to the Woods stage for the rather excellent Houndtooth who were just beautiful in the sunshine. The Black Tambourines from Nottingham lived up to their growing live reputation with their Stones like riffs and retro reverb filled tunes. Ultimate Painting followed, these guys part Mazes, part Veronica Falls are a really first rate outfit. Marika Hackman underlined her performance at the Green Man Festival with another fine set, just one woman and a guitar (and amp).

Sunshine, main stage, Alvvays, what more could you need for a teatime slot, just glorious, the band from Nova Scotia relay delivered even though lead singer Molly Rankin was suffering with a sore throat.

A Giant Sand gig is always an intriguing affair and after a storming set at Glastonbury hopes were high for End of the Road show. Endless tuning meant the band where fifteen minutes late on even Howe quipped, "we only have time for one song now, but, it will be a good one". Howe never really seemed to have his heart in it and although the remaining forty five minutes sparked occasionally, overall it was a sense of what could have been.

Future Islands on the other hand exceeded expectations with a thoroughly entertaining set as day turned to night. Headliners for me were The War on Drugs who wound up the festival on a terrific high. There must be a new album soon and still more to come from this great band.

Highlight's of the late night sets in the Tipi included Jaco Gardner who had everyone dancing on sore feet and Ex Hex who just rocked the place to the ground.

So, the Tenth Anniversary is done and dusted and an excellent event it was as well. Here's looking forward to 2016!

Pete

Festival Website

The overriding sensations' at Green Man 2015 were, the fabulous vibe amongst the sold out crowd, staff and artists, the sensational music and, the apocalyptic rainfall.

The Black Mountains of the Breacon Becons in Wales offered us a sunny Thursday morning to set up base camp, before the rain started to fall around teatime. Settling in all day just saw us check out part of the revitalised Leftfield's set before returning to the Courtyard for the100 Welsh Ales and Ciders testing commitments.

Facilities remained impressive throughout the weekend. Even with all the rainfall the site and staff responded well to the changing conditions. Indeed how much have festivals changed these days when the main concern of someone coming out of a toilet cubicle is to whisper the news that "the hand sanitiser has run out, is that ok?" …. Another brilliant job all weekend by 'Andy's Loos'.

Friday starts off with competition winner's Hunck and the hardy souls standing in front of the main stage. A nice and brave set from the band to get the festival started. The Green Man Rising stage is next and the fabulous Art Bandini and band offer some rootsy blues and Americana by way of a seven piece band. It's a real spirit raiser!

Coral guitarist, Bill Ryder-Jones had the perfect tone for the weather and C. Duncan followed with songs from debut album 'Architect', which is full of fine music from this Scottish producer and musician, today with a  full band this was classy set.

Slug, part of the Field Music Empire from Sunderland, were in fine fettle having survived the car journey down from Wearside and really got the crowd revved up in the Far Out tent. A really great show from a charismatic band. Teleman followed with a very polished set and lots of new songs. This band is really maturing nicely.

Syd Arthur bring their heavily 70's influenced sound to the Chai Wallah's tent, but with a rum 'Super Furries Fizz' in hand, the sonic attack on the senses that is otherwise known as Viet Cong was the preferred option. Formed from the ashes of Canadian sonic warriors, 'Women' the band did not disappoint, particularly with the Neil Young esqe style, never-ending finishes' to songs.

Singer/Songwriter Joe Pug played a lovely set in the summer sunshine on the Walled Garden Stage. Storytelling and singing in equal measure made this an intimate set. Calexico in all their glory triumphed with a great set on the Mountain stage.  Indeed it was hard seeing anything surpassing this set for the rest of the day when next came, Atomic Bomb! The music of William Onyeabor with a joyous explosion of sound and attitude. Special guests included Hot Chips' Alexis Taylor and Jimmy Rip from Television amongst the large band of singers and musicians. If Calexico were joyous then this lot moved the happiness level up to good few notches. Hot Chip were the headliners on the Mountain Stage on Friday evening and seemed to draw the biggest crowd of the entire weekend to their show. I however, chose Mew on the Far Out Stage to end my Friday night. An excellent band with an ever growing catalogue and nice light show, this proved a rocking end to a Friday night.

Hannah-Lou Clarke was our first full set on Saturday. Initially checking the music out as we wondered if this Hannah-Lou, was the Hannah-Lou of 'Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou fame. She wasn't but, my, what a discovery. With a very fine band in tow, this was a fine set. Good songs, lead and rhythm guitars. With a grit reminiscence of Beth Orton and with this band set-up, Hannah-Lou Clarke is one to look out for.

As with every version of this festival, the great music just continues to flow and, Marika Hackman had the main stage all to herself with her electric guitar and amp, as the sun shone down on a quiet disbelieving crowd. There was even a queue at the Ice Cream van. Marika's lovely songs kept the crowd entranced.

The Far Out tent was bursting to overflowing halfway down the hill for Songhoy Blues, but in the sunshine the rhythms sounded just as good even if, you couldn't actually see the band. The Leisure Society continued the feel-good factor with their usual style and had the crowd jigging away. Then Nick came out with the comment "where's this rain we were promised". Well it turned up around teatime and took on seemingly apocalyptic strength over the next 18 hours and well into Sunday morning.

The Green Man Folk are made of hardy stuff and like any festival, you just get on with it. On Sunday morning it was reassuring that not many cars had left the site.

So Saturday continues apace, Jane Weaver spreads her psych sound from the Silver Globe LP across the Walled Garden crowd, followed by the storm at its most ferocious and primal.That's not the rain by the way, that's Richard Dawson who was next up on the Walled Garden Stage. Certainly an artist to split opinions, I found his set captivating. Described as a folk musician from Newcastle, that title just scratches the surface of a spine tingling live performance. 

It turns out that we are in the Walled Garden for the afternoon and early evening. The final act for us this evening is the sublime This is the Kit with added Rozi Plain. A delightful and delicate lo-fi set from this wonderful band.

It's 9.30pm and the rain has eased and the main stage turn's it's attention to the legend that is Television performing the equally legendary album 'Marquee Moon'. For those people of a certain age, this is 'Goosebumps on the back of the neck time'. The bands are electric and the songs from the album captivating. It's great to see the kids of today dancing along and singing the words. As impressive as the recent Patti Smith 'Horses' shows, both gigs were quite astonishing.

Biggest decision of the weekend was Super Furry Animals or Slowdive (who on earth did that scheduling?). Welsh band, Welsh festival, so SFA got our vote and the ninety minutes of hits and more was truly well received in the pouring rain. The recent UK tour obviously had longer shows and there was the unknown factor of what was ahead. Tonight it was more a celebratory homecoming and the band triumphed.

The heavens kept the tap open all night and well into Sunday morning. Boots turned to wellies and the grass disappeared into the mud. Having said that, the site drainage is excellent and there are never any real Glasto mud moments.

Sunday was a day of musical gold, starting out on the Far Out stage with the excellent Ultimate Painting. Part Mazes part Veronica Falls, there was a slight twinge of West Coast evident though an impressive set. Steve Gunn was next on the Mountain Stage. A prolific songwriter and guitarist, he as fabulous in the strengthening sunshine. Plenty of exercise today moving between stages, hence a new slim line Matthew E. White appeared with his band on the main stage  and were beguiling, after which it was back up the Far Out stage for workwomanlike set from Waxahatchee. No chat, just a chock –a block set of songs squeezed into the band's allotted forty five minutes slot.

Son Lux were a real find. Perhaps a close comparison would be Battles (for me). Son Lux seem genuinely nice guys, pleased, happy and humble to be playing at the festival. The music was superb and a band you should truly check out.

The sun is blazing and everyone is drying. Antlers and The Staves both put in solid sets in the sunshine. Back in tent for the first gig I have seen by Public Service Broadcasting. What an original idea for a show, educational, engaging and visually enthralling. The day just gets better.

Back to the main stage for Josh Tillman, better known as Father John Misty. For a drummer he is certainly not shy in coming forward making this is a brilliant and fun show. Great songs from a growing solo back catalogue. Josh is a real showman.

Final band of the festival for me is Goat. Again I had never seen this band live before and what a live experience they are. Psychedelic aerobics in Aztec costumes perhaps might get close. An outstanding performance anyway.

So there we are then, another Green Man passes with the burning of, yes, The Green Man and fireworks. Another stunning edition of this family friendly festival.

Pete

 Festival Website

The Pig Hotel, Pensford, a few miles west of Bath, is one of a small chain of boutique hotels in the South of England. Through the summer months most locations host a live music event under the 'Smoked & Uncut' banner.

It is an imaginative attempt to showcase original and contemporary artists in a wonderful setting. This particular event was right up our street as favourites Teleman were on the bill topped by singer-songwriter with god-like status in my eyes Ed Harcourt.

We made the festival the centrepiece of the weekend and stayed the weekend at the hotel. So as we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday breakfast in the conservatory we were able to see the festival being set up before our eyes. The spacious lawn was populated with straw bales which lent itself beautifully for a picnic-style music afternoon. With just 650 tickets on sale there was plenty of space, arguably a little too much space as the tendency for folk to place themselves at the back (some behind the small tented sound desk) meant there were no people up close to the stage. The only exception was toward the end of the Teleman set when the band encouraged a few people forward, so I was able to jump around for their set closer 'Not In Control'

A nod to the catering. This is a top-quality hotel and restaurant and the festival fare followed suit: a variety of alcoholic beverages including some decent real ale plus a selection of fresh cooked food from pizzas, flat-breads to barbecued mini-skewers with dips. A voucher system was in operation. With vouchers (=1 pint) at £5 each it puts it on the expensive side. But accepting that, it's good to see establishments like this provide an entree to families to the wonder of listening to a variety of music in the sunshine.

Given the family-centric nature of the day the live music lasted from 12.30 to 6.00 pm, followed by DJs for an hour. In that time we enjoyed:

Carousels & Limousines - guitars to get the afternoon off to a rocking start

The Drystones - a guitar and fiddle duo playing lively tunes with overtones of The Unthanks/Bellowhead. A virtue of this genre is that it got a few people to their feet. New song 'Green Trees' came to an abrupt end - with fiddle player, Alex, explaining that guitar player, Ford, had broken a string. They then went into a final assault of a medley of songs with Ford demonstrating his prowess on a number of variously-sized penny whistles. Impressive and entertaining in equal measure. 

Brother From Another - an acoustic duo that performed a few covers under a canvas at the side of the lawn. I didn't have high hopes as they went into their opener 'I Wanna Be like You' from The Jungle Book, but they redeemed themselves with some George Benson and Hendrix material later in their brief set.

Sinnober - a folk/indie band with Danish roots but now located in Somerset. Great melodies and a very tight live performance with songs covering multiple styles including an unmistakable Zutons sound in 'Lucky 13'. The only slight disappointment was that they terminated 'Hollywood Lies' without the guitar solo that brings this song to a conclusion on their eponymous debut CD.

Teleman - their debut album 'Breakfast' was in my 2014 top-3. Nevertheless it was good to see them breaking away from those tunes. More than half their set was 'new' material including recent single 'Strange Combination'. Not a major shift from the winning formula and unique sound of their first offering but 'Dusseldorf' and 'Glory Hallelujah' are underpinned with a slightly heavier piano sound. '23 Floors Up' from 'Breakfast' was a set highlight.

Ed Harcourt - played a set sprinkled with many of his better known numbers 'Apple Of My Eye', 'I've Become Misguided', 'Born In The Seventies', 'This Ones For You'.  At one point he clambered from the stage cutting a pied piper-like figure with children draped round his neck as  he delivered a number  a cappella (in Spanish).  Another brief sortie across the lawn accompanied the beginning of set-closer 'Until Tomorrow Then' delivered with the now familiar RCA microphone and the usual Harcourt panache 

A marvellous conclusion to a beautiful afternoon. 

Si

Website

 

If anybody is looking for a small, family-friendly festival, look no further. Truck has been going for 18 years and is a well-established item in the local Oxfordshire calendar. Located on a farm near Dicot it is easily accessible for anybody in the South. 

It falls on the same weekend as Latitude so quite understandably as far as the bill is concerned Truck cannot boast the riches of the Suffolk-based event, but at £80 for a weekend ticket, value-for-money cannot be faulted (and the kids are free).

This was the first time we had taken small children to a festival (a four and ten-year old) but with plenty of adult company the band-watching was not compromised too much. And there is certainly more than enough to keep the little ones amused in the form of circus classes, painting and fairground attractions.

The festival is held over two days, Friday & Saturday, so a big plus that it only requires a single day off work. A small frustration that the camping doesn’t open until Friday morning, so after queuing to get into the car-park the tent-pitching and setting up was followed by an immediate launch into the bands  which frustratingly meant we missed a couple of bands on our agenda..

I suspect the festival has grown a little over the years. On previous visits the car park was easily accessible and extremely close to the camping.  This year the car park was further away and it took us longer to get in, and an hour to get out on Sunday morning. But these are trifles relative to the joy this small event provides.

The main stage area “Truck Stage” is an open space.  Second venue “Market stage’ is a moderately sized big top. Third stage is a barn – an excellent location to showcase the ‘heavier’ bands on the bill like Pulled Apart By Horses, Slaves, Bo Ningen, Eagulls.There were also three further stages so plenty of choice throughout the weekend.

FRIDAY

Spring King (Truck stage) - unusually the leader of this guitar band is the drummer but all four band members contribute to the vocals. Sweeping choruses make their song highly accessible, though they were occasionally a little too close to boy-band territory for my liking. The bass player broke his e-string In the first number and, failing to live up to their name 'Nothing But Thieves' lent them a replacement.

Bloody Knees (Barn) - guitar band; clearly a favourite of the Oxford kids as they got an early afternoon mosh-pit going

Cut Ribbons (Palm City stage) - a 5-strong line up including a female bass player. Lo-fi pop, great preparation for afternoon slumbering.

The Bohicas (Truck stage) - Guitar band who had to overcome a power-out mid-set. The drummer manfully tried to fill the gap with a drum solo.

Neon Waltz  (Market Stage) - Refreshing to see a lead vocalist not encumbered with an instrument. He is supported by two guitars, bass, drums and keys. Hailing from the outer reaches of Scotland, the keys-man interestingly has his keyboard draped in a Spanish flag emblazoned with the name and logo 'XV Brigada Internacional' a multi-national brigade that battled to quell the fascists in the Spanish Civil War.  Well-crafted indie tunes delivered with conviction. Best discovery of the day.

Sunset Sons  (Market Stage) - lead vocalist plays keys with guitar bass and drums in support. Drew a large crowd to the tent. Tattoos, Ponytails and long curly locks gave the look of a band that was going to give in yer face rock so it was a little disappointing that their set comprised fairly unremarkable, gentle indie tunes.

Eagulls (Barn) - great sound for this first-class Leeds band. Within their thirty-minute they gave plenty of airing to their excellent debut album plus new song 'Life In Reverse'. A very lively audience with crowd-surfers young and old.

Clean Bandit (Truck stage) - a superbly polished act. Their dance-funk tunes have mass audience appeal. Some hits thrown in too! 

Darwin Deez (Market Stage) - Truly a one-off.  Darwin and his band provide entertainment of the first order combining quirky pop, dance-routines and audience participation all meandering into prog rock refrains. Got the tent bouncing from the very start of the set that included songs old and new, including 'Time Machine' from forthcoming album 'Double Down' out in August; also the excellent Chelsea’s Hotel from 2nd album ‘Songs For Imaginative People’ . As if the crowd needed to be delighted any more than they already were, the encore was concluded with ‘Radar Detector’. Best set of the weekend.

The Charlatans (Truck stage) - Tim Burgess once again delivers a sublime performance with timeless Charlatans classics peppered with songs from their brilliantly-crafted 2015 album ‘Modern Nature’

SATURDAY

Safe To Swim  (Market Stage) - Guitars with very imaginative keyboard refrains. Summery tunes morphing into excellent grungy guitar outros reminiscent of Idlewild

New Desert Blues (Truck stage) - Mature guitar songs from this Hampshire-based six-piece. Not frightened to vary the pace. Slower song ‘Summer Skin’ had shades of Arctic Monkeys. 

Allusondrugs (Market Stage) - taking the stage when the sun was at it's most intense this was the hottest the tent got all weekend. So highly appropriate that the drummer and vocalist should be bare-chested with impressive tattoo work on show. Conversely the rhythm guitarist sported a shirt and woolly cardigan, but didn't lack for movement for all that. This was in yer face punk-edged songs. Friends of Pulled Apart by Horses, their closing number could have been a PABH song.

Simon Stanley Ward (Great Western Saloon stage) – my first visit to this stage, with a facade of a western saloon. Stupidly I was surprised they actually had a bar in there (!) so it seemed rude not to avail oneself of a pint of Hobgoblin. Despite the tin roof this was the coolest (temperature-wise) drinking establishment on the site. As for the music, this was a deviation into Country & Western territory but with strong sprinklings of humour evidenced by the best opening lyric to a rockabilly song I’ve ever heard: 'I went to a psycho hydro-therapy class....'. Showed the band not taking themselves too seriously; and again on closing number, winning best song title of the weekend: 'I wish I was Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park'. Simon mentioned he had CDs for sale but only had 5 left – this set was great fun but I must confess I made a mental note that if I found myself in the queue I would make sure I was at least six back.   

Magic Gang (Market Stage) - Highly competent at what they do. What they do is anthemic indie songs which border on Simon Cowell manufactured, mass-appeal tunes.  Perfect example, mid-set song 'Only In My Dreams', a saccharine-fuelled pop song. This band is getting a great deal of acclaim in the credible music press and today there were a lot of people who knew their stuff to the point where the local kids were moshing to it. My concern is if this is the direction indie music is heading this is (for me) the wrong direction.  

Rat Boy (Market Stage) - unlike the previous band this band feels 'real'. A hybrid of Streets, Billy Bragg, King Blues, Jehst.  Brilliantly constructed songs with a highly relevant topical edge. Jordan Cardy is clearly the main man but he had the grace to announce his band (guitar, bass, drums) as 'We are Ratboy'.  For the final song ‘Sign On’ he invited a stage invasion - only partially successful on account of the well-drilled Security Crew.

Peasants King (Palm City stage) Lead vocal, 2nd vocal (plus tambourine/bass drum), bass, 2 guitars, drums. Loud and proud, high-intensity rock. Suffice to say, forthcoming single 'Give A Little Love' is far removed from similarly named tune from The Osmonds. This band are from South Wales - perhaps it's the Celtic routes that put me in mind of a many Scottish bands that deliver superb songs with a dark bass-drum foundation.

Rae Morris (Market Stage) - with a band comprising 2 guitars and female drummer. Her early 2015 album passed me by - most definitely an oversight on my part. Superb songs. Whole band smiling all the way through, loving the love they were getting from the crowd 

Public Service Broadcasting (Truck stage) - I love this band but tonight was a disappointment.  2-3 years ago at an early PSB show at The Haunt, Brighton (a Sea Power club night) their makeshift projector broke down leading me to comment (partly in jest) 'Public Service Broadcasting are nothing without the films'. Tonight the backdrop and now traditional stacked-up retro TV sets were devoid of film, showing just the static PSB logo. Sorry to say that the songs lose their charm without the supporting visual footage.  'Letters for the rich, Letters for the poor, the shop at the corner and the girl next door’ seemed a little hollow without the images of the rushing train. I am no technical expert but I can't believe it can be that difficult to display the films, as a minimum on the backdrop screens? My sadness is I love this band and all the stuff they've done, but I suspect anybody watching for the first time wouldn't warm to them on this performance.

Temples (Truck stage) - having seen them perform an excellent set in Holland a few weeks ago, today seemed a little like going through the motions. But the set was lifted to a brilliant height when they played a new song, which sounded like early Floyd

Basement Jaxx  (Truck stage) – with kiddies tucked up in the truck, lovely to enjoy this band with a warming whisky in hand

Si

Website and 2016 Tickets

It was another great Glastonbury.  Shared this year with Joe and Ian (and of course a mere 175,000 others).

We set out at 6:30am on Wednesday morning so that we could camp at Pennard Hill Ground. That’s my favourite camping area between The Park and Greenfields and not far from many of the stages, not far from beer and not far from good food.  However, it took 2 hours to get into the site via gate D and so we had to opt for South Park 2 field on the west of The Park. Still a good location though. We spent a lazy afternoon drinking Brothers cider on the West Holts ground after which it's our annual fix of Goan Fish Curry from the West Holts field.

Thursday was a beautiful sunny day with our morning spent on the lounging fields above the Park where this year they’ve built a bar serving real ales!  Didn’t think the Park could get any better but I was wrong! Listened to a few bands on at The Bandstand.

That evening Heavenly Records were hosting at the Crow's Nest, the tiny venue at the top of the Park hill with Eaves, The Voyeurs and Toy. Toy sounded superb as always with their pulsating psychedelic riffs.

Friday started with The Charlatans as special guests on the Other Stage belting out their anthems. Then it was off to the John Peel tent for Hinds, 4 Spanish girls enthusiastically dishing out pop rock numbers.

Everything Everything had the crowd bouncing on the Other Stage and told us “best week in our fu**ing lives”. Alabama Shakes were superb on the Pyramid Stage. The rain couldn’t dampen the powerful sound of Brittany & band's version of soulful rock. After which Mary J Blige gave an inspired performance.

The sun came out for Motorhead who were up next. Classic heavy rock experienced (and a first for me) from the front rail of the Pyramid Stage with a constant flow of crowd surfers passing over my head!

Then for some gentle chill-out sounds from King Creosote who was performing songs from his recent album 'With Love from Scotland'. Magic! All this just left enough time to catch Caribou at West Holts.  Their electronica sounds were so good.

We all met up at the Somerset Cider bar before Florence and the Machine headlining on the Pyramid. We were half way up the field for the show but even from there, her performance was superb and her stamina was awesome.  She well deserved that headline slot.

Glastonbury never sleeps so it’s off to my favourite chill out bar at the back of the stonemasons tent in Greenfields. You can rest up in their armchairs sampling their real ale before heading back out into the night to NYC Download in Block 9. 

This is the club with a facade of a ruined New York tenement block with a yellow cab imbedded in the second floor. It’s crowded hot and sweaty with great vintage club music.  It’s the kind of thing that makes Glastonbury so special. At dawn it's time for some Chai in the tipi field served by a Tibetan from a log fire before heading back to camp for some kip.

Saturday started at the Park with the sweet young voice of Flo Morrissey, followed by Eves and the fine acoustic guitar songs of Joseph Lyons and his band. Then the 2 Cuban sisters that are Ibeyi were also on at the Park stage but I struggled to dial into their sounds. Maybe a smaller indoor venue would suit better.

Giant Sand was in 8 piece legendary band mode on the Park stage. They started slow and bluesy with Howe Gelb’s gravely low voice. They then ramped the set up and five guitars were rocking by the end. After that Gaz Coombes, the former Supergrass front man produced some excellent songs old and new with his band to a hands-aloft crowd.

Leaving behind the Park Stage I headed for some pop from Paloma Faith. Again into the front area of the Pyramid Stage I witnessed her ‘show’ from close quarters. She is such a great performer and the three backing singers in her band were superb.

Pharrell Williams was next up.  The songs and the dancers were all great and packed with that feel-good factor that is the song 'Happy', one of those great festival sing along anthems.

I wasn’t going to stay for Kanye West but we were so near the front of the stage I decided to hang on. That was a mistake!  I’m not a lover of rap so found it tedious! Just him on the stage (mostly) and moving slowly under yellow lights.  I was trapped and had to stay until the end. Even the appearance of Justin Vernon did not rescue the situation.

Eventually freed myself and met up with Joe at the Crow's Nest for a late night gig from Django Django. The small tent was full by the time we got there so we sat outside with a beer. Couldn’t appreciate the set because of the sound coming up the hill from below.  The view of the Glastonbury lights and the fireballs from Arcadia were superb however but not enough to rescue the night.

Sunday was another very good day, I had wanted to catch the excellent Songhoy Blues on the Pyramid Stage but the Dalai Lama beckoned!  He spoke from a Tibetan timber stage in the stone circle field.  It was an inspiring speech covering such subjects as war, ISIS, religion, poverty, happiness, care of the earth and music (which he doesn’t rate!), afterwards time for a beer or two at my favourite Greenfields bar.

Then to the Pyramid stage for another brilliant performance from Patti Smith performing her classic album 'Horses'.  She was joined mid set by the Dalai Lama who said a few words, but he didn’t play in the band (see above).  Patti finished her set with My Generation and a nod to the Who complete with amp feedback and guitar string breaking!

After this we were at the Park Stage to hear The Staves who gave a great performance of their folk rock harmonies with added Justin Vernon. Alas Kanye didn't show this time. This was followed by some more rocking from the excellent Fat White Family

Next it's back to the Other Stage for the happy sound of Belle & Sebastian in the evening sunshine.  All the classic numbers from this large and very musical band complete with the usual dancers from the crowd invited up for 'The Boy with the Arab Strap'.

Back to the Park Stage again (good exercise) for some classic garage punk rock from The Fall after which Goat hit the stage. Goat are a  Swedish psychedelic, mask wearing trance inducing band with some exotic dancing added in. They are superb!

Then it's down to the final headliner of the festival on the Park Stage, Ryan Adams who never fails to deliver. This time it's a storming rocking set and the perfect ending to another perfect Glastonbury.

But wait, earlier I said I couldn’t go to Songhoy Blues because they clashed with the Dalai Lama,  well guess what!  They turned up for a secret gig after Ryan at the Crow's Nest.  We danced to their late night set of rock rhythms before a last pint on the top of the Park hill and a last view of the Arcadia fireballs lighting up the night sky.

Sweet!

Ken

@kenjameswallace