On Friday night, one note popsters Arctic Monkeys played the Pyramid Stage of Glastonbury and were so dull they had to bring on fellow scallywag Dizzee Rascal to liven things up, which he didn't really. On Saturday night, The Killers upped the pace in dullness thanks to a performance by Brandon Flowers who decided to impersonate Damien Rice doing Freddie Mercury at an Elvis convention. The fact that they sounded like they played the same song repeatedly for the entire length of their set didn't help matters. On Sunday night, The Who went all out by being as exciting to watch as a group of labourers mixing cement by the side of the road. Am I missing something ?
Putting aside the obvious humiliation of running around in the rain for three days on farmland awash with mud, why would you then subject yourself to some of the absolute worst music on earth? I don't understand this festival, just as I don't understand the appeal of that dull little prog rocker DJ John Peel who now has a stage named after him at the very same Glastonbury or the music of Mark E. Smith for that matter or why Elvis Costello, who can't sing a note to save his life, keeps on recording jazz records. Nor do I understand why 'Later with Jools Holland' keeps on be talked about in reverential, hushed tones as being at the forefront of music television when they limit soul legend Smokey Robinson to thirty seconds at the piano talking about his life and music then allow Damien Rice free reign to wail his tuneless dirges throughout the same programme, not to mention the fact that Tom Jones seems to have a cut on every 'Later With' DVD that the BBC puts out.
Dont' get me wrong, the BBC makes the best music programmes on Earth. 'Seven Ages of Rock' has been wonderful to watch, 'Jazz Britannia', 'Folk Britannia' and 'Folk Hibernia' were all excellent, their annual coverage of the Cambridge Folk Festival is second to none, 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' continues to be a laugh and they pulled out all the stops for both LiveAid and Live8 but, man, Glastonbury, what a sad excuse for entertainment. To paraphrase the punky girl in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', I think it's dull as sh*t.
2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).