It was so good to be back at Glastonbury especially after last year’s break.


There is nothing happening on the main stages on the Thursday so it is a time to chill and wander round the vast site and marvel at all the imagination and ingenuity of thousands of people who created this unique wonder that is Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.


We did catch some music however, Anthea Neads and Andy Prince (who used to be in Sham 69) with some retro pop rock. Rodney Branigan from Texas with some amazing guitar work. How the hell does he play two guitars at the same time like that?  The Worry Dolls two very talented girls on acoustic guitars and banjo reminding us of The Smoke Fairies.


After a sunny day, the evening brought rain which in turn brought some of that special ‘Glasto mud’ (on Friday the sun came out again and Saturday was a beautiful sunny day).  We headed off to the Rabbit Hole and squeezed into Dermot O’Leary’s DJ set for some dancing. Afterwards we caught the Pictish Trail (Jonny Flynn) at the Crows Nest Stage for an excellent acoustic set.








Started on the Pyramid stage with Jupiter & Okwess International from the Congo one of a number of African bands being featured at the festival this year.


Haim followed them.  Three sisters from California rocking out. Haim  became the hardest working band of the festival over the next two days, this time around appreciated their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’.  They ended up playing at the Park and BBC introducing stages and being special guests of Primal Scream during their set on Saturday. 


Half Moon Run from Canada treated us to a great Americana set on the Park Stage. We then moved up to the John Peel stage to hear a hit laden Peace set followed by, Local Natives who played to an even bigger crowd with their usual spirited (if you know the songs) greatest hits set.


It was back to the Park for Palma Violets who were very good and tried to get the crowd moving (for the video) but the crowd didn’t seem to respond much.


It was a brilliant line up at the Other Stage for the evening with Alt-J followed by Foals who were great.  They mixed old stuff with new numbers from the new album. A fantastic atmosphere and a highlight of the festival.  Then the wonderful Portishead another highlight treating us to a superb 75 minute set.  Beth Gibbon’s was sublime and performed with a background of stunning visuals including at one point the giant head on David Cameron with red lasers firing from him eyes.


After chilling out in the Greenfields we set off to Shangri-La.  The story has moved on.  Apparently the apocalypse happened last year (I didn’t notice) and we are now in the afterlife in either Heaven or Hell. Heaven is a place with no mud, clean toilets and cool spaces but you can only get in there if the angels in the judgement room let you in.


I slipped in via an unofficial way which was probably why God decided to take my sole (both of them and my shoes too which I never got back!).  Our favourite Snake pit bar is in heaven (surprisingly) complete with resident band and afterlife pods.





Saturday started back at the Pyramid with Rokia Traore and her beautiful soulful voice. On our way to the excellent MsMr on the John Peel we spotted Billy Bragg who was addressing the nation and seemingly on good form..  Back to the Park to be treated to the excellent songs from the multi talented Mr Ed Harcourt.


Now the marathon wait at the Pyramid Stage for the Rolling Stones begins as we enter the front area at 6pm.  Elvis Costello was on and playing numerous hits.  Primal Scream came on at 7.  A gutsy set with all the well known songs..  Bobby was asusual in a bit of an arsey mood but soon settled down.  Half way through the Haim sisters joined the band on tambourines and backing vocals


Then after a long wait The Rolling Stones burst onto the stage firing with, Jumping Jack Flash.  They were fantastic and we got the feeling they also appreciated that this, was a very special gig and they really gave it their best. 


Mick joked that Michael had taken a long time to get round to asking them to play and said they had written a special song for the occasion and they did Glastonbury (Factory) Girl.


Mick gave us all the classic ‘Mick’ moves and gestations whilst running round the stage for the 2 hour 15 min set.  Keith had his solo spot, Mick had his shirt changes.  Their old sparring partner and constant companion on the 50th anniversary tour, Mick Taylor joined  the band for an electric ‘Sympathy For the Devil’.  This was accompanied with some Glasto pyrotechnics in the shape of a giant robotic bird belching out flames from the top of the stage. The encored with a choir led ‘You can’t Always Get What You Want and a rocking ‘Satisfaction’.


After some soothing Chai in a Tepee woke us up again, we discover Toy performing a late gig on the tiny Crows Nest stage.  Thrashing guitars of chord progressions, Superb!






Sunday started with tea and toast from the excellent ‘Tea & Toast’ stall then it was off to the Park stage for another treat from Pictish Trail.  Jonny had brought a couple of mates from the Isle of Eigg with him on guitars and Brendon Green on the drums. A great Sunday set, at last this guy seems to be getting some recognition. Then it’s off to the West Holts stage for Mathew E White from Virginia. A big band with 3 brass players treated us to some excellent Americana Blues.


With a Somerset hot cider in hand we caught Rufus Wainwright on the Pyramid Stage.  ‘Hallelujah’ was for us as always the highlight of his set.  Mid afternoon saw us back at the Crows Nest for some great exclusive performances.  K T Tunstall was better than ever and sang and played acoustic guitar to numbers from her new album including her single Feel I All.

Johnny Lynch and Rozi Plain also appeared as backing vocalists.


Stornaway were also superb in what was turning out to be a great Sunday. There were quite a few of them so they had difficulty all getting onto the tiny stage, but made it in the end.


Michael Kiwanuka and his band gave a really good performance on the Park Stage with their brand of bluesy soulful rock.  Then it was off to see Editors on the Other Stage.  So good to hear those old numbers again with newer songs from their excellent album due out the next day.


Back to the Park for some sincere songs from Steve Mason who also gave us a little political pep talk in his ‘Billy Bragg’ way.


Finally the crowning of this year’s Glastonbury with three superb performances of synthesizer and guitar from Jagwar-Ma, Boxed In and Suuns. Again all at the small Crows Nest Stage.  Jagwar-Ma had packed out the John Peel on Saturday but were treating us here to an almost private performance.  Couldn’t finish without hitting some bars with more bands and Chai at the Tepees before leaving at 4am on Monday morning to beat the rush.


The best Glastonbury yet!  (but I always say that!)





More Photos HERE