Glastonbury 2014: The Lone Ranger Blog, Day Four

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Latest

  • Glastonbury awakes a hot, hazy mud bath
  • 'Surprise' act US metal-heads Metallica play the top spot on the Pyramid Stage tonight
  • Follow Daisy as she wades out on day four of her festival experience

10:35pm

That's it from me for day four; the press pack have tipped out from Metallica and the surrounding stages, and the sense of urgency is palpable.

(A bearded man with the ears and tail of a tiger has also appeared in the tent)

Other Glasto finery today has included pretending to be a fish with a pack of fifty other people in the theatre arena; silently eating an enormous banana fritter in four bites; hearing the glitter of Goldfrapp against a sun-shot, rain-smeared sky, and now, the blast and screeching guitar solos of a legendary American band I have otherwise had little to nil exposure to.

And this is Glastonbury, is Glastonbury, is Glastonbury.

10:09pm

Making a swift exit from the Jack White throng, I legged it to West Holt to give my support to Darren Hodge, who played his anticipated eye-popping set in the fairy-lit bar.

Finishing the last of a free plate of beef stew, I trod outside to find a traffic jam, courtesy of a giant crew lorry, and a still-clean car with tinted windows:

Yeovil Express:

10:07pm

Look at these cuties from Weston, out in force for Glasto.

They posed up just as I was heading out for Jack White's hustlin' Pyramid Stage appearance:

Yeovil Express:

10:02pm

Stepladders; that's the trick for 'togs armed with foot-long lenses, a high-pressure brief, and without prime access to snap the keynote acts at the two main stages.

At just shy of 5"2, I amused myself imagining a sea of spectators on stepladders, to make the viewing easier. A health and safety nightmare, for one, but then to what lengths would the press pack snappers have to go - stilts?

There were five photographers on stepladders to the left of the Pyramid alone; others teetered on the roof of the nearby marquee:

Yeovil Express:

7:13pm

With that, I'm off to catch a glimpse of the American Willy Wonka of blues, And former White Stripe, Jack White, who's recently unleashed his second solo record.

Then I'm scheduled for Darren Hodge's set at the West Holts Stage.

As Kasabian would say, Eez-eh does it...

7:09pm

Yeovil Express:

6:55pm

You may have noticed that I've not yet talked about THE TOILETS on my Lone Ranging.

And I think your imagine is as vivid as it needs be, and that's all I need to say on the matter, but these ladies have a good few words on the subject...

Yeovil Express:

"We're the Gaia Guardians, and we replaced the Green Police," says Rosie Wilks.

"We're trying to reinforce a positive message of looking after the land, asking people not to drop their fag butts on the floor, because each one leaks pollution out to 14ft.

"12 years ago there was a massive river pollution incident where 6,000 fish were killed because there was so much urine in it.

"There is one toilet per 14 people here, and that's loads! So we're singing all around the festival site to spread he word.

"If the river pollution rises above a certain level, Glastonbury gets fined £10,000 a time by the Environment Agency, and they could just pull the festival."

6:50pm

As fun as guessing what your presents are before unwrapping them at Christmas:

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6:44pm

What happens when Robert Plant plays the Pyramid Stage (and the sun's shining upon the masses, good-oh)

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5:46pm

While I have shelter and my technology's behaving, I thought I'd amuse you with a shot of my tiny Glastonbury home from this morning.

It's done ever so well in these downpours, to its credit. That said I'll be trooping home later tonight with baited breath (yikes).

Yeovil Express:

5:41pm

Zut alors! The lovers are swiftly reunited; Monsieur Lobster wholly unconcerned by his fate.

"Merci, et auvoir!" He calls after me:

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5:38pm

"Ooh la la, can you 'elp me? I have lost my lobster!"

And what else is there to do if a towering woman on stilts asks for assistance? Why, you get hunting with her for her lobster, dagnammit.

"'E is my love, my true love! But 'e keeps running away... because I want to eat 'im..."

Hmmm. Dubious intentions then, for her male crustacean caller:

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4:41pm

And I just thought the irony (unconscious or pointed) made for an excellent picture:

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4:34pm

SO I munched earlier on this, a Moroccan chicken tagine with rice and salad, for £5, and it was worth it:

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4:24pm

A MOODSY, bluesy set from the Joan Baez-accredited Thea Gilmore in he Acoustic Stage.

I arrived just as the sun was starting to warm up the ground, and tried to wangle a pass backstage to take a shot of Thea up close.

But nothing doing. According to Kitty, the production manager, Michael Eavis won't have the press wending their way into the pit for photographs, as he wants to keep the acoustic feel as pure as possible. 

Which I rather like, actually.

Anyway, here she is, the woman Joan Baez said this of: "I've been waiting for a new Bob Dylan to come along. 

"With Thea I think I've finally found it."

So I plonked myself centre front on the barrier, took some snaps, and chewed the fat and shared a beer with my new friend, Pat Thornby.

Pat, from Kent, runs a folk programme on a Weds and a blues programme on a Friday, at www.p5radio.com.

"She's a very talented artist, writes brilliant songs. Last year I saw her and she was eight months pregnant!"

Yeovil Express:

2:05pm

Right, having only had caffeine and an apple since waking this morning, I'm off again to seek nourishment and hope the rain holds. Especially as it seems I've magically managed to get mud on the inside of my poncho hood.

I'm sure it's ace for the complexion...

2:03pm

#FUNNY

Word is that DJ Chris Moyles is on site, as spotted last night by the wife of one of my press comrades.

Excited, she made a beeline over to him, only to gleefully bellow "Chris Evans!" at him.

Evidently there was a fair bit of swearing from Moylesy in response.

Oops.

1:03pm

Me in selfie mode with Steve Henwood, who runs the Bandstand area.

Yeovil Express:

Steve tells me: "I've been working Glastonbury since 1986/87 in different places, and probably (mulling it over) running the programming here since 2002.

"The smaller stages are something the festival does very well, I think, particularly well.

"I mean, how many stages are there? Dozens and dozens of the blighters.

"What I like most, is that when I talked to the management at the time when it was all starting as to what the Bandstand was for, one of the points was that there's no point us putting on acts that sound like a poorer version of what you'd hear on the main stages immediately around.

"Who's going to stop and look at a less interesting version of what's already playing?

"But what they might - and do - stop for, is something completely unique.

"The brief is to be different, and be contrary, and that's a really good brief to have."

12:58pm

DARREN Hodge with Steve Parkhouse of Jelli Records. 

Yeovil Express:

It's been one hell of a year already for Darren, what with being signed to Bristol's Jelli Records, being shortlisted in the BBC Young Folk Awards, (which involved a set at Kendal in front of BBC 6Music's Mark Radcliffe), and the acoustic world's obsession rising with this self-taught master of finger-picking guitar.

Tired and excited, Darren and Steve, founder of Jelli Records, above, kindly obliged to an interview backstage...

Hello! So how did the whole Glasto playing thing come about?

Darren: "My manager Steve, who runs Jelli Records, which is the company I'm signed with, essentially he's very well known in these circles, and I believe it started because a guy backstage at West Holts stage heard of me, and asked me to play, and obviously he'd heard I was involved with Jelli..."

You and I are both doing Glasto for the first time this year aren't we; I hope your sense of direction's better than mine

"I've been around the entire site twice to get my bearings, and I still walk up some roads thinking, 'where in god's name am I', it's just that big a festival."

How does it feel to be actually playing at the biggest, best-loved music festival in the industry?

"It started off with a number of feelings: I was like, 'oh my god, holy cr*p, look at the size of this place, I'm probably going to get lost.

"We couldn't find our tents for ages when we first arrived; we were carrying all our stuff around. I'd been interviewed by Worthy FM before we even got pitched.

"Glastonbury is Glastonbury is Glastonbury; you can see why so many people come here. The only word to describe it is crazy. 

"Every corner I turn I'm seeing something strange."

So is your set for West Holts at 8.15pm tonight going to be the same as your Bandstand set yesterday?

"I play half an hour to 45 mins depending on how the set's going, and how easily the artists either side of me can be set up.

"Over the past couple of months I've been playing sets of that length off the top of my head, responding to the feel of the crowd, whether something up-tempo and lively like Cannonball Rag or Billie Jean is needed, or something slower, more ballady."

Your dad, Douglas, is your biggest champion of course and back in Taunton of course, does he wish he was here?

"He's excited for me, very happy, he's not a crowd person, but he's asked me to constantly call him so he knows I'm all right."

How do you think your playing's developed over the last year?

"I'm looking at everything far more professionally. I'm still at a young age, still learning about the music industry, can handle the tech side of it now a lot more smoothly.

"And I've just got these two pedal boards with loads of different effects, and I'm really starting to get into it now. I'm constantly buying pedal boards..."

***I now turn to Steve of Jelli Records***

Now then Steve, what's your ethos when it comes to Darren, and how you want to shape his talent at the label?

"It's all about developing Darren as an artist, do some more recording, get him into festivals, better gigs, to help him succeed as a professional musician.

"I mean he's only 18, so he's got so much potential, so a couple of years down the line we could seriously be looking at him on one of the main stages here at Glastonbury - it's definitely one of the goals."

12:12pm

I JUST had a big long and animated natter with the incredibly talented, down-to-earth, Tanglewood-sponsored guitar-playing dynamo, DARREN HODGE.

The 18 year-old spit of Django Reindhart is from Taunton, has just finished up at Bridgwater College... and this year was shortlisted in the BBC's Young Folk Awards.

Yesterday afternoon he played his first gig at The Bandstand, and tonight, he's over at the Westholts stage at 8.15pm.

This is Darren's first Glasto too, and what a way to experience it...

Yeovil Express:

11:07am

TODAY'S plans? A third foray to the Bandstand, then onto the Circus and Theatre area -

That said, it sounds like the rain has just EXPLODED over the site, so it's a wait-out job.

The Met Office's Glastonbury forecast reads (oh lord) rain, rain, and more rain, from now until 5pm, when some sunny cloud might sneak out for a couple of hours.

As ever, it's a case of I'll see you when I see you. I just hope I don't get stuck waist-deep in mud...

11:03am

THE morning after the night before at The Pyramid Stage.

(Well, the music does get you dancing...)

Yeovil Express:

11:02am

THIS update latest from Glastonbury Festival Police:

  • 66 arrests and around 110 crimes this year - a third fewer than at this stage of the festival in 2013
  • And there have been fewer smartphone thefts - and police reckon it's because people know they can be tracked, and are therefore more likely to get caught.
  • In fact, a woman was arrested thanks to a tracking app that had been installed on a smartphone

11:00am

MUD, mud, glorious mud is the scene on the way to the Pyramid Stage this morning. The bins brighten things up though, don't y'think?

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10:58am

And those sparkling fireworks I spoke about over the Pyramid Stage before Arcade Fire, last (Friday) night:

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10:43am

The litter pickers have been out in force in The Pyramid Stage area since 6am this morning, and will be out collecting until at least midday.

Caroline Kingston said: "It's rewarding at the end when you look back, and because we also work in the recycling centre, you can see how the process works.

"Of course when you look at it in the morning it's not a great sight, and it is frustrating when you see people just chucking their litter."

10:32am

THE internet gods and a fractious iPad are conspiring against my plans to upload pictures this morning, so it'll be some more textual spiel from me at the moment...

10:11am

MORNING all. How are we? Well I hope.

I can hear you tapping your watches, and apologies for the later start than you might have become accustomed to... it was a might of a struggle pulling myself out of my slightly damp bed this morning.

And by bed, I mean a muddied roll mat, a rucksack pillow lumpily stuffed with clothes, and a sleeping bag wrapped in bin bags, to protect against flooding.

Needless to say after only 2/3 hours sitting down yesterday, and a questionable sleeping pose, my bones and body ache.

But Arcade Fire was absolutely worth it; a band I've been long-desperate to see, and frontman Win Butler's voice is clear as the moon on a starry night, with better face paint than even Michael Stipe (REM) of the blue stripe can muster.

I do like the idea that it's part down to David Bowie's artistic direction (he's a fan and a collaborator)...

And they had fireworks before they came on (which no doubt you saw on the telly)

Comments (1)

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11:21am Sat 28 Jun 14

Retired snapper says...

A true professional, keep going, we are lovely and dry in our homes, listening to the rain outside as we clutch a nice cup of coffee and after having had a lovely warm shower.
A true professional, keep going, we are lovely and dry in our homes, listening to the rain outside as we clutch a nice cup of coffee and after having had a lovely warm shower. Retired snapper
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