They could be Mint Royale or anyone. I've taped a few of Mint Royale's videos off MTV, and the kids like them for more complicated reasons, but right now it just feels like a DJ set at 10.30am on a cold June morning, and shouldn't there be some sort of rule? Something like "For DJ sets before noon, all people on entering the tent will be handed appropriate quantities of Tequila and Red Bull, and a beautiful woman who wil lose interest if you dan't dance with her"? But no, it's just people sat in shivery, twitchy drifts and one of those bloody ribbon-ball spinners who seem to be in every crowd this year. This one is ... male. I admire his stamina, but not his tie-dyed leggings. He twitches in the corner of my eye, distracting me from the serious activity of watching men in black t-shirts disassemble and reassemble parts of the stage. It's quite hypnotic, in an irritating sort of way. It's a wrench to move on; standing up hurts. But the trick is to feel the beat and then move on, before it enslaves your will.
We drag on, under a grumbling sky. Drift up to the greenfields to chill under the windchimes. Find the One Giant Leap tent (a geodisic dome, naturally) and watch their stuff until I start to grzzle about it being too much like work. Stare at the floating fish on the Greenpeace beach (they also have a MASSIVE climbing wall for activist training), wander past the Mark Thomas comedy product and his enormous crowd, spot Michael Eavis in the healing field (having passed up on more different kinds of massage than we ever suspected existed) and eventually take a right turn into Lost Vagueness, the new postmodern field. We peer at a (closed) non-denominational chapel offering marriages, exorcisms and kick-boxing. Look into a (closed) tent offering a Church of Bob-inspired game show/election. Wonder what the (closed) Invisible Circus offers. None of us are quite up for the roller-disco, and we're not about to spend our t-shirt money on the Champagne bar. Two women in frightening pink frills roll in on a snack trike to heckle us until we pick a song for them to sing. They specialise in croon and lounge, but some joker has rubbed out a song on their menu and written Firestarter in its place. She gives it a go, but it's only got about seven words in it. And that's Lost Vagueness. We decide to come back and try it after dark, but we won't. The guys won't come back at all. I'll try for it between bands that night, but by the time I get there, won't have time to do anything of note except nearly collide with half of Alabama 3.
Our meander through the market ends at the Other Stage, where we sit down in front of the Coral to read our festival papers. I lie flat on my back in a bad sonic spot, listening to the bass loom and recede like waves. Occasionally the lead singer takes a swearing break, and once, asks us to cheer, so they can record it for their next album. It sounds very strange. Maybe I'm falling asleep.
After that we try for the Theatre field. Walk past the Miniscule of Sound and the Flirtation Tank, closed. The outdoor arialist stage, empty. At least there are a few wandering acts enlivening the scene, but it's thin, and cold and I'm not really interested in seeing stuff I've seen before. Like the outside theatre stage, with two "I'm funny because I'm rubbish" acts on in a row. We run for the cabaret. Two security guards are doing a physical theatre piece about being security guards. It's good, once you tune into it. The next act's fun, too and yes, I've never seen a xylophone played that way, but still ... I should be amazed as well as amused. I've seen the Circus of Horrors at Glastonbury, a full-sized outdoor Trapeze show (and on a windy year, too), jugglers who played music with their bodies (literally, not figuratively), hour-long UV dance shows, traditional mystery plays, and terrifying German interpretive dance. This year, it didn't seem like anyone was topping the bill. Is this where they took the money for the fence from?
He was shit. We went back to our tents.
[to be continued]
Suffering sausages. The next thing at MOMA's going to be major and exclusive Tracey Emin show. After they've closed ALL SUMMER to renovate their overstuffed arses ... grumble growl.
Here's a curiosity Mr Beller's neighbourhood, a site full of little anecdotes and stories, located geographically on an arial photograph of New York map -- someone should do one for London. Maybe even Oxford.
Incidentally, I typed "london map story project" into Google (not entirely believing that no-one had tried yet) and was sent here. ...so, if everyone wants to send me their Fish Defense stories/artwork/toons/poems, I'll compile them into a fascinating web project, then...