REVIEW: GLASTONBURY 2008

AFTER an initial downpour on the Thursday night and some gloomy, drizzly moments through Friday, this year s Glastonbury Festival became a sunny and eclectic weekend. On Thursday I saw passionate lyrical rockers Glasvegas set a high standard for the

AFTER an initial downpour on the Thursday night and some gloomy, drizzly moments through Friday, this year's Glastonbury Festival became a sunny and eclectic weekend. On Thursday I saw passionate lyrical rockers Glasvegas set a high standard for the acts to follow.

Ben Folds, one of my all-time favourite artists, appeared distant and lacklustre on Friday afternoon. However, I had just come from the most spellbinding and more intimate performance from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith - so very little could have shined in comparison. Later, feelings of boredom set in as little interested me on the line-up and Pyramid Stage headliners Kings Of Leon were more gracious than truly impressive.

Saturday started with a slightly shaky Shakin' Stevens and a pleasant and occasionally very good set from Martha Wainwright. Seasick Steve entertained more with his personality than his slightly repetitive music, but was followed by the magnificent Crowded House. Their world-class songwriting and unpretentious presentation was extremely inspiring. Later, blues legend Buddy Guy charmed the Jazz World stage with some classic tunes and a big-hearted performance. On returning to my tent I caught some of Jay-Z's set and immediately felt it was the breath of fresh air that the festival needed. Not entirely my scene, but it felt big, historic and exciting.

Sunday, was the day of the legends with showbizzy Neil Diamond and laconic Leonard Cohen wowing in contrasting ways.


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John Mayer was entertaining, impressive, but a little bland. Brian Jonestown Massacre appeared to be an appalling band comprised of unlikable and boring personalities. For them, I could not even muster the courtesy of even pretending to clap. Goldfrapp put on the most elaborate and theatrical show - although their music still failed to entirely win me over. It was left to The Verve to meld their poetry, charisma, soulful anthemic songwriting and big guitar sounds to conclude a classic Glastonbury with one of the best headlining performances I've ever seen at the festival.

To see my Glastonbury photographs visit www.flickr.com/photos/chrisboland

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