It’s whilst giving that particular portion of the site a considerably wide berth that once again, the leafy Glade beckons us to its rustic environs. Canoodling upon its stage as we arrive are two fairly familiar faces, Tony Blair and George Bush. The permanently grinning PM appears to making a speech about how he intends to kill eleven-year old girls. It’s only when the voices suddenly change to those of Big Brother along with Richard and Judy that we realise it’s actually Mark and Simon of Cassetteboy indulging in their triple X, Chris Morris stylee satirical cut-up mayhem. Hilarious and downright dirty, the pair have the whole crowd in stitches with narratives detailing Harry Potter’s loss of innocence and a finely edited version of The Verve’s ‘Drugs Do (n’t) Work. Buy their CDs. You’ll love ‘em.
In comparison, Skam Records' Stevie Wonder makes a shambolic (a la Badly Drawn Boy) appearance and it’s only later in the afternoon that Matt Herbert, without the use of his Big Band, has The Glade jumpin’ to a rip-roaring selection of bona fide bangers.
Only a few minutes away, Radio 1’s dance presence is dwarfed by the sheer size of everything around it and as such hasn’t drawn much attention to itself over the last couple of days. Yet, when we arrive at the mini-Pyramid, none other than the Audio Bullys are pumping out the awesome Steve Mac remix of ‘Face in a Cloud’. Then, booming bass gobblers, Mark and Dom of the Stanton Warriors proceed to take over and have it hard with legendary classics such as Goldie’s ‘Inner City Life’. The battle of the UK’s finest dance double acts continue as Futureshock also touch down with a boxful of electronic booty platters.
That’s not the only undiscovered delight. Up near the JazzWorld Stage, we eventually locate the circular Budweiser sponsored pub, The Crown, which has been home to a bewildering quantity of vinyl fiddlers since Wednesday. Back then they had a drum ‘n’ bass night with Krust, Die, DJ Skitz and Rodney P. On Thursday, the whole of Madchester moved in with the likes of Mani, Clint Boon, Peter Hook, Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce and Aziz Ibrahim skulking about which brings up to last night when Zero 7, Radioslave, Mylo and Rob Da Bank were spotted on the decks until the early hours! Sod the Dance Tent. This is now officially home.
As we enter, the lanky figure of Andy Barlow from Lamb’s slipping on the Beastie Boys' latest number – Ch-Ch-Check It Out! Like a house party from heaven, he tops this with The Prodigy’s ‘Outta Space’, Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Shirley Bassey’s collaboration with the Propellerheads, ‘History Repeating’. His flow is brought to a rude halt by a constantly skipping copy of, Dee-Lite’s ‘Groove Is In The Heart’. No superstar strops here though. Off it goes mid-way through and on with Roots Manuva’s ‘Witness the Pitness’! Outstanding, Mr Barlow and with Lamb’s demise looking ever more likely as time goes on, he’s got a sound second career already carved out.
Such is the heady atmosphere in The Crown, that we disregard Squarepusher Jnr’s appearance (Ceephax) back at The Glade for a rumble in the jungle with Chikubu Shake Shake residents, The Beat Monkeys. An inspirational choice to kick start their two hour appearance is Jet’s, ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ that merges soporifically with Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’. Still reluctant to depart, we nevertheless trudge unsteadily to The Glade for what will surely be one of the weekend’s finest moments – Aphex Twin.
A goggled eyes mass of loved-up wasters swarm in front of the stage and here we go, welcome to Glastonbury 2004… Amp Fiddler! Eh? Over a thousand ravers collectively squint at the published line-up then pause to study their surroundings before checking what the time is. Amp f**kin Fiddler? Where’s Richard D. James, DJ AFX, lord of looney tunes? He’s nowhere round here, that’s for sure. And neither does he arrive. Rumours are abound that he’s over-indulged and, in disgust, we leg it at full pelt towards the Other Stage. After missing the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim last night there is no way on God’s green earth that we’re not going to be there for Basement Jaxx.
Approximately six hours later, wandering in the general direction of Lost Vagueness after jigging about to Panjabi Hit Squad and the huge smile still hasn’t faded. The punk-funk, bombastic brilliance of the Jaxx has yet to wear off. From 'Romeo' to 'Kish Kash', 'Jump and Shout to Red Alert'. 'Where’s Your Head At?' Not entirely sure but it feels pretty damn good. Might have to re-think our vow to avoid the Pyramid or Other Stage for the whole weekend…
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