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Glastonbury 2005: Sunday Pyramid Stage

29 June 2005

Glasto awakes to sunshine and ecstatic gasps of relief as punters rush down to the stages to lap up the final day - and what a day it's shaping up to be as the best is truly saved for last...

Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

With ciders already out in force and everyone still smeared in leftovers of West County mud, it seems appropriate that the Yeovil Town Band kick off the day with brass and beards for breakfast.

Next up big bellies, as the Belly Dancer Superstars jiggle their way on stage for some eastern surprise. There's a bit too much stomach on show for this time of the day, so we go off to fill ours.

Returning to find the Pyramid Stage rammed full of the younger members of the Glasto crowd suddenly makes sense as James Blunt appears. Visibly overwhelmed by the reaction and teen screams, the singer songwriter launches into a set of ball-lacking, blissed out ballads that range from the soggy depths of Crowded House to the mediocre moments of Damien Rice. Worse still, he sounds disturbingly like the testicle-trapped Aaron Neville (he of Linda Ronstadt duet 'I Don't Know Much' fame). 

Time then for some tried and tested quality in the shape of Jools Holland. One of the most underated performers throughout Glasto's evolution, Jules knows how to put on a performance and today is no exception. Dads dance along with their toddlers as perhaps the best 'set for all ages', in the form of timeless blues and jazz, snakes infectiously up the hillside towards the farmhouse. It's all boogie woogie guitars, trumpets, sax, percussion and inspired improvisation, as Jules and his crew crank out classics, notably an Edwin Starr cover. He's joined on stage by the glamourous vocalists, Sam Brown and Ruby Turner, the latter providing one of Glastonbury 2005's highlights with a stunning funked up version of Dylan's 'Blowin In The Wind'. 

The 'man' Van Morrison carries on in the same vein, decked out in jazz gangster getup (or park bench tramp after a wash and a good iron if you prefer), he simply oozes cool, refusing to smile during the entire set, and leaving the onstage banter and intros to his trumpet player. Ranging his 50-a-day voice perfectly from classic to classic, it's no wonder Michael Eavis rates him amongst the best on show here this weekend. By the time final twos songs, 'Brown Eyed Girl' and 'Gloria', he may be looking a bit tired, but then so is the audience and we're glad to get some respite to one of the most eagerly awaited performances of the whole weekend, Brian Wilson.

“We thought we’d bring some California weather with us”, begins the ever-thoughtful Mr. Wilson, and not just that. The gorgeous pop harmonies eminating from the Pyramid stage have yet to be bettered by any contemnporary composer since Brian Wilson first put feet to sandpit. Nothing screams summer sand and sea like this - hell, even the seagulls are circling above the Pyramid stage for ‘Heroes And Villains’. The worried Beethoven-like expression on Wilson’s face is only matched by the legendary nature of today’s set - 'Californian Girls', 'Good Vibrations' - If this year’s festival goes down in Glastonbury legend for anything, it will be this.

There’s a blow-up inflatable doll by the barrier and Garbage’s Shirley Manson has it in her sights. Sure, she’s already heckled the guy carrying it about his sexual prowess, but this time it has to come down. She makes her way determinedly down to the crowd, grabs it off him and proceeds with it to the stage. Once there, she lays it down on the floor, climbs on top of it, and with its head cradled in her arms, proceeds to sing to it the rest of power pop anthem ‘Why Do You Love Me?’ to it’s mute open-mouthed face. Welcome, Glastonbury, to the weird and wonderful world of Garbage; it’s going to be an interesting visit.

Unfortunately, Primal Scream are unable to rustle up anything quite so explicitly sexual, tonight being the aural equivalent of slow-burning impotence. While ‘Swatiska Eyes’ finally injects some energy into their limp dick set, it’s 50 minutes too late, and the fact still remains that without a dance beat behind them, Primal Scream are about as enjoyable as reading the text speak they inspire. 'Movin' On Up' provokes a rousing singalong, and it's good to see a proper band properly fucked (Bobby Gillespie snarling at the crowd and calling us "a bunch of fucking hippies"), but it’s also a blessed relief when they’re finally escorted off.

Kylie’s cancellation left such a hole in the Glastonbury that it seemed unlikely that anyone could fill her gold hot pants. However, Basement Jaxx haven’t even tried – instead they’ve created their own over-sized meringue of a wedding dress, complete with three foot high veil and silver hot pants. Let’s see Kylie try and fill that. The next hour and a half is a tour through their recent singles compilation, a hypnotic mash of electronica, soul, and latin grooves, the only let-up is a touching tribute to the pint-sized Australian in the form of the most soulful version of ‘I Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ ever performed. It was always certain that Basement Jaxx would be a suitable end to Sunday night, but tonight they almost, almost prove their worth over and above Ms. Minogue herself. A triumphant end to one of the best, if not wettest, Glastonburys yet.



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Article by: Ruth Booth, Ross Purdie

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