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Glastonbury 2003: Other Stage, Saturday

28 July 2003

The Burn, Gemma Hayes, Sparta, The Thrills, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Interpol, The Libertines, Arthur Lee with Love, The Coral, Super Furry Animals

Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

Despite VFs support, The Burn have failed to ignite a great amount of press interest. Its surprising given that their fiery northern psychedelia is no more derivative than any other northern guitar act. Theyve got some anthems in waiting though, and hopefully this may help them come around. Still, whilst major labels are handing out massive advances to bands like 22-20s all is definitely still mad with the world. Three worlds: grow an imagination. Hendrix is dead and White Stripes have been doing this better for years. But as neither is here today, The Burn are a more than satisfactory opener on this glorious summer's day.

Gemma Hayes is a firm favourite with a lot of people here. Shes shed her indie-girl attire for a more glossy demeanour but her appeal to those seeking beautifully heart-felt acoustic solace is unwavering. Her voice is better than her songs, but then how can you resist something so sweet?

When At The Drive-In trashed a thousand emo hearts and split, their twin attack of blunt rock and complex passion broke right down the middle. With The Mars Volta chasing the prog-rock dragon through a maze of pretension, we are stuck with early afternoon prospect of the other half. The boring half. Sparta. Regulation emo hair and regulation emo chords will get you nowhere, but hey, at least they're not making funk-punk and calling themselves The Spartas. And 'Cut Your Ribbon' is at least a half-decent effort.

Bouncing on to the stage with near-illegal levels of chirpiness come The Thrills, Dublin's favourite exponents of ecstatic Americana. Sounding like a more upbeat incarnation of Dylan's buddies The Band, they churn out blissful melodies with abandon, and the likes of 'One Horse Town' and 'Big Sur' look set to be Glasto anthems in the future, the latter so sun-kissed it burns.

Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster are a completely different proposition, of course. Fresh from headlining a gig that featured live wrestling bouts and free candy floss, their dark rockabilly-tinged rock is no doubt an acquired taste. But the indie kids, black-clad neo-rockers, and (presumably lost) normal punters all seem to be getting something out of EMBLD (or 'Eighties etc.' as the officially programme lazily labels them)'s exhilarating and perverse super-speed rock. 'Celebrate Your Mother', 'Alex' and 'Psychosis Safari' whizz by in around a minute each, and only the brainless, sexed-up "WooOOOHHH! YeeaaaHHH! WoooOOOOOOHHHH! Yeah!" chorus of 'Giant Bones' dares to linger for a second longer. Exhausting.

Taking a rather more careful approach are the least irritating of the New York scenesters, in the form of bespoke hippie-baiters Interpol. Their contribution to a second stage line-up full of nutty and off-kilter pop is, as ever, considered cool with a heavy nod to Joy Division. Cerebral, down-tuned indie always works best when it wears suits, and the Factory-era warblings of 'Obstacle No 1' are a great warm up for the kings of seriousness (Radiohead) who will later be headlining the Pyramid Stage.



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MORE REVIEWS

Glastonbury 2005: The Dance Village

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Glastonbury 2005: Sunday John Peel Stage

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Glastonbury 2005: Friday Pyramid Stage

Glastonbury 2005: Friday Other Stage

Glastonbury 2005: Saturday Pyramid Stage

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The Make Poverty History Moment

Joe (12) and Ad (10) take on Glasto!

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Glastonbury 2004: Green Fields

Glastonbury 2004: Main Stages, Saturday

Glastonbury 2004 Headliners: Paul McCartney

Glastonbury 2004: Dance Stages, Saturday

Glastonbury 2004: Dance Stages, Friday

Glastonbury 2004 Headliners: Oasis

Glastonbury 2004: Main Stages, Friday

Glastonbury 2003: Other Stage, Friday

Glastonbury 2003: Brief Overview

Glastonbury 2003: The Best of the Rest

Andrew Future's Alternative Three

Glastonbury 2003: Sunday Pyramid Stage

Glastonbury 2003: Other Stage, Sunday

Glastonbury 2003: Saturday Pyramid Stage

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Glastonbury 2003: Friday Pyramid Stage

Glastonbury Warm-Up Party Review

One Big NO, anti-war gig Review

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Glastonbury 2002: The Best and Worst of, Part 2

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