NITIN SAWHNEY – ONE WORLD STAGE
The only act more suited to Glastonbury than Nitin Sawhney this weekend is Radiohead. Forget what Damon Albarn may have inflicted on the popular masses in the name of ‘world music’, because Mr 2002 Muso Of The Year Sawhney creates a wonderfully diverse and spiritually wonderful cluster of musical pieces. Aural poetry, a cataclysmic cauldron of tribal rhythms, sultry and blissful vocals (courtesy of his various guest singers; which range from the Indian Pavarotti to the guy from Aqualung) and one kick-arse tabla player. All the while, he keeps a reserved cool behind his keyboard, sometimes with his acoustic guitar on his lap overseeing proceedings. These are the kind of magical dreamscapes than cannot be chemically induced; organic, or, as the title of his new LP goes, ‘Human’.
THE BOXER REBELLION – NEW BANDS TENT
It’s been a long year for the lads, and this is one hell of a well deserved achievement. First ons, pretty much, but thanks to the rain the crowd is quite swollen and the sound is magnificent. They do three minute prog-pop in the name of BRMC meets Primal Muse. The girls love the singer, the boys love the guitarist and the musicians love the rhythm section. ‘Watermelon’ is their hit in waiting, and with the rupturing sneer of El Liam rasping frontman Nathan’s lips around the mic, you wouldn’t bet against them playing outside next year.
THE DURUTTI COLUMN – ACOUSTIC STAGE
A relic from the days of Factory Records Vinnie Reilly has never grown up or moved on and is all the better for it. Divine and infinitely moving guitar waves, and with him often dissolving into torturously beautiful guitar solos that go on for minutes, you can’t help getting lost inside. His vocals are nothing to speak of, but the soul is in his truly exquisite guitar playing. Haunting and hypnotic, the mix of classical playing and rich, inventive and truly electric melodies provide a wistful backdrop for his dreary tearstained tales of loss. Not the most uplifting set of the weekend, but one of the most beautiful.