Glastonbury 2004: Dance Stages, Friday
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Obvious choice, the Dance Tent is the first port of call just before Friday lunchtime and none other than Brighton’s, “monstrously talented” Cakeboy wastes no time in having a respectable assortment of club fiends up on their feet. Having previously wowed Michael Eavis at the Pilton WMC [or Working Men's Club, for anyone South of Watford! - Ed] in a competition to win him the right to play, this ex-thrash metal drummer from Brighton is obviously chuffed to buggery and ain’t afraid to show it. Whilst masterminding a set that veers wildly from rampant junglism to messy acid squelches, the excitable jockey slut keeps scurrying around the decks with arms flapping in a bid to maintain the already frantic momentum.
As Rebecca Cherkness AKA DJ Salty follows with a smattering of West Coast grooves, it’s time to take what will become the first of many trips to one of Glastonbury’s most scenic settings, The Glade.
Sheltered beneath a number of impossibly high trees, the small but perfectly formed stage has quickly become a Mecca for those seeking the path of excess but not necessarily wisdom. Fighting for space as we arrive are the many members of hip-hop crew, Death B4 Dishonour. Unfortunately, technical hitches result in the first part of the performance being taken up by time-consuming shout outs. When the first lyrics are finally busted out, it’s time to head back from whence we came.
The sets of Bristol rave outfit, The Outlaws, are legendary in and around the free party movement. Despite dancing like your dad, they manage to produce a mix that on occasion makes 2 Many DJs look like cack handed bedroom wannabes. With Donna Summer, The Prodigy and Tomkraft being dropped within a few minutes of each another, the words ‘warm and up’ clearly aren’t in this duo’s dictionary.
Having the decks positioned at the forefront of the dance tent’s stage allows a seamless handover between DJs and live acts and before long, Isle of Skye resident, Myles McInees makes his debut Glastonbury appearance with full live band. The best bits of Mylo’s critically acclaimed album, ‘Destroy Rock ‘n’ Roll’ are lovingly recreated with highlights including ‘Valley Of The Dolls’, ‘Zenophile’ and ‘Guilty Of Love’.
Meanwhile, around the corner, nestling between market stalls is the intimate confines of the Guardian Lounge, a white rectangular tent with café and beanbags thrown in. The line-up largely comprises of on-site bands playing stripped down sets but amidst the strumming and stools are a few DJs including a rare teatime appearance from the amazing Freeform Five DJs. In the meantime, none other than VF’s old mates, Chikinki stroll out and begin an acoustic rendition of album favourite, ‘Drink’. After tempting fate with a tune called, ‘The Rain’, a crib sheet is sought for a tender cover of Prince classic, ‘Cream’. With an audience barely out of double figures, most of who are sprawled in the comfy seating, it’s like having a favourite band in your front room.
Resisting the temptation to shake our ass to the strains of Groove Armada drifting across the site, we scurry back to the dance tent just in time to find three old slappers stumbling out of the wings. No… wait, it’s Munuch art-school collective, Chicks on Speed. Being unceremoniously booed and bottled off at the recent Red Hot Chilli Peppers gigs hasn’t dented their confidence and reference is made to this debacle when Alex Murray Leslie announces that it’s, “Taken us a lot to get here…” After the strapline of fourth song, ‘We Don’t Play Guitars’ is screamed for the thousandth time in an unbelievably annoying wail, I begin to wish they hadn’t bothered. Pretentious, untalented harpies – it’s like a vision of Kelly Osbourne in twenty years' time. In triplicate.
Luckily, Irish slaphead, Fergie, appears to liven things up with his trademark selection of bouncy hard house cuts. The hyperactive ball of hedonism also chucks in some tribal and progressive numbers for good measure before ending on a devastating take of The Doors’, ‘Riders On The Storm’. Rather than deign to the inevitable calls for, “One More!” he then lobs aforesaid piece of vinyl into the sea of waving hands. Class.
In what continues to be entirely random scheduling, the drum ‘n’ bass lite Kosheen make an entrance to a surprisingly rammed arena. Did anybody actually buy Kokopelli? If not, there’s a helluva lot of people hanging around just for a snippet of ‘Hide U’. Taken aback by the reception Sian Evans and the boys receive, we’re further impressed by the bold, energetic sound that they produce. Get it down on record and you might still have a career.
Then it’s time to make the choice. Sneaky, covert excursion to the Other Stage for Tom and Ed’s headline live slot, stay put for Dave Clarke’s forbidding techno or hot foot it back to The Glade for the rumoured secret late DJ gigs from both Fatboy Slim and the Chemicals.
Despite being ninety minutes in advance of the appointed time, it’s over to The Glade to jostle for a piece of prime space. Breaks maestro, Rennie Pilgrem’s well and truly on one as we arrive. Not that he’s alone in that respect. We wait. And wait. And wait some more. Drunk Soul Brother? London Dust Explosion? No such luck. Having panicked at the prospect of anybody being able to see through these obscurely veiled pseudonyms, ‘ol Fatboy is shifted into Lost Vagueness and the Chems finally came on whilst we slept like a baby. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
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