Glastonbury 2002: Main Stages Review, Saturday
Andrew Future - 29 June 2002
The White Stripes, Pyramid Stage, 20.05pm
- A lesson in justifying the hype
Best described as an out of touch rehearsal for one of those bands you were in when you were young and dreams of rock superstardom still lurked. You know, one of those nights where the bassist didn't turn up and the singer was late, so the drummer and guitarist got out their blues chords and had a blinding little jam. The pressure was on to publically justify all the hype of the past eighteen months, in their first performance you could actually get in to, without having to remortgage your house. Jack and Meg White slouched on-stage to raptuous applause, and then something amazing happened. They exchanged a glance, and transferred a telepathic message too quick for the untrained eye to behold. And then they morphed into one big bad mother of a rock machine. It's official - they are the Power Rangers!
How two people not only make such a huge noise, but manage to cram so much aggression, soul, emotion, heartache,love, joy and swagger is a closely guarded secret that the FBI have been looking into for months now. The White Stripes were classic Glastonbury - from the singalong singles like 'Hotel Yorba' to the superficially light-hearted yet deeply soul-stirring Dolly Parton cover 'Jolene' to the humorous set closer 'Bo Weevil', there was never a dull moment. Most popular greeting of Glastonbury 2002: "Weren't White Stripes Brilliant!"
The Vines, Other Stage, 18.20pm
- Could learn a lot from the White Stripes!
The music weeklies would have you believe that The Vines are the band of Glastonbury 2002, if such a thing exists. Fortunately this ludicrous instance of post-Goebbels hype evaporated into the ether like a cow's fart, and did not fool the wizened Glasto-goer. As such, the alleged 'best band since Nirvana' were greeted by two lanky students and a stuffed dog. Upon entering the photo pit, we were each given a set of earplugs. Upon exiting the pit we discovered why. Their live show is an appalling mess of loosely wired Nirvana riffs and effortless shouting that brought little that was listenable and nothing very new to the world. File alongside Lostprophets for ritual campfire burning.
The Charlatans, Pyramid Stage, 21.25pm
'Half-arsed' is how The Charlatans came across today. It's a Shame, because the songs they played were all great, and a few were true classics. From the swaggering opener 'North Country Boy' to the summer love of 'Just Looking' through to the bouncey new brilliance of 'You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty' to the classy psychadelia of closer 'Spronston Green', they ruin song after song with a trad, heal dragged lame-scale performance. Having been relatively unappreciated by the world at large, The Charlatans had an opportunity to really shine tonight, and take it to another level. Sadly, like many of the bigger acts to appear here this weekend (Coldplay, Starsailor, Ian Brown, Stereophonics) they blew it. Then again, The Charlatans have never been the most consistent live band, and, like the festival itself, you need the muddy ones to truly appreciate the great ones. Hopefully it will be a different story on one of their three support slots, at least, with Oasis in Finsbury Part next week.
Stereophonics, Pyramid Stage, 23.05pm
With Stereophonics, on the other hand, we expect the headline performance to be as exciting as two weeks in B & Q. If all you wanna eat if cheese sandwiches and all you ever wanna drink is pidgeon rot, then you'd have probably really enjoyed the strangled turnip fart noise that was an hour and a half of Stereophonics, who successfully managed to kill every drop of party spirirt floating round the Pyramid Stage field in Glastonbury 2002, much like Coldplay last night.
Orbital, Other Stage, 23.00pm
For those not totally comatosed by the aforementioned Welsh arsemasters' dreary flailings, Orbital were on hand to revive the party with the best set of the weekend so far. From Bon Jovi to Doctor Who, the great trancey samplists managed to infiltrate the minds of everyone, twist them round, fuck em up and get em dancing. The biggest crowd of the weekend at the Other Stage showed a noticeably moved Orbital much respect, and boy do they fucking deserve it.