Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Reunion Wilderness

I won’t linger long on Glastonbury lest I be dubbed a bore. However, I welcomed veteran journalist and Guardian columnist Alexander Chancellor’s wry words about his visit to the festival site and I find myself agreeing with plenty of his views. He is correct about the lavatories which require much mental courage to enter and his observation regarding the sheer volume of litter that is merrily cast away onto the ground is spot on. I find myself concurring with the fellow most heartily when he mentions just how friendly everybody is. Although a shy fellow at heart, as the years advance I quite appreciate making small talk with like-minded (and that’s extremely important) strangers and as there were plenty of them wondering around Pilton I managed several rather decent chats wi’ gentlefolk. Queuing up to enter the site, tents in paw, it was engaging to witness a definite abundance of patience among the punters near me, allowing opportunities for chummy ‘Where have you come from?’ and ‘Who are you keen to see?’ exchanges. I enjoyed a smashing conversation with a pair of young hipsters from Derby after Edwyn Collins and before John Cale, despite a twenty year age gap; we debated the current fad for gigs where an artist plays a classic album in its entirety, analysed the Velvet Underground back catalogue and they suggested (for my benefit) the best starting point for someone wanting to check out Nico’s back catalogue.

I’m happy to report a couple of really pleasing meets that took place last weekend. I hadn’t seen my old Sheffield student mucker T for 16 years or so and it proved hearty to catch up with the chap. He was playing tuba with no little gusto for festival stalwarts Carnival Collective and we sat outside the Leftfield Stage after the group’s opening set and merrily conversed and caught up. The meeting was recorded for posterity by a jovial man from, I believe, the Merseyside region who produced the above snap at my behest. I include a ‘compare and contrast’ picture from 1990 for interest and to indicate that time has been much, much kinder to my Brighton-based comrade. By huge coincidence, another dude from my degree course was spotted later that day. I perceived the witty yet warm-hearted A pass me by and I hallooed a halloo to initiate a welcome reunion. Sickeningly, this character has hardly aged either; there must be plenty of portraits in attics up and down the country. The Barnsley balladeer was performing at the festival too and his remarkable antics are announced here. I salute them both.


Timmo said...

Both looking slightly wistful in the early 90's, I manage to look greyer, fatter, balder, and yet jovial in 2008....

Cole said...

Yes, but the point is, you were supposed to look wistful. Those expressions were, no doubt, both rehearsed. The jollier 2008 looks are less rehearsed, less serious and, certainly, less cool...yet sonewhat endearing methinks. Greyer, fatter, balder...isn't that a Radiohead song? I certainly tick a couple of those boxes myself. M.