Issue 77

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 10 of 59

After that, we caught a band called Nova Heart in La Pussy Parlure. They played a unique mix of music that was difficult to allocate to a genre (a difficulty I'm sure they relish as artists). They were a Chinese band that sounded like a punk approach to making a disco pop record (ha! you couldn't wriggle out of my genre sorting machine!). The performance was impressive, if weird at times, with sexual expression dominating the lead singers performance. It wasn't Miley-Cyrus-inflatable-penis "sexual", more crazy-Bjork sexual and a great performance with enough creativity to break through into mainstream attention, if they want it. The performance was described well by someone next to me who said "5 years ago, before I knew about drugs, I would have said she was possessed by the devil". Still trying to avoid the rain, we headed to see SBTRKT and gave our best rendition of 'Wildfire', much to the annoyance of people around us. It felt like it went quickly and whilst the classics were played, I've seen better SBTRKT performances. However, to be fair to SBTRKT I was completely sober, it was only 8pm and I was focusing more on loopholes in my verbal contract to watch Florence instead of Rudimental or Hot Chip. After all that trepidation, Florence turned out to be the best decision of the day. It was tough gig to pull off, but Florence grabbed that headline slot by the nuts and powered her place into Pyramid history as one of the few acts able to make a success off a back- up headline slot. After an hour of soul and emotion, I was ready to get my rave on. That meant getting to the mecca of midnight music: Shangri-La. After a 40 minute trudge through soft mud, it appeared the rest of Glastonbury had the same idea so we headed to the Unfairground where our group could enjoy a more chilled night, getting knee-deep in meaningfuls and smoking far too many cigarettes. It's not always about the music man… You could have a brilliant weekend at Glastonbury just visiting the seemingly infinite variety of tents offering meditation classes, storytelling for kids, masonry workshops, horticulture, crafts fayres and more. However, if you do just go to Glastonbury for that, you're probably one of those guys everyone avoids sitting next to at work lunches. I was most excited for Saturday's line-up. As a poet, spoken word artist and playwright, Kate Tempest's lyrics teem with philosophy, politics and character-rich stories. Her catchy songs armed with great production and a strong live sound brought an authentic, heartfelt presence to the stage that demanded the attention of the packed-out hill facing the Park stage. It wasn't just introspective poetry however, Kate held it down as an MC, delivering rhymes at drum and bass pace with a level of clarity and expression rare amongst many of the best hip-hop acts. Pharrell Williams played an upbeat family show on the Pyramid stage (give or take the odd twerk) and what he lacked in stage presence and facial expression, he made up for in dancers, hits and note-perfect vocals. By the end of his career, Pharrell is going to have one hell of a playlist for his "Legends" show as he ripped through the hit records he's produced over the years from N*E*R*D's 'Lapdance', to Nelly's 'Hot in Herre', to Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright'. The highlights were his two most recent hits 'Get Lucky' and 'Happy', for which he invited members of the crowd on stage to dance. Kanye is a "what's he going to do or say next" kind of artist, hate him or love him. He opened the set with a robotic rip of 'Stronger' and screamed into the chorus, raising hairs on arms and drawing cheers from the crowd. The lighting effect was mesmerising and perfectly toned to give all that power to just one man rocking the famous Pyramid. For the first 30 minutes, Kanye left no time for breath as he smashed through anthem tunes like 'Power', 'Paris', 'Black Skinhead' and 'All Day'. Hearing tens of thousands of white Glastonbury fans articulate in perfect unison the full uncensored chorus to 'All Day' was a weird moment. However, the momentum was held high through 'Clique' and 'Mercy' before slowing it down for the original sample from 'Blood On The Leaves', a song about slavery somewhat controversially transformed into a Hudson Mohawke assisted banger. A key factor that separates great from good performers at Glastonbury is how they approach the Pyramid stage and how much ego they bring with them. It was in the quieter moments of reflection that Kanye lost the crowd, whilst acts like Florence made an effort to engage them. As much as we love Kanye's music, I don't think the crowd wanted to hear how much he loves Kim Kardashian or hear him sing lullabies to his daughter, North West. He started to lose the crowd and one hour in, there was noticeably more space as people started drifting away. The biggest disappointment was the sound. Supported only by a DJ and some backing singers, the performance relied on Kanye delivering perfectly on the mic and engaging with the audience to hold the songs together. This isn't Kanye's strength and after the anthem songs were finished and the momentum was lost, the vulnerability of Kanye up there on his own became evident as the light show failed to evolve enough to keep us interested. To bring the tempo back up, we regrouped and set off for Shangri-La. We managed to catch half of Slaves playing at the Hell Stage. Their set was their second of the day, having played at John Peel Stage in the afternoon, but energy levels were still strong amongst them and they had the 1am crowd bouncing. To balance the night out and please the drum & bass heads in the group, we went to the Heaven stage for Etherwood & Dynamite MC, which sounded like a well-mixed set with the exception of it being quiet enough to use indoor voices... outdoors. There were possibly some sound engineering issues as it didn't improve for Spy & Dynamite MC who also played a good set in need of some added volume. After getting back around 7am on Sunday, we made breakfast pledges to go out on a bang and prepare for the big one that evening. The day started with a much needed blast of positivity and wholesome goodness at the Healing Fields. I'd hoped to see the Dalai Lama, but I felt that being in the presence of someone so holy and at one with the Earth whilst I battled a dirty cider hangover wouldn't do me any good. In the end we rocked up around 4pm to see Lionel Ritchie play at the Pyramid Stage. He was another artist I didn't mind missing but turned out to be one of the highlights. Lionel graced the stage with the charisma of a performer with decades of experience, bringing the Californian sun and twang with him. The audience were on their feet from the first till the last song and as the show morphed into a crowd karaoke. Lionel entertained the 100,000 people that watched his set with ease, remarking in disbelief that he was finally playing Glastonbury and how loud we were as a crowd. "What was that?!" he joked, unable to come to grips with the volume of his songs echoed back to him. As we headed to the Other Stage for Jamie T there was an air of excited anticipation as we all started our last night. You don't have to be a big fan of indie or rock music to enjoy Jamie T, he fits into the crossover area populated by bands like Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and Kasabian. The rawness in his music reminds me of old school 90's hip-hop from New York; there's rustiness to the beats and rhymes. Jamie T played a solid set, in utter confidence of his ability to keep the crowd and took his time with delivery of each song. His sound team were on form making sure you could feel the bass in your feet but hear the words with the beat. There was a healthy mix of songs from old and new albums without losing momentum making it one of the best performances I'd seen in terms of crowd engagement and song choice so far. Immediately after Chemical Brothers, opposite the Other Stage at Arcadia, there was a Metamorphosis show. The show was a spectacular blend of lighting, flame throwers, gymnasts and dance music, like Cirque de Soleil on ecstasy. You'd pay £50 to see anything similar at the theatre and it brought home again what good value Glastonbury is. 2ManyDJ's, a surprise guest, followed with a brilliant set. We finished the festival back at Shangri-La, though I have no idea what we saw thanks to the last night rule of drinking all your stock at the tent. It was a great finale to an unforgettable festival of new friends, great music and wonderful experiences. Glastonbury is a place where time, nutrients and hygiene elude you for the best part of a week. Ultimately it's a place of irony, where good feelings are bought with hard drugs and paid for with harder feelings. Where permaculture enthusiasts drive miles in land rovers to meet and create a sustainable garden and spread the message of green living to crowds that won't even take their tent home. "It wasn't about the music, man", but the music was incredible. 7 11 Issue 77 / 2015 GUESTLIST

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