So the other thing I’ve been doing this weekend is catch up on all of the BBC’s Glastonbury footage. I wasn’t there this year, and having seen how muddy it was on the Wednesday morning when everyone arrived, I’m kinda relieved about that.
I’ve been there when the weather was foul, and the ground underfoot fouler. But never when I arrived; the bad weather generally happened at some point when I was on site.
So before I go any further: actual 2016 Glasto-goers, I salute you.
Had I been there, then the first band I would have watched was James, opening the Other Stage, although I believe they had to be rescheduled to later in the day due to the bad weather.
This seems to be a new thing they do at Glastonbury: make the first act on the Other Stage an established indie band. Last year it was The Charlatans, this year James…my money’s on Inspiral Carpets for next year.
I’ve watched what footage there is of James on the BBC, and there is much to love about them. And they played my favourite James song ever, so I doubtless would have forgotten about the mud and just danced and sang to it in exactly the same way as I did when I watched here in my flat:
Putting aside the fact that this is the song which, more than any other in their back catalogue, led to the “pretentious” tag I’ve talked about previously here, this is one song that has special memories for me.
In the early 1990s my friends Daints, Louise, Paul, Helen and I used to frequent an Indie club in Cardiff called Subways, which was underneath a bar named GW’s. There was a pillar in the middle of the dancefloor that I used to swing round doing hilarious (ahem) Morrissey impressions. Cos I’m THAT funny.
One night/early morning as we emerged blinking from the underground bunker Subways was located in, it was, you’ll be unsurprised to learn given this was Wales, pissing it down.
As Daints and I stood in the doorway, surveying the wetness and shivering in our little indie t-shirts and cardigans, Daints uttered these words:
“There’s a storm outside”
Now I’m not a fan of musicals. But this was straight out of a (bad) musical script, for we both looked at each other, launched ourselves out of the doorway, like Butch and Sundance, into the rain, and into a rendition of “Sometimes” that, every time I hear that record, I’m immediately reminded of.
On further visits, we tried to recover that walk home magic, but as it wasn’t raining I don’t think we ever managed to get through the whole song again.
But that night was perfect. There’s very little that beats a drunken sing-song on the way home with one of your best mates, and any time I have to go out in a storm now it’s “Sometimes” that is my soundtrack.