Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Memories of Glastonbury: 1992

It’s the mother of all music festivals this week, and to mark the event I present a special daily offshoot of my memorable gigs series featuring the standout moments of the four Glastonburys I attended in the early 90s.

The 1992 festival was not just my debut Glastonbury, but my first ever festival – and what a way to start. Blistering sunshine throughout and some extraordinary live shows.

Primal Scream
If I had to name the best act I ever saw at Glastonbury, I would be really torn between two or three, but the Scream would be right up there. Their 1992 headline performance pretty much summed up the time and the scene. Indie kids and ravers mingled as one to witness what must rate as one of the most stunning live performances of all time. Surely no guitar-oriented indie-rock band could transform so suddenly and so effectively into a dancefloor-filling electronic act and slay a crossover audience of thousands in just a single festival show. But Primal Scream did it with ease, playing pretty much the whole of ‘Screamadelica’ and not much else. There were no calls for older material or fan faves – everyone got exactly what they wanted from the Scream that night and more besides. A seminal moment in the festival’s history in my book, and I was there. Mind well and truly blown!


Don’t Fight It, Feel It [live] – Primal Scream (live in Tokyo)

Blue Aeroplanes
I wandered through the field in a daze while Blue Aeroplanes played. I caught the end of their set which involved not just the band but what could well have been the entire backstage crew as well, each playing guitar. A wonderful wall of guitar sounds washed over the crowd in one of the best climaxes to a live show I’ve seen.


The Boy in The Bubble [live] - Blue Aeroplanes (from ‘Fruit (Live: 1983-1995’))

Youssou N’Dour 
I first saw Youssou doing an instore show at HMV’s flagship store in London’s Oxford Street. It was such an uplifting experience, it resulted in me spending more than £100 on CDs! That’s what you call a sales tactic. Three years later, he headlined Glastonbury on the final night. The atmosphere was perfect; the sun was going down at the end of a scorching summer’s day and Youssou ran through another energetic set, with his incredible voice at the front of it all. Then, to round it off, he brought on a special guest – none other than Peter Gabriel. I was astounded enough, but the guy in front of me was going into meltdown, so overwhelmed was he by his hero making a surprise appearance. “Oh my GOD! Oh wow! Oh… my… GOD!” Such is the power of music, and it is always a delight to witness the joy it brings.


The Lion (Gaiende) – Youssou N’Dour (from ‘The Lion’)

Lou Reed
I wandered through the field in a daze while Lou played (hmm, sound familiar?). I stopped to watch him for 10 minutes or so, during which he did a divine rendition of Satellite Of Love, a song which still reminds me of Glastonbury.


Satellite Of Love [live] - Lou Reed (from ‘Rock 'n' Roll Animal [2011 re-issue]’)

Tom Jones
Everyone hoped for a hits-laden set to wriggle our hips provocatively to. Instead we got a pub-band set of soul standards that most people (myself included) got pretty bored with pretty quickly. Even so, being the last day of the festival, I did hope no one threw their knickers at him - he never deserved that…


Hard To Handle [live] - Tom Jones (from ‘Live in Las Vegas’)


  1. Saw Primal Scream the same year at Féile. They were immense, so much so, I've seen them several times since!! Jack White tomorrow. It's going to be a busy few weeks of gigs. Looking forward to them all!!

  2. Oh, I'd love to have seen the Aeroplanes myself!!

  3. catching up (slowly) with your posts. I bought The lion on the strength of the Senegalese teams progress in the world cup as the Lion was their world cup song. It remains one of my favourite albums ever. what i can't work out is that your version is ever so slightly different from mine yet it is coming from the same album?

    1. Strange as mine is from the album. Not sure if it was ever reissued with different mixes or anything - doesn't offer any clues. It is a great record though.