Thursday, 26 June 2014

Memories of Glastonbury: 1993

Another scorching weekend, both in terms of the weather and the music, though I don’t remember feeling quite as blown away by anything as I was the previous year. Maybe that led to me seeking more thrills away from the music the following years.

The Ukrainians
One of the strangest projects the Wedding Present ever did was the whole Ukrainian Peel Sessions thing. Even stranger is that it was actually pretty good. After being fired from the Weddoes, Pete Solowka formed the Ukrainians and my only live encounter with the band was in the Acoustic Tent at Glastonbury. They were good. Very good, in fact, romping through energetic versions of traditional Ukrainian folk songs, original material and a Smiths cover or two thrown in for good measure. Great fun.


Koroleva Ne Polerma – The Ukrainians (from ‘Pisni Is The Smiths’ EP)

Rolf Harris
I’m slightly hesitant to praise Rolf Harris given recent revelations [updated link]. At the time, Rolf was regarded as an entertainment legend. Most of us at Glastonbury that year grew up with Rolf on our TVs. We all knew what a wobbleboard was, we’d probably all owned a Stylophone at some point, and everyone could do a Rolf impersonation that usually included the phrase “Can you tell what it is yet?” Because of this, Rolf went down an absolute storm at Glastonbury, much to his own surprise. I interviewed him the following year for the North Devon Journal in which he told me he had never been more anxious than the moments before that Glasto appearance and felt genuinely overwhelmed by the reaction he received. I felt I was in the company of greatness and found him charming, eloquent and accommodating. No doubt various other adjectives will be used to describe the man from now on…


Stairway To Heaven [live] – Rolf Harris (Live on ‘The Word’)

Velvet Underground
An opportunity to see one of the most influential bands of all time reunited? Duly taken. Sadly, to say it was rather underwhelming would be an understatement. Perhaps if just one member of the band looked remotely interested it would have lightened the mood but for whatever reason, Lou, John, Stirling and Mo all appeared to want to be somewhere else. Mind, the reunion tour as a whole wasn’t exactly raved about by the press, and it all fell apart once Reed and Cale locked horns, not for the first time.


Venus In Furs [live] – Velvet Underground (from ‘Live MCMXCIII’)

The Kinks
If feeling let down by the Velvets wasn’t bad enough, finding myself cringing at the Kinks made me want to crawl back into my tent and cry for the rest of the weekend. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but Ray Davies is a hero of mine and I think I anticipated some otherworldly kind of performance from him. What I got was a middle-aged man who seemed like he was trying to emulate Freddie Mercury – and failing dismally. I almost succeeded in forgetting this show entirely, but sadly I can still recall some of the worst bits. Never mind, one listen to ‘Muswell Hillbillies’ and all is OK with the world once more.


Hatred (A Duet) [lve] – The Kinks (live on Jay Leno Show)

1 comment:

  1. Blimely, glad I wasn't at that Kinks gig. Things had picked up by the time I saw them for the second time in 94. Saw Rolf twice at Rock city whilst a student in Nottingham. Thinking of asking for my money back. Thanks for putting links to my blog on yours by the way.