Friday, 27 June 2014

Memories of Glastonbury: 1994

The year the Pyramid Stage burnt down just weeks before the festival. Fortunately a replacement was hastily constructed in time. For me, this was the year it started to become less about the big music stages and more about the ‘fringe’ areas; much exploration ensued. Even so, the big talking points took place on the Main Stage.

Peter Gabriel
The most elaborate and spectacular stage show I’ve ever seen anywhere. I may have remembered this inaccurately, but I seem to recall PG rising onto the stage through the floor! It would have been easy for him to play a straight set of hits with no theatrics – he’d have still gone down a storm – but instead, he rose to the occasion, employing many of the astonishing visuals he had used throughout the 'Secret World' tour over the previous 12 months. A brave move, for sure, but ultimately one that I’ll certainly never forget. A brilliant, brilliant performance.


Steam [live] – Peter Gabriel (from ‘Secret World Live’)

One of the big surprises of the festival. James appeared to be on a commercial downward slope following the success of Sit Down. ‘Laid’ had been a critical success but its more experimental nature led to lower sales figures than hoped. They bounced back with ‘Whiplash’ in 1997, but during the post-‘Laid’ lull, they produced a magical turn which made everyone realise just what an excellent band they always had been – and still were. “Thank you Glastonbury,” Tim Booth acknowledged. “We thought people didn’t love us anymore.” It’s hard not to love a band like James.


Laid [live] – James (live at Glastonbury 1994)

Rage Against The Machine
One of the most anticipated acts at the festival, sadly the most disappointing. My overriding memory of RAtM is the lengthy pauses between each song. At one point, I counted a gap of nearly two minutes of silence between songs. Oddly, some people point to RAtM as one of the festival’s all-time highlights. Each to their own, I suppose.


Bullet In Your Head [live] – Rage Against The Machine (live at Glastonbury 1994)

And then there was a certain Johnny Cash – but that’s deserving of a post in its own right, which you can read tomorrow.


  1. I'm keeping an eye on the ticket prices: 1992 it was 49 quid, then in '93 jumped to 58 and 59 for this one.

  2. I'm enjoying this series!

  3. A low point for me, as I left early - really wish I had stuck it out - aaaah