Glastonbury 2008 > As viewed by Rob Yeo

100_0271.JPGI’ll have to be honest and say that the weather over the last two years has sapped some of the enthusiasm for Glastonbury from me, and from the looks of ticket sales this year I wasn’t the only one. Don’t get me wrong, I was still up at some ungodly hour on the first Sunday in April to get tickets, but the thrill of getting them was tempered by the realisation that this might mean another 5 days of feeling like a trench soldier in the first world war, but without the welcome possibility of death at the hands of a German machine gunner. You know the acts are going to be good and you know the toilets are going to be bad. You know the food is going to cost the earth and you know that one pint of pear cider will make your head spin. But you just don’t know what the damned weather is going to do. No surprise though that the rain came, but being prepared did nothing for the sinking feeling, the “here we go again” shrug and preparing to watch helplessly as the entire site deteriorates into a sticky goo. But Friday morning came and there was something new on these fields, something not seen in a long time. Sunshine! And not the oppressive, skin searing heat of 2003. This was something altogether more pleasant, the fluffy clouds overhead providing just the right amount of shade for some occasional respite.

The music was spot on again. All the nonsense that was bandied about by the cynics about this years lineup was shot down by the Fratellis and the Kings of Leon on Friday night. Glastonbury is the perfect stage for the Fratellis and they didn’t disappoint, belting out classics and tracks from the supposedly weak second album with style. KOL were not at their best, granted, but they still proved fit to headline and Molly’s Chamber provided the stand-out moment of Friday night. Saturday evening came, and Manu Chao was legendary, blasting out hits few had ever heard with an energy and charm surpassing every other act, easily the find of the festival. Winehouse came shuffling on and presented her usual mix of fantastic jazz vocals and incoherent rambling, but Saturday was all about Jay-Z. The big man pulled off quite an opener, covering Wonderwall after a cheeky video having a pop at Noel Gallagher. The show divided opinion as much as his booking had done, and although he didn’t do enough to persuade all the critics, the show was nothing short of spectacular. 99 problems is simply a great track, but it was a little down hill from there on in. No such problems with Sundays headliners on the Other stage, the Zutons offered the support and almost stole the show with feel-good anthems that were the perfect antidote to the end-of-festival blues. But as Basement Jaxx had done the year before, Groove Armada closed the show with a sound and light display that made you realise both why you came, and why you never want to leave. Glastonbury is back…