Festival review by : Richard Walledge

Glastonbury Festival 1999

published: Mon 5th Jul 1999

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th June 1999
Worthy Farm, Pilton, nr Glastonbury, Somerset, England
£83
last updated: Wed 7th Aug 2013

I noticed that the reviews you have on the site are a bit on the short side, so here is a review of the complete '99 festival:

I spent the first part of FRIDAY in the New band's tent (the distinctly average Airbus and the grungy Muse), before things started getting really good. Debbie of Blondie has aged really badly: she looks like the queen mum, and doesn't move much faster. The songs are good and the band plays well, but her voice leaves a lot to be desired... Next up things get a bit hectic, with me just a few foot from the front for the completely excellent Bush, playing about 4 "interesting" new songs from their forthcoming album. Surprisingly, the highlight of the whole weekend though, was...er...Hole. Faultless performances of all their brilliant songs, and the unusual move by Courtney (wearing a skimpy pink bikini and some angel wings) of inviting about 25 regular members of the audience up on stage. Giving microphones to the girls and dancing with the blokes throughout the set caused some problems for the poor security guys who became a bit pissed off with her gestures....

A couple of hours at the Second Stage with Pavement (singer had a really good sense of humor) and Gomez, and then back to the Pyramid Stage for the amazing sight of REM. The new drummer played well, and the set consisted of new stuff from Up, as well as the usual poppy stuff, and even some oldies like Cuyahoga! All in all, it was a good performance that went over time by about half an hour, and the crowd went back so far that where we were the time lag (between the actual music and the display monitors) became appreciable!

The weather remained very sunny on SATURDAY, and I became even more tired after getting less than 4 hour's sleep' I stayed in my tent (pitched in view of the Second Stage, but regrettably close to the monotonous thudding of the Dance Tent) to watch the below-par Witness and gentle rockers Fungus, then went off on a roam around in the Avalon/green fields; trying in vain to find the stage where Ash were to play their special acoustic set. I caught a couple of forgettable bands like Subcircus, then bits of Beth Orton, Hurricane #1, Annie Christian and Travis, before getting fairly close for the regular Ash set. Complete with on-stage DJ to scratch away, their set consisted both of jangly and aggressive songs from all their albums, and was spoiled only by the brief and sudden downpour of rain (really heavy torrents of water, but luckily only lasted for 3 songs). As it started to get dark, I dropped by the Netscape area (to check up on the basketball scores!), and then made my way to Death in Vegas. Then (by a strange US state name-linking coincidence) over for a couple of songs from the Supernaturals' tour partner Texas. (For more info check out http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Lounge/1955 ). This was followed by an entertaining if somewhat lacklustre performance from the Super Furries (by this time a sea of Welsh flags had become apparent), and finally by a surprisingly good show from 50s strummer Lonnie Donnegan.

Overcast skies and a mild breeze saw the end of the heatwave on SUNDAY, and by this time our food had run out (we had been cooking things on a barbie), so we had to buy breakfast at one of the hundreds of stools. I settled for seeing some of Delirious and some of the crap Yothi Yindi. All-female act Snowpony entertained all comers with their bleak techno guitar-dance ('this is the only song we do that doesn't involve death'!), and then Electrasy came on and played a somewhat different version of LedZeppelin's Dazed and Confused, and even an Elton John cover!

The long 5-hour drive home (London) in the transit van gave me an excuse to kip in the back on all the bags and stuff. On arriving home and showering (!), I then proceeded to trawl my way through the seven hours of TV footage to try to spot myself!

Cheers!



Friday 25th to Sunday 27th June 1999
Worthy Farm, Pilton, nr Glastonbury, Somerset, England
£83
last updated: Wed 7th Aug 2013


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