Crosby Stills and Nash prove to be an outstanding Glastonbury acquisition

Glastonbury 2009 review

published: Wed 1st Jul 2009

Crosby Stills And Nash

Wednesday 24th to Sunday 28th June 2009
Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4AZ, England MAP
£175 - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 150000
last updated: Tue 2nd Jun 2009

Crosby Stills and Nash - Who? Why just an ex-Byrd, an ex-Buffalo Springfielder, and an ex-Hollie, one of the original supergroups, who were dubbed 'The American Beatles' when Neil Young intermittently played with them. All well before my time of course, but the Neil Young link made me curious, and so it was that I was in a pretty packed Pyramid Field at teatime with the sun belting down most appropriately.

Not being the expert yet, I believe they started with a jaunty 'Southern Cross'. It's followed by a rollicking 'Military Madness' where the chorus and end-chant of "no more war" are belted out heartily by the very many elders around me. 'Marrakesh Express', amazingly their only hit single in the UK, is surprisingly mellow, perhaps due to the absence of the quirky sound it emits on record. 'Long Time Gone' then showcases both the spot-on harmonies of the three singers, and that Stephen Stills plays loud & heavy guitar almost as well as Friday's headliner.

The next one I don't recognise at all ('Uncle John's Band' - Grateful Dead cover - Ed) but it has the essence of rolling road music, Stills again soloing over the end of it expertly. However, the area in front of the crash-barrier is starting to get full of people talking and paying no interest, which I presume means Kasabian fans are getting into position early, so we escape to halfway up the field. It's nicely full of either appreciative types or people glued to their camping seats for the day. My accomplice decides he's going to relax prostate for the rest of the set, but I can hear plenty of tunes to groove to, and I'm not alone despite the heat.

'Guinnevere' takes us to a quieter and calmer place, again showing that these gents have not lost their trademark harmonic abilities. We're then told we'll recognise this next one, and it's a cover of 'Ruby Tuesday' performed acoustically. The crowd's gradual recognition of it is greeted with a broad appreciative cheer. David Crosby next explains that he writes the weird shit relative to the other two, and proceeds to lead a rockier harmonica number. 'Chicago' then showcases the bassier side of the group's guitar work despite its sing-along nature, and is dedicated in support of the person who hacked into the US military computer systems and currently trying to avoid deportation.

'Almost Cut My Hair' has a towering organ presence alongside a mammoth vocal delivery mainly by Crosby. It ends with a fantastic guitar duel that shows the fourth member of the group certainly isn't missed too much. 'For What It's Worth' is in contrast knowingly built up quietly so that we can all shout out "Stop! Hey what's that sound, everybody look what's going downÂ…." A clear sense of political agenda has become firmly evident as the band leave the stage, and the big screens show a certain Mr Eavis applauding in the background.

Back for the encore, first we get 'Wooden Ships' with aeons of lovely guitar work that so matches the weather, the mood, indeed the whole festival. I realise that we're well over an hour into the set now, but there's still doubtless another one in the bag that we'll recognise. Thankfully it's not their overly-lame song about houses that's recently been cheapened in some TV adverts, but masterfully the simple 'Teach Your Children'. Having completely forgotten that they still had this one to come, I attempt to sing along with everyone else but end up blubbing through the chorus, particularly when the band allow the crowd to sing it alone second-time around. It's a colossal ending to a set full of songs that many people probably just didn't realise they always knew. All in all, another outstanding Glastonbury acquisition.

Crosby Stills And Nash
review by: Clive Hoadley

Wednesday 24th to Sunday 28th June 2009
Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4AZ, England MAP
£175 - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 150000
last updated: Tue 2nd Jun 2009


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