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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, June 25, 2005
    All about the people
    The BBC digital coverage of Glastonbury is a tiny bit closer to the real experience than previous TV has been. With it you can do what you do at the festival itself:

    (a) Select in advance your one must-see band and - see them in full (this year swamp brother, beat sister Jack and Meg White with their seething onstage chemistry and joyful, raging blues);

    (b) Take or leave - but mainly leave - the many samey mid-table bands on offer (Doves, Coldplay, Interpol, Interplay, Coldpol, whatever);

    (c) Go on a voyage of discovery to emerge raving about some obscure folkie busker you saw on the Mushroom Stage or a vegetarian mime act in the Theatre field; and in this quest:

    (d) Spend most of the time meandering around enjoying the buzz, getting into long, rambling, pointless and perfect conversations with merrie strangers.

    The televisual equivalent of this festival enjoyment strategy is fast-forwarding through the music to get to the chats involving lovely little Lauren Laverne and her various wide-eyed and muddy-trousered guests. And to me, this proves that the festival isn't really about the music at all, it's about being among the very nice people. Which, in a cruel, competitive world, is a very nice thing.

    But today, for me, the last day of my hols, I was 200 miles north of the mud and love and involved instead in a ferry cruise up the Manchester Ship Canal. The Pier Head to Salford Quays in the time it took me yesterday to drive from St Ives to Liverpool; very relaxing, a fascinating tour of our industrial heritage past and present, with brilliant Blue Guide commentary, some wonderful wildfowl moments and good company too. Including the pleasant surprise of seeing Chris, who I said I'd mention here, for blogs' sake. Hi Chris.