Sunday, 26 June 2011

the spirit of 71?

Ramblin drove Luke and myself down to Bristol on Thursday night where we stayed over. The drive down to Glastonbury on Friday morning was a breeze. No delays and the route to our stage was well planned and stewarded.

Glastonbury Festival in the mud and incessant rain is a nightmare unless you are young, care free and determined to enjoy and triumph no matter what. Luke has vestiges of the young festival attendee but he is very clear about the likelihood of his not camping at Glasto in the near future. I think the part about triumph no matter what applies to both of us, most of the time, so that’s what we set out to do.

photo dave randell ( ramblin)

I am sure Bono didn’t get any mud on his shoes and nor should he but the disparity between the provision for the bands at the top of their game and the likes of us Spirit of 71 performers was shocking and something akin to the difference between the Victorian ruling classes and the very poor. Two or three porta-cabins were parked along side the Spirit of 71 stage. Eventually we were allocated one. Inside was a table with crisps, water, a carton or two of juice and about five beers. Take away the extravagant hospitality items and I was back working for Tarmac on Warwick bypass on a rainy day in one of their huts. It was better than the Glasto version though. We had a kettle and an electric fire that we upturned to toast sliced bread on.

Glasto did ask for a rider and I gave them mine. It is very modest but it was ignored. Even the metal walk way from the unloading point to the stage ramp was an after thought and insisted on by the stage crew. Had it not been put in at the last minute there would have not beeen any Sprit of 71 shows in the rain.

Ok so what else? The stage management was very good. The sound guys were top end practioners and all of the staff were very pleasant and helpful. The BBC 2 crew who filmed us for a piece about the 71 stage were also very pleasant and very professional.
So what did I enjoy about it all? It was great to meet up with Andrew Kerr 71 Original Glastonbury Fayre organiser who told me Michael Eavis wasn’t too keen on the 2011 / 71 Stage idea until Andrew showed him a list of artistes who could appear. He says Michael looked down the list and came to yours truly. Michael said that if they had Edgar Broughton they could also have … and soon a list of performers was selected. Makes you feel all warm doesn’t it?

At around 6pm all my usual pre gig anxiety faded and I began to feel strong and clear. I remember saying to Luke that I was ready for action as we tuned our guitars. The thought that I was feeling those good Reiki vibes was very present.

photo dave randell ( ramblin)

It was nice to meet up with Arthur Brown and have a chat. I met his son for the first time. I had a little chat with Nick Turner and many others.
Getting all our bits and pieces together and onto the stage in the driving rain was a total hassle but with the help of Ramblin it came together and at half past seven in the evening we walked out on to the stage. The sound took a minute or two to fix and I launched into Arabesque and we were away. I felt my power and found my voice easily and got lost in the music except for when I had a brief chat with audience. The audio spill from three nearby stages meant that we had to concentrate very hard during our set and try to filter out the noise.

photo by phil moody

Luke sang two songs which gave me a little break to take a photo or two and to take in the atmosphere. The audience was lovely and very appreciative. Mr Brown, the God of Hellfire, commented that the set allowed my voice to really shine which was very nice.

photo by phil moody

Richard Brunton and The Spirit of 71 House Band were a thoroughly nice bunch of guys and top players. We had a smacking little rock out together and the end of our set. The 71 strat felt like some one elses axe in my hands at first . I’d restrung it, having removed the rusty strings from it’s last outing and I prefer it when the strings are not brand new. It had been a while since I played it in anger but I soon got it to sing and indulged myself with a little over the top wah-wahed, fuzzy grunge at the end of proceedings.

The whole show passed by in a flash as the rain beat down on the hardcore audience who refused to be bowed by the UK summer. We came off stage and began to come down from the experience. I have to say that I was as much relieved as any thing else that it had all worked out ok.

photo by phil moody

Now came the logistical nightmare of trying to get our equipment and our selves back to our car. We were ready to go by 8.30 but a Health and safety directive insisted that no onsite traffic could move due to weather conditions. Eventually, at around 11.30 the lovely Becky arranged for transport from the stage area to our car. That was a relief as we still had to drive back to London. We piled our gear and luggage into the back of a Land Rover and with the help of two stewards we slowly drove through the crowds who parted like the Red Sea as we slithered along the top of the old railway line that bisects the farm. It has to be said that we neither heard nor saw any bad behaviour from any one and the Glastonbury crowd is definitely special. The whole place is full of good vibes.

It felt good as we loaded our stuff off the Land Rover and into the Ramblin mobile. After a careful exit from the drenched field where we had been parked, we were on our way home. Job done! Would I do it all again? The answer is probably not.
It is Saturday and as I write this the sun is shining at Glastonbury and on the festival goers. I am so very pleased for them. They deserve it. I hope they are blissed out in the sun shine and long may it last. Next stop Mollington for the next FDPFAFDW show. It’s a village fete and we are the minstrels for the show in the village hall in the evening.


peace





8 comments:

Simon George said...

Hi Edgar. Just finished a late night in my pub. Spent the last couple of hours listening to 'Edgar Broughton Band', Bandages and Oora after the last few left, whilst I sorted the beers out for the next couple of days - some sampling required!
Got back home (30 yards)and decided to Google you in the hope of some 'latest news'.
Nice to hear you played Glastonbury. I went there in 1986, but it was no Stonehenge so I never returned.
I grew a beard when I was 19 because of you. I'm 52 now and it is still there. Sad or what?
Keep it going. The world needs you even if they don't know it yet.
Simon George

Anonymous said...

Hi really enjoyed the Glasto blog..its not a place for me tho just looks far to big and stressfull, I saw the band at herzberg festival in Germany which was/is a great little festival, im looking forward to our little garden festival in July!
thanks
cheers
tony

Anonymous said...

There will be no Glastonbury next year, 2012, due to the Olympics! The reason being there are not enough spare Police or portaloos! Kind of shows what Glastonbury has become, but take heart - you can already register for tickets for Glastonbury 2013.

Anonymous said...

We didn't find much Spirit of 71 this year. Glastonbury has got to big too really care. How ever having said that you were real. Edgar Broughton and son relevant and sincere. All good things to you. Keep it up Edgar.
Tom and Jill

Anonymous said...

Glasto has become a corporate affair. We just got back and it will be our last time. Sad that they didn't treat the originators with the respect you deserve. There is not much left to become disillusioned with from that era, is there? They have trashed most of it. Any way you and your son.
were great.

Apples
x

Anonymous said...

Nice pics. We bl++dy missed you. Couldn't get Bob's chariot across the mud. Looks like it went well though.

We bumped into a woman called Dreamer who said you made her cry with your songs. How cool is that?

Well back to politics. Got to save the NHS lol. See Coalition of Resistance latest.
Mary and Bob
x

Anonymous said...

sounds like some demons needed outing !!!

Stone said...

I really enjoyed meeting you both backstage at Spirit of 71 and then photographing you - LOADS of good ones, especially of you & Luke together - what a great gig!

E-mail me and I'll send you a link to download 'em via dropbox ;)x

Love Stone