Glastonbury 2017 Day Two – Prince Achmed, Quiz, Napalm Death, Everything

My second day at Glastonbury this year found me out for the lightweight I really am. I’m sat in my tent at 23:20 now, having given up for the night. There are probably four hours of quality entertainment ahead of me but I simply can’t hack it.

My day started swimmingly with a trip to the Pilton Palais for a screening of The Adventures of Prince Achmed. The performance was accompanied by the Guildhall Electronic Music Studio. The film and accompaniment were top quality and it was a well-chosen start to the day.

After wandering with some friends for a while, I stumbled across a man playing a great selection of covers songs at the Open Arms Bar. We watched a handful of songs, sand heartily (if ironically) to “Take Me Home Country Road” and then set off towards the West Holts Bar. This is where I was “that guy” – the one that randomly helps out with a pub quiz without anyone asking him to. Everyone loves that guy. Right?

Our next step, bizarrely, was to visit Shangri-La and watch Napalm Death. I’m going to be honest – the songs merged into one another and I was hardly impressed by any of their music. Perhaps I was too far back but it didn’t feel like any of their songs were distinct enough or had enough dynamics to encapsulate a crowd who started the set with interest if not enthusiasm.

We tried then to see Everything Everything at the Williams Green stage. The crowds were busy for this set, which was possibly the worst-kept secret of the weekend. Alas, we gave up by the second song and moved on.

And that brings me to here. I was too tired to carry on and made my way back to my tent, even though I desperately wanted to see a friend performing with The Trojans. Exhausted and in need of some rest, I’m hoping I last longer tomorrow night for the huge headline set from Radiohead. I’m sure they’ll have an uplifting song or two to get me through the tiredness barrier.

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Glastonbury Day Two: Wilko Johnson, Beans on Toast, Elle and the Pocket Belles, Silent Disco

The second day at Glastonbury is when the fun starts to get interesting. A few familiar acts start to pop up and by and by and nobody has a 50 minute pilgrimage with a 40kg weight strapped to their back to kick off the day.

  
Our first act of the day was Wilko Johnson on the William’s Green Stage. It was a short set (about 30 minutes) followed by a long interview (about 30 minutes) followed by an exclusive screening of the new Julien Temple documentary The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson, ostensibly about Wilko’s battle with cancer as he was given ten months to live. It covers this period, then goes on to what he describes as “extra time” and then his miraculous recovery following some radical treatment. The film was a fantastic introduction to Wilko’s music (admittedly I’m not overly familiar with it) and a fascinating insight into people battling with terminal illness. Well worth watching when it appears later this year.

Later on we caught a bit of Elle and the Pocket Belles at Avalon CafĂ©. Their set was the perfect way to see in the sunny evening as they nailed a series of popular tunes with their own style of blended vocals and punchy brass backing. I think they’re playing elsewhere over the weekend so I’m hoping to bump into them again.

Beans on Toast was next on the Hell Stage in Shangri-La. It was heaving and it was obviously a hot ticket but it didn’t really resonate with me. It’s and act that has become a frequent performer at festivals though and if you like political statements in humorous song form then maybe you’ll be more inspired.

The evening became a bit of a blur after this, though I do recall dancing to Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” in the Park Silent Disco in the early hours of the morning. It would have been rude not to.