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Chimmie Does Glasto Part 2

 
Blue.
Blue.
Blue.
Why blue?
I'm half awake now and eyeballing that stone that the Dove got. It's round with a blueish coating. Something has carried off a slice from the edge, exposing the rich flint inside. It's like a half-eaten Belgian chocolate but its beauty is beyond the powers of the food designer. Something half-remembered, half-forgotten, begins to stir.......

But now: I'm being woken up for the third time in 7 hours. It's Friday morning. We had got away from the queue and the scrapyard on wheels, flowing easily to rest in E19 where we found a spot next to a nice family with some teenage children, in exercise of our historic right to flout the "no tents on the campervan field" rule and .... Now....

"Oxfam didn't know what they were talking about. They told you the wrong thing," some BNP type bloke in a luminous vest is declaring to Telephone Girl. She won't like that. Guys like these are just pack animals dressed up. It's time to impose myself here.
"You can't have that tent up," he goes on fixing me with an ugly stare. "Someone 's been complaining about fireworks getting let off."

The eldest daughter of our neighbours and her boyfriend are packing up their tent to go where they've been told. That's understandable. They're eighteen or so.

I, however, will not stand for this kind of authoritarian bullying as I'm sure you understand. Skilfully, I pretend to capitulate to these fascist threats and start to dismantle the tent while he moves on with a menacing swagger. But I play a long game, at a higher level than clowns like that have ever seen.

"Shall we put the tent up now?" says Telephone Girl. The younger daughter of the family is in no doubt. She's a sixteen year old whose name is Sarah, with crazy pattern kneehigh leggings and bits of cloth hanging off her.
"You put it up. Tell them I told you to do it. I'll help you."
"Thanks but James here can do it, can't you bumhole?"
Well actually I've got more important work to do: "I'm going to have a quick look to see if I can spot those fascist bastards coming back." Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

I march off as some group called "The Darkness" is announced on the Pyramid Stage. I don't find anything. There is some noise as I come back.
"Jasty Boobles! Jasty Boobles! Wipe your arse and save the planet!"
Meanwhile Telephone Girl and Sarah seem to have nearly got the tent up now.
"Ee, I'm like a wrung out rag," she says. "It's like a Big Brother task: Put the tent up; Take it down; Put it up again."
"Don't go on about Big Brother! You know what I think of those scum." I haven't told her yet, but I have been thinking that I may have to go on Big Brother or Blind Date to generate publicity. So it's a bit of a sore point. A sorer point is trying to deal with this cellphone. I am trying to send a text message to Shaun Ritchie.

Yes, I know I said I'd never get one of these things because I have never seen the point of laying yourself open to being besieged by timewasters and publicity seekers. I begin to see that being able to do this right depends on doing it quickly, so fortunately my life at the cutting edge of popular music creation proves invaluable here, fingers ever at the ready for fly-ins, droppings in and droppings out. But Jog Dial? It sounds like being sick or something.

The Darkness are introducing a cover of a song by "The Radiohead". I make a mental note to try to again achieve not seeing Radiohead. It starts raining really quite a lot. Hmm. Time for a few cups of tea then.

While we are engaged in this important and productive observance, we are somewhat mystified to witness the return of the other daughter and her boyfriend, dragging their tent and muttering something about generator noise and how crap it is on the other field.
We are now on the Pyramid field with tall cartons of Oakhill Bitter. The sun is shining hot. Mogwai are on. I feel I should engage with my fellow countrymen. Nearby there's a couple who have a very small baby who has attracted the attention of the Dove and the Maiden. I don't know what I think about instrumentals bands. A record can be great, while having a very indifferent vocalist. On such a record it is, of course, with the instrumental sections that it tugs free and starts to fly.

The idea that instrumental music can have a story is complete utter tosh. Yes I'm sure there are some twats who think they're being clever saying things like: "Yes but didn't you feel that when it modulated by a minor third, that that was the Rape Scene. You could almost Feel him being taken from behind."
Rubbish.

Even with crap lyrics there is a narrative force just because there's someone vocalising, that they visit and revisit you with their sections of verses and choruses and breaks, as the minutes play out. However Mogwai are probably good, they've got that VU overwhelming drone thing going on. Still that that thing about architecture being frozen music seems to make more sense than instrumental music carrying narrative.

We say goodbye to Archie, the redheaded baby and head up to see what's going on at the Tinkers' spot on Green Futures.

Someone comes up looking for an "organic solution for toothache" for his girlfriend. She's in real pain but she "doesn't want to take anything inorganic." What?
Meanwhile I'm trying to text Shaun and Telephone Girl says I'm being rude but then she says she'll do it for me. So it's rude when I do it but...
Anyway she can't because my phone's different. It employs the superior Jog Dial technology of which I am a very stout advocate.

We drift down through Green Kids where the Dove and the Maiden play on the Pirate Ship with their friend Joe whom we have brought with us, while I go off to find the loos. Still nothing solid. I return to find that Shaun has sent me a text message to meet him for a drink tomorrow. Telephone Girl Has been texting someone called "Aqua" from Urban75 to meet her on the Jazz World Stage or whatever it's called this err.. year.

A board stands on an easel outside one of the tents: "SUBSONIC MIND CONTROL" in huge letters over cutaway diagrams of pillarbox/pillbox structures, the devices that are being used to enslave mankind. Developed for battlefield use, they have been deployed since the Cold War era to pacify the civilian population. The effects can be alleviated by fortifying the brain with a dietary supplement in the form of special field mushrooms which friends of the people in the tent are able to supply.
The initial plausibility of this story, which could explain the recent resistance to my musical releases and the public obsession with Big Brother and Karaoke nights, is something which does not stand up to sustained examination. I am not easily deceived by glib theories.

I am, however, quite interested in the medicine. Could it be what I am looking for?

"Like the hat, tosh," says someone standing by a sign that says "Out of Body Experiences".
He's got those irritating lips that look as if they're always kissing, and to my ammoyance they lift ironically to one side as he looks at me.
He has a mark running down his temple like a lightning flash and I am not going to pay any attention to his impudence. I will take my eyes elsewhere.

"Ohhhhh...having a good look at that girl's arse then, James?"
"The pattern reminded me of a Bridget Riley painting," I improvise effortlessly in respect of the eye-screwing lines that cover what is, as it happens, a truly wonderful arse.
"Which Bridget Riley painting?" returns Telephone Girl.
The figure in front of me ceases from bending over and straightens in a way that immediately says "ballet classes". She twists round, supple as a ferret.
"Into Op Art then, are you....hem....James?" Green eyes, all mischief flash through the copper coils.
"I cleave to all things artistic."
"Bridget Riley isn't artistic," snorts Telephone Girl. "It's all gadgets."

A good moment, I think to continue our drift down hill.

Anyway, one thing that is going to improve things a lot this year is that there is a bar, "Area 6" on the road north/south with no room to sit around for the roaming derelicts and other scum which infest this place. Therefore it's really easy to get a drink which is something which is rather important.

T.G. and I are profoundly happy with this turn of events and barely notice that Joe and the Dove are peering up at the counter of one of these yellow fronted "we sell everything" places in earnest debate. Finding a convenient perch, we settle. I start to explain how blues tonality is a struggle to resolve the discrepancies between the pitches on instruments of equal temperament and those of the Pythagorean scales. It's as if the musician is trying so hard to pull the notes back to what they Should Be that they overshoot. T.G. listens in rapt silence, stroking her cellphone for concentration.

Suddenly something wet hits me in the face and maniacal laughter ensues. Oh joy. They've bought water pistols. We adopt a pose of feigned toleration: "Smile. You're at Glastonbury etc."

More fiddling by T.G. with her phone. We move onto the field where coloured flags ripple in the wind like multi-coloured smoke tracks. They make cracking sounds, they are different sizes and somehow look like a patch of giant flowers. They really are beautiful and you find yourself staring at them for awhile. Somehow, they seem more important than whatever it is that is going on, on the stage. Eventually we remember that we're here for some reason or another as water sprays at us again.
"You were in the way! Alright? I was just trying to get Joe."

Telephone Girl has now exchanged 3 text messages with Aqua about meeting by the Brothers' Bar where gut-rot cider is sold in order to promote nervous collapse. We're there now, but we still can't find them. Presently a pleasant looking girl with a rosy face collects us with a smile: Aqua.

We sit down in one of the many large huddles of people on the field. I meet William of Walworth, some mediaeval degenerate who has been carried in a Tardis to the 21st century and dumped on the sea of flattened pint paper cups and Q supplements, his belly aswill with the results of his night raid on the monastery mead store.

Then it's Aqua, Bees, Stig, err.. etc., etc.: We are all busy ignoring Beth Orton or somebody, who they "all wanted to see". All they really seem to want to do is to talk about themselves and their posts. I do find people who talk about themselves all the time rather tiresome.

"I'm not going to see David Gray, because he's shite." "Yeah, I think he's shite," adds Telephone Girl, which she does. She doesn't add her opinion of REM, though: Also Shite. Telephone Girl is scathing about Beth Orton too. But that's personal. Some road rage episode.

William of Walworth is completely trashed, hiccoughing and blinking. The Maiden seems to be playing with Aqua's extensions. Presently, Aqua is hugging her and cooing and telling us how intelligent and strong the Maiden is. Intelligent? Strong? That doesn't make it OK you know, you silly broody cow.

A boy struck from the "The Artful Dodger" mould appears and The Dove and Joe from Tinker's Bubble place themselves in a communion of evil with him and some child who has the hair and face of a girl, but who stands like a boy. They are whiquching around, causing trouble, some of it with water pistols. I ignore it, of course. I don't see why these little criminals should be allowed to spoil my fun, such as it is. They have now found out how to remedy a worrying shortage of pistol water by locating the remains of bottles (presumed to be Water Bottles).

Beesonthewhatnow: "It's very creative of them to recycle what other people don't want." Don't want? It's just stealing off the incapable, like looting a battlefield. Fortunately it's not my responsibility.

Tiring of pistols and it being lateish we take Joe back and then return. We're basically feeling out of gas but we want our money's worth and decide to watch Morcheeba. I like the sound of Morcheeba's recordings.
But that woman.
She's so Bloody Nice.
"Do you like my dress?" she coos.
Oh go on. Go back to Sunday School or Blue Peter or wherever you got lost from: I can't like you until you become more evil.

There are a few drops of rain. We take the hint and exit to the Circus Field. We approach the high rig of the Madagascar Institute, where shadowy figures in pirate costume crouch and huge jets of flame lance out into the darkness. I feel the heat from 30 feet away. They co-opt the Dove and the Maiden for a tug of war for some reason which is never made plain. Abruptly it finishes, the Dove and the Maiden on the winning side.

We drift over to the Cabaret Tent where some Canadian bloke is talking about his world tour and disrespecting any town or country he is able to identify, including Scotland. We go out, Telephone Girl yelling "You're shite!" at the stage. For an Englishwoman TG is very patriotic about Scotland. Maybe it's a Celtic thing. All that Irish blood.

Finally the Dove and the Maiden join the richly cordoned queue that leads to entrance of the world's smallest nightclub, the Miniscule of Sound. The Commissaire interrogates them, all conviction in his maroon uniform (co-ordinated, therefore, with the cordon rope).
"Are you under 18 years of age?"
"Yes."
"You may go in then."
The Maiden swishes in like Sarah Bernhardt or somebody, while the Dove follows behind. Almost immediately she scooshes out giggling and screaming. It is several minutes before the Dove reappears.
"They've got a real DJ in there." He is clearly impressed.

Later we're back in E19. The nice family next to us are organising some kind of healthy nocturnal hospitality for each other and to our surprise, it does seem that the eldest daughter and her boyfriend have put their tent back up here.

I decide to have a can or so of Greene King IPA to settle myself. The Dove is sleeping in the van which he locks and I check. On the way in to the tent, my bare feet makes painful contact with something hard. By the lantern light, I see that it's that stone of the Dove's. I feel like throwing it away forever into the night. But then I decide not to. It's too pretty.