We’ve been watching the BBC’s Glastonbury extravaganza, coverage notable for this snatch of screentime, during which Zane Lowe isn’t the biggest idiot in shot*. I’m something of a Sofa Zealot about Glastonbury due to its ability to artificially infuse that International Sports Event Feeling (ISEF). I’m a sucker for the ISEF as of circa Italia ’90; crowds, singing in unison, squelchy overflows of public emotion, the slight air of menace, the lump in the throat. The BBC’s Glastonbury programming could probably do to do away with the Television Presenter School of enthusiasm and go for a bit of Nessun Dorma instead.
Nonetheless, I’m always impressed by the BBC’s tireless quest for the With It, which reached its excelsis this year with programmes fronted by an assortment of Random Shits (your less-endearing Naughties incarnation of Viz‘s Student Grant), joined on their Habitat pouffes by a succession of blokes with interesting trousers. As with an increasing number of my encounters with popular culture lately, I got the unsettling feeling that at twenty-four, I am no longer part of their target demographic. My little brother, however (hi Andy!), is clearly front and centre.
And the music? Amy Winehouse was a they-can’t really-show-this-on-telly cheap thrill, redeemed by signs of genuine wit, Lupe Fiasco gained a new fan in Joe and the Verve were more insurance advert than standing on top of a hill. The sound was bloody awful, Massive Attack were dour and Jay-Z… well, he was better than the Ting Tings.
*Disclaimer: I’m sorry Zane, that was unkind. I very much appreciate your enthusiasm for New Music and your Stoned Tigger delivery. Apols.