This week we hand over the reins of the NCB column inches to our very own Dan Sproull, of the Thursday Sessions for a review of Glastonbury 2023.
You can catch Dan’s show every Thursday at 9pm at www.ncbradio.co.uk
Glastonbury 2023 included great sets from Elton John, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Arctic Monkeys - so I’m told. I did not watch any of them. The beauty of Glastonbury is that there is so much going on there is something for everybody, all of the time. When the headliners were playing, perhaps 70-80,000 people gather to watch them which leaves a bit more space at the other stages, if you are interested in watching something else.
If this is a review of Glastonbury 2023, then it is of what else was going on. I have heard it suggested that there are 100 stages at Worthy Farm. I haven’t counted them if I’m honest. They range from tiny stages in tented bars to bigger ones in huge tents (which at many festivals would be for the headliners), to the main stages, featuring every type of entertainment you can think of (almost). Fire breathing, dancing, comedy, circus acts, poetry and, oh yes, music! The whole place is surreal, nothing seems to matter for a few days and the real world seems a long way away. A beer, the sun (at least this year) and a good band to watch – that’s what it is all about!
For my music show on NCB Radio (www.ncbradio.co.uk) every Thursday at 9pm I spend quite a lot of time seeking out new bands. Some of them I went to see at this year’s festival and was not disappointed. The Isle of Wight’s Coachparty played a storming set on the BBC Introducing stage (note, NCB Radio have been playing them for ages!). Noisemakers Panic Shack played twice – I caught their second set at the marvellous Strummerville stage which is run by the Strummer Foundation. They were loud, angry and funny all at the same time. Look out for LPS from both bands later this year. Reggae in the sunshine is always a winner and Third World on the West Holts stage provided that elegantly. Amadou and Mariam brought some amazing Mali vibes to the Pyramid and African Head Charge and Dreadzone some thumping bass heavy dub to the Glade stage.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s kitchen disco on Sunday morning was a sing along family affair as was Blondie’s set a little later. The poetry and anger at injustice of Loyle Carner were powerful and moving in equal measures.
Glastonbury is not for everyone, but it is for me. I have just about worked my way around without looking at a map now. If you haven’t been and you fancy it, join the ticket race for 2024. This year’s highlight for me? Maybe Rick Astley doing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell on the Pyramid stage and playing the drums.
Roll on 2024.