My Saturday started at the Leftfield Stage, which is Billy Bragg's stage and the home of political Glastonbury. Thanks to some classic car pass malarky, I arrived halfway through the panel on green jobs that I was taking part in, just in time to hear the last point from Hanna Thomas of the East London Green Jobs Alliance. I spoke about Wateraid's work at Glastonbury, and the other speakers were Donna Hume from Friends of the Earth and Graham Peterson from the Green Jobs Alliance.
It wasn't a long journey to my next gig, which was on the Leftfield Stage. Viv Albertine was scheduled to perform in Billy Bragg's Big Round Up - a sort of round table of singer songwriters - but had to cancel at the last minute. I was more than happy to step in, if only just so I could say 'I'm filling in for Viv Albertine' one time in my l. Also playing was Paddy Nash from Belfast and Leon Walker - a graduate of Billy's prison music charity Jail Guitar Doors. I love Leon. He sounds like a cheeky, early Jamie T, and he's one of the most cheerful people you'll ever meet - tirelessly optimistic and infectiously so.
The round up turned into a Billy Bragg lovefest, because we do all bloody love him. I played one of the first songs I'd ever written, when I'd been inspired to write by BIlly's song The Saturday Boy. It has the line 'Since you've gone my only friends are Billy Bragg and the Jam...' Paddy played a number called 'Billy Bragg Jeans' with the chorus 'I've got my Billy Bragg jeans on'. The performers then decided that next year there would be a line of Bragg designer merchandise, and Paddy joked, "The condoms would be called Tender Comrade." Billy finished with a song about the moon landing, and Leon closed the set with 'I wanna go to Glastonbury'. Wish granted.
Then I was off duty. I watched the Kills on the Other stage, wondering how to juggle hero-worshipping Alison Mossheart AND Billy Bragg at the same time, and if this could somehow fit into the idea of Billy as a fashion icon. Then I met up with my brother and my boyfriend on a winnebago, which had been donated to us by a departing promoter. It had a TV, which I switched on as a joke. Five minutes later, sucked in, I had to be forced to turn it off. It's funny how something you wouldn't do for fun in your normal life, like watch half a film on mute, or drink from a glass, becomes a luxury once you're in the midst of Glastonbury. This morning I turned on a tap and wondered at the water running freely from it, and since this is a Wateraid blog I feel obliged to mention the fact that having a safe place to use a toilet, and having access to safe running water, is a situation only available to half of the world's population.
Exhausted by Friday and Saturday's shows, I didn't make as big an effort to watch music as I'd like to. I watched Elbow on the Pyramid, Janelle Monae on the West Holts Stage (previously Jazz World), and then Coldplay on the Pyramid. Coldplay had me conflicted. On the one hand fireworks, huge crowd response and true spectacle, on the other songs that I still can't completely connect to when the spectacle is over. I was probably too drunk to take it in properly, and threw a strop when I was introduced to Chris Martin later and decided he'd patronised me. To be fair, he was in a vehicle coming back from headlining Glastonbury and might not have been in the mood for a serious chat about my day. If anyone else would like to have a serious chat with me about my day, get in touch.
I also got to tell Guy Garvey how much I love him. You probably saw it on TV, but Elbow absolutely owned the Pyramid stage. It was one of those seminal Glastonbury gigs, and singing along to One Day Like This was the high point of my weekend. The love that they commanded here yesterday was overwhelming and spilled past the end of their set and into the evening.
(Guardian gave the show five stars: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/25/elbow-glastonbury-2011-review)
Special mention to Janelle Monae for her stage set and direction. Her 14-piece band included three dancers, who came on at one point in capes and white masks like reapers, only to be mimed off stage by Monae in superhero guise. During her set she also painted a canvas of a naked body with the word 'Love' beneath it, and sang a cover of the Jackson 5's I Want You Back. We left for Coldplay just as she began album favourite Tightrope to an exhilarated crowd.
I regret not seeing Wild Beasts, but the trip back to the Park area was too much to handle. We had an early night, and woke up at 9. Trying to make our way to breakfast we were stopped by a police cordon, which we know now to have been because of the death of Christopher Shayler in the Portaloo cabin next to our winnebago. A solemn and sad start to the last day of the festival.