Glastonbury ’08

Dear Michael,

It’s now been nearly a week since I left your farm, so I thought I should write and thank you for another fantastic festival. To no-one’s surprise, you proved all the critics wrong. Tickets finally sold out, as we all knew they would. And those who said that Jay-Z would be bottled off stage clearly have no understanding of what Glastonbury’s all about.

I think my highlights this year were Jay-Z (obviously), The Verve, The Ting Tings and Vampire Weekend. The albums I’m most likely to buy next based on what I saw are Marry Me by St. Vincent and Youth Novels by Lykke Li. I would be getting The Langley Sisters’ album as well, but they don’t appear to have one yet. I’d not intended to see The Verve, but had a snap last minute change of heart on leaving Suzanne Vega’s gig in the Acoustic Tent. They turned out to be much better than I expected, though there was really no need for Richard Ashcroft to dis you like that. The same is true of the Ting Tings, who I’d expected to hate, ’cause I find that song really annoying.

Next year, I’d love it if you could book Sigur Rós to headline. In my opinion, they are the greatest band in the world right now, and they deserve a place on the world’s greatest stage. I still consider their performance on the Other Stage in 2003 to be the best gig I’ve ever been to, but I want to see them where those epic sounds really belong: in the dark, with the light of the top of the Pyramid pointing skyward above them.

I suppose I have to confess before I end that my actual highlight this year was Katie Melua. So, a special thanks for booking her. None of my friends would come and see her with me and, quite by accident, I ended up on the front row. I don’t think I’ve been on the front row of a gig since I was about 16. I felt well old. And probably looked like some kind of weird creepy stalker man. I’ve taken some abuse for saying I loved her set, and I guess I’ll take some more, but I don’t care. I think I could literally listen to that girl sing the phone book.

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