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EDITIONS
Glastonbury 1999 Tuesday, 29 June, 1999, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Glastonbury Diary: Part 3
manics
Manic Street Preachers singer James Dean Bradfield
BBC music journalist Chris Charles investigates some of the older acts appearing at Glastonbury in the lastest instalment of his daily diary for BBC News Online.

Sunday 27 June, 1530

Glastonbury 1999
I knew it was too good to be true. It was six o'clock on Sunday morning and the rain was unrelenting in its pursuit of trying to ruin the festival.

I awoke to find two scallywags about to rifle through the tent - I'd managed to get myself another piece of groundsheet space by now. I scared them off, although at that time of the morning, I'm certainly enough to scare anyone off. I got back to sleep, only to be woken again by the strains of the Yeovil Town Band. I'm not sure which was worse.

I'm still getting over seeing the living legend that is Lonnie Donegan performing in the acoustic tent. After treating us to a mish-mash of blues, country, and rockabilly classics, he milked the applause for all it was worth. But he quickly turned from hero to villain after refusing to play Cumberland Gap and My Old Man's A Dustman.

While I was in the acoustic tent, the rest of the crew were watching Underworld. They all said it was one of the best gigs they had ever seen, although no-one could actually remember any of the songs that they played.

Oldies in the limelight

manics
You love us: Manics fans enjoying the show
Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook was one of a number of oldies revelling in the limelight this year. He opted to play a request spot - and showed he has lost none of his quality over the years. Goodbye Girl, Pulling Mussels From A Shell , Up The Junction and Is That Love were among the Squeeze greatest hits selections, with covers of Ticket To Ride and Space Oddity thrown in for good measure. But the highlight had to be watching him lead 16 howling volunteers through a rendition of Perfect Day.

An ancient-looking Joe Strummer rolled back the years, belting out a few Clash classics like Rock The Casbah, Tommy Gun, and Bankrobber. Accompanied by his old mucker Topper Headon on drums, he managed to pull off the oldies with one hand clasped firmly to his ear. But some of his other material was frankly embarrassing. He did show he had lost none of his diehard punk spirit when he attacked a pair of monitors with his microphone.

Orbital did not live up to expectations. But in fairness, it was more to do with the sound than anything else. After opening with No Way Out and a second track from the new album, the rest of their songs became almost indistinguishable as the crowd began to rapidly disperse. One wag commented that you get a better sound listening to someone else's personal stereo on the Tube.

Disappointing Manics

texas
Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri: Not Chris' favourite group
The Manic Street Preachers were disappointing to say the least. The large Welsh contingent seemed more intent on celebrating their country's rugby victory over South Africa. Motorcycle Emptiness, A Design for Life and If You Tolerate This... were warmly appreciated, but they generally seemed uninspired and flat.

Of the rest, Lamb were a knockout, Beth Orton was disappointing, and I heard Texas from within one of the disgraceful toilet cubicles. The verdict? They actually belonged in the toilet, but one man's meat...

Celebrities on the prowl included Debbie Harry - complete with a mob of heavies - strolling into the superbly named Soixante-Neuf cafe. And a decidedly-shaky looking Jarvis Cocker, almost bowling over my friend The Captain - the one with the enormous de luxe tent - as he meandered through the sacred stones.

I'm disapppointed Jurassic 5 and Fun Lovin' Criminals are on at the same time tonight, and I shall have to see one while sending one of my minions to watch the other. The same goes for Mercury Rev and Suzanne Vega. Sunday might traditionally be the quietest day at Glastonbury, but the scheduling could still be better.

See also:

26 Jun 99 | Glastonbury 1999
26 Jun 99 | Glastonbury 1999
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