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Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 11:56 UK
Bands praise 'best' festival

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Looking back, and looking forward, Mark Ronson, The Specials, Doves, Elbow and Maximo Park tell us their Glastonbury memories ahead of this year's festival.



I grew up in New York so I missed out on the whole festival thing, the first two Glastonbury's I've been to were last year and the year before.

The first one was amazing because we played on the John Peel Stage; the record had just come out. We were in a weird slot between The Horrors and The Gossip.

Mark Ronson
Ronson will be at Glastonbury this year, but isn't playing

But I looked out as we came onstage and it was packed out. Further back you could see people on the hill. I was thinking 'This can't possibly get any better'. I remember thinking at that point 'This is the best experience of my life'.

I'm just going to go this year as a fan. You just don't treated as nicely because you can't run around saying 'Hey man, I'm on the other stage in 20 minutes, bro". You just have to get in line and buy your own drinks.


Favourite memory? I have to say the first time because it was the biggest gig we'd ever done back in 1994, that was just amazing. It's one of two gigs where I actually threw up before I went onstage.

It's so terrifying, that first thing of walking on stage and there's anywhere between 20 and 40 thousand people in front of you. It's unbelievable. I remember playing Chimes and standing back and just looking at the audience with the lights sweeping over them. It's etched on my memory.


I went as a punter two years ago. I slept in the back of the car, it was typically muddy sadly. We're dead proud because our first year was '98 we were just about to release the Cedar Room EP, our first thing as Doves and we were first on on the new bands tent.


The next year we were first on the Other Stage…there was a run where we did 6 back to back.

We genuinely do love the festival, it's such an incredible feat that it even still exists after such a long time and it's humble origins.

The first time we played we stayed for like five days afterwards, we had this camper van stuck in mud and we couldn't get out. I think we'd imbibed a little bit too much of everything. We almost threatened to split up, we'd just formed!


We were due to headline Glastonbury (1994) and John Squire fell off his mountain bike. We had a day off in San Francisco and he broke his collar bone. Ergo we couldn't do Glastonbury.

The nice bit about this story is Pulp had to fill in at the last minute and it propels them into being global megastars. So that Jarvis Cocker owes us a drink man. Me memories of playing with Primal Scream are very blurred, if you understand me. It's always a great event.

I love Michael Eavis and I love Emily Eavis. I was going to Glastonbury before I was in bands. It's just the best isn't it?


Maximo Park
Smith is renowned for his scissor kicking antics onstage

The first we played I was just amazed how people turned up. Our first album had just come out, not many people knew who we were, and really it was a sign that people liked our band very simplistically put.

I think Glastonbury last year ruffled a few feathers, if you re going to go there and watch the same old bands…Jay-Z came in there and absolutely ripped it up.


It's muddy, everyone says it's muddy but it seems like a very hedonistic experience. Neil Young was one of the first dudes that me and Sky were getting into when we were kids, and still.

Ultimately it comes down to the songs. It's like The Beatles were good because every month they had some new amazing song and it's the same with Neil Young. You need that breadth of genius to be a legend.


The Specials

Last time I played there was nineteen-eighty-something when I was in a band called The Colourfield. Two years ago I almost played there but it was so wet that by the time I left my hotel I thought that I better go back to bed so I didn't play there.

It was a thing called Guilty Pleasures where we were singing songs in our own way. Tim Burgess did it, it was good fun but I didn't make it past the gate. I was just appalled by the weather.


I'm going along, I've got a tepee and a headdress to go with it. I'll go and see The Specials, and Doves. Fleet Foxes, I've not see them live for a few months. Regina Spektor, I like her.

Saturdays are always dodgy because you're recovering from Friday. The boss, I'll go see him. Crosby, Stills and Nash are playing. Eagles Of Death Metal because me mate Brian is in the band but the Park Stage is probably the stage for me this year.


We're doing the main stage, John Peel and Dance Stage. Last year the band and I, we were on the BBC Introducing Stage and we were first on with only a few people watching us.

So we all huddled up I think when we were watching Lily Allen and promised that the following year we would be on that stage. It's just incredible. We're very excited.

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