Today is my birthday, and I am sitting in a field drinking San Miguel in a plastic cup that the festival is charging £3 for the hire of to put your £4 beer in. I am in a good mood, drinking with some of my oldest friends in the sun of the Kent countryside and about to see some of the world's greatest musicians,

I am so chilled out that I don't wander off too see the first few bands of the day. Sadly Chrissie Hynde has pulled out, but she has been replaced instead by Magazine. They play for fifty minutes and do a short new wave set. Front man Howard Devoto is one of headliner Morrissey's true heroes. They leave their one hit ‘Shot by Both Sides’ to the final number, but they also include ‘A Song From Under the Floorboards’ which Morrissey covered, and do a version of Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Thank You’ which brings a healthy slice of funk to proceedings.

Patti Smith is next, and plays a short acoustic set with the help of Patrick Wolf and Lenny Kaye. Announcing it is great to be on the same stage as these other “great speakers to the world”, she is absolutely charming and sets a path for what is to come.

Lou Reed follows, and plays a set of just ten songs which lasts an hour, Two days later he adds a mere two songs to his London show, and drags the gig out to another 45 minutes. Lou Reed live is always great. He does what he wants to do. He never pleases the crowd, but this does it for me, The Velvet Underground’s ‘Who Loves the Sun?’ opens the set, which is an odd but strong choice, ‘Senselessly Cruel’ follows which has a workman like feel to it. ‘Temporary Thing’ is sax heavy, and ‘Ecstasy’ is long and sublime. ‘Small Town’ is followed by a reading of ‘Mother’ by John Lennon. He and his band then play a medley of ‘Sunday Morning’, ‘Femme Fatale’ and a track called ‘Waves of Fear’ from his ‘The Blue Mask’ album, before they end it all with a ten minute version of ‘Sweet Jane'.

The Stooges follow who blow the audience away with their energy. Only Iggy Pop, guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott Asheton are real Stooges here. Focusing mainly on their ‘Raw Power album, this is a set to get you dancing, and it does exactly that.

Morrissey says later as he starts his set, “How do I follow Iggy and the Stooges?” He is truly wonderful, beginning his set with the Smiths, ‘I Want the One I Can't Have.’ 'You're the One For Me, Fatty’ has the crowd bopping along, while ‘Shoplifters of the World Unite’ and ‘Ouija Board, Ouija Board’ are both longer than the originals.

He then throws in a new song before doing a version of ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’ that just melts the crowd and has me singing along with everyone else here. ‘Every Day is Like Sunday’ is another joyous sing-a-long. ‘Meat is Murder’ is turned into the political statement as it always was, but is given extra weight by the fact that there are meat stalls here,

He then covers Lou's ‘Satellite of Love’ and does it well. ‘I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris’ and ‘Alma Matters’ are both great numbers, and are very quickly followed by ‘Irish Blood, English Heat' and ‘This Charming Man’, both of which have the crowd going mad. ‘The First of the Gang to Die’ ends the main set, before he comes back on to play ‘Panic’ as an encore leaving me a very happy guy on my birthday.













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