SHERYL CROW, PYRAMID STAGE, FRIDAY 28th JUNE

Sheryl Crow opens with ‘If It Makes You Happy’ from 1996, which still sounds as good as it did back then. The Pyramid Hill is crowded, all the way up to the camping areas.

The crowd cheer and clap as she ends, then the opening guitar riffs of ‘A Change Would Do You Good’ starts up with Sheryl on acoustic guitar. In the middle of the song, she stops singing and tells us we need a change right now, especially in America!

“Thank you so much,” Sheryl says. “Wow Glastonbury! I’ve not seen you for 22 years! I’m going to take you back 25 years, to ‘All I Wanna Do’”. Part way through, Sheryl drops down off stage and heads to the barriers, where she encourages people to drink water and put on sunscreen and to join in with the chorus, which of course they do! Her guitar is slung across her back as she walks up and down the top of the barrier singing!

Sheryl returns to the stage and starts the next song, ‘My Favourite Mistake’. She finishes this on keyboards, and before she starts ‘Can Cry Anymore’ one of her children brings an electric guitar on stage for her. She tells us it’s her children’s first Glasto, and they’re enjoying it a bit too much!

Next up is a new song, ‘Prove You Wrong’, which features Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac on its recording and is on the new album ‘Threads’, which is due out in August this year. It’s got much more of a country feel to it. When it ends, Sheryl tells us it sounds even better with Stevie Nicks singing on it.

‘The Best of Times’, where Sheryl plays harmonica, is next, and is quickly followed by ‘Good Old Days’. She moves on to ‘The Greatest Change’ with barely a pause. This has a long guitar solo. Next up is ‘Every Day is a Winding Road’, which people have been waiting for and recognise within the first three to four chords! Everyone sings along to it.

Sheryl was great, played the crowd well and recognised she needed to play all her hits.


RODNEY BRANIGAN, ACOUSTIC STAGE, SATURDAY 29th JUNE

I've interviewed Rodney Branigan a couple of times before at previous Glastonburys, but this is the first time he's been on a bigger stage. He's normally to be found in Toad Hall, but today he's playing on the Acoustic Stage with a band and backing singers. He's an incredible musician - plays two instruments at the same time, sometimes two guitars, sometimes a guitar and drum, sometimes guitar and keyboard. He sings a mixture of country and politics.

He's currently tuning up. One of the sound people asked him to sing with a little less attitude. Rodney’s response? “I've nothing but attitude, dude!” How true!

“Alright, you guys, my name is Rodney. I'm from Texas. This song is about schizophrenia”
Rodney is playing two guitars, strumming one and hammering the other. One of them is tuned to a specific chord (I've asked him about it before now). It's an instrumental, with both guitars battling each other.

“Hey Glastonbury, how are you doing? Did you miss me? Is that a yes or no?” All this as he starts the next tune, ‘Drive Your Ship’, this time with backing drums and bass guitar, and Rodney on a single guitar.

The next song is about strong women, and features Rodney on a single guitar, with bass, double bass and drums backing him.

‘Plagiarism Song’, which is about covers, is next. It's a very fast-paced song, as are many of Rodney’s songs.

Next comes a song he wrote when he was eighteen. It's a song about speaking children. Rodney is playing one guitar, hammering the strings and using the body as a drum. It's an instrumental that after a while morphs into a cover of the Beatles ‘Come Together’, and is excellent! It's just Rodney and his guitar, but sounds like much more! The song ends, and the crowd roars their appreciation.

Rodney then coaches the crowd to chant “Rodney, Rodney”, and praises us for doing a good job of it! He then tells us the next song is about insomnia, and his band reappear for this one.

Rodney asks us, “Do you guys fancy singing along? Yeah! It's too hot to play guitar right now. There's only two words you need to remember, ‘one’ and ‘seed’”. It's a song about growing marijuana, and is called ‘One Seed’. It's a slower song, featuring a violin and beautiful harmonies.

“Thank you so very much! Are you guys ready for some magic tricks? If you've never seen me play before, you might want to video this. Either you'll see something amazing or see a guy knock himself out”. He starts by only playing the strings on the neck of his guitar, picking with both hands, swapping position. The sound is amazing! He then switches to strumming and hammering at the same time, then balances another guitar on top of the second one. And proceeds to play both at the same time! The top guitar is tuned to one chord, and he hammers the lower guitar. Whoops, the top guitar has fallen off the lower one, so Rodney picks it up, retunes it and starts again. The crowd are stunned, and cheer massively when he's finished. This was ‘One man, two guitars’, and with that, he's finished.

What a fantastic performance! Rodney is incredibly talented, I love seeing him play!


KEANE, ACOUSTIC STAGE, SATURDAY 29th JUNE

The last time I saw Keane at Glastonbury they were in a really small venue. It was really crowded, and I was told I couldn't sit. I'd have to stand. I explained that I can't stand for long, as it's too painful to do so, and was invited backstage instead! I should point out that I walk with tools or use a mobility scooter! This time they're in a much bigger venue, the Acoustic Stage.

Keane burst onto the stage with ‘Bend and Break’ and the crowd go wild!

Tom Chaplin is clearly in a chatty mood, and obviously thrilled to be back at Glastonbury: “Oh man, look at all of you! Wow, wow in the tent, wow beyond the tent!”

The acoustic stage is crammed full. There are people filling the field outside and you couldn't fit a single person more onto the accessible platform!

They go straight into ‘Silenced by the Night’, which is loved by everyone! Next up is ‘Nothing in My Way’.

“Is everyone recovered yet from today? I've been carrying my five year old daughter all day. It's the first time she's seen Keane. We lost her for a couple of minutes. It was scary. We come to Glasto every year. It's so lovely being on stage playing for you. Thank you!”

Next up is one I don't recognise, ‘Spiralling’. Plenty of other people know it though!

“Thank you very much. You carry on cheering. It's awesome”. So the crowd do for a few seconds more!

‘Bedshaped’ is next. Tom’s voice is amazing. The crowd loves this and sings along with “What do I know, I don't know”. This is such a beautiful, passionate song, and his voice is fantastic. The song ends and the crows erupts in cheers.

“Here's a song about being young, being in the moment.” It is ‘You Are Young’.

“All right, so the reason that we're back together (cheers) we first things because we grew up in the same time, and we love each other, but a while ago Tim had a difficult time and wrote some amazing songs, so we had to get back together to record them. This is a new song.”

Wow, it's a fast paced song, ‘The Way I Feel’. The crowd clap along, really get behind the song.

The song ends. He says that they're going to take it up a notch, and the opening chords of ‘This is the Last Time’ start up. The crowd roars. Everyone's hands are in the air. Everyone is singing along, and the cheers at the end are deafening!

Next up is “Is It Any Wonder?' It sounds as good as ever!

“We got here early this morning, and sat having breakfast, hearing people saying, ‘Yeah, we're going to see Keane’, I said, ‘Definitely you should see Keane.’ Eventually they twigged, and were very lovely. This is a song about having too much.” ‘Won't Be Broken’ starts.

A few practice chords on the piano, and then Keane go into ‘Everybody’s Changing’.

The crowd is singing along, word perfect. The song ends, and people cheer and cheer.

There is no introduction needed for ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ with the crowd being again word perfect! The whole venue erupts at the end of the song in cheers and cheers for the band. Keane are as good as they've ever been. This is far too small a venue for them!

Next up is ‘Crystal Ball’ from 2006. There are flags waving in the marquee now! Superb!

“I think we've got time for one last song. Coming to this festival is a Mecca for musicians,.We are so grateful to be invited, and hope we get invited back again. We hope to see you very soon.” ‘Sovereign Night Café’ is their last song.

Oh, wow, this was a brilliant performance by Keane. Yet again, Glastonbury have given them a too small venue. Hopefully next time they'll be on West Holts, Other or Pyramid! They clap the crowd, thank us and leave the stage.


BOOTLEG BEATLES, ACOUSTIC STAGE, SUNDAY 30th JUNE

I'm too young to have seen the Beatles live, but I grew up to their soundtrack, as my parents were fans. They actually played in my local park in 1963, Abbotsfield Park in Flixton. I learnt to play guitar from a Lennon/McCartney song book, and love the Beatles.

On Thursday evening I met up with a friend, and excellent drummer, Stephen Islam, who lives on the same road as me. He works with the Bootleg Beatles, and I managed to get Tyson, who plays John, a ticket to the party in Hospitality at Glastonbury. We had a short chat about how come he became a Bootleg Beatle, and now here I am on Sunday afternoon at Glasto at the Acoustic Stage, listening to them play.

The current band members are Tyson Kelly (John), Steve White (Paul), Stephen Hill (George) and Gordon Elsmore (Ringo), and the band have been playing with different line-ups since 1980.

The Acoustic Stage is even more full than it was for last night’s Keane gig, with hardly any room to reach the accessible platform, but I just about manage it!

They open with ‘She Loves You’, and then Paul introduces John. They sound exactly like the Beatles, both singing and talking - it seems really strange, as Tyson is from the USA.

‘Roll over Beethoven’ is next, followed quickly by ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ then ‘A Hard Day's Night’. For ‘Can't Buy Me Love’ John gets the crowd to sing "love" repeatedly before they start. Then it is ‘Help’, followed by ‘Day Tripper’ and ‘Twist and Shout’. Next is 'Yesterday', but we sing it - Paul does the intro, then we sing. He says we could do better, so we start again. He joins in with us. Well, we all did a really good job of that one!

John: “Are you ready for some rock and roll music?”

The opening chords of ‘Come Together’ start, and the crowd join in again. ‘Get Back’ has everyone singing along again. I wasn't sure what the audience would be like. It's all ages - from people possibly old enough to have remembered the Beatles to really young people. Just shows that good music spans all ages!

The opening lines of ‘Don't Let Me Down’ are next. This time you can hear the band clearly over the crowd, apart from the chorus!

“The next song we'd like to play is off the ‘White ‘album, and we're dedicating it to one of our crew, Hayley, as it's her birthday today. ‘Birthday’ then starts.

“Thank you very, very much. The next song we'd like to play is one that Eric Clapton played lead guitar on.” It's ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. They play this really well. The guitar solo is good!

Next up is ‘Revolution’. What an appropriate song to play at Glasto!

“We have one more song to play for you tonight. What do you think about the audience tonight, Paul?” “I think they're great.” “Well, I hope you enjoy this one. Thank you for being great. Enjoy the rest of the festival.”

The opening bars of ‘Hey Jude’ starts. The crowd erupt! Everyone is up, holding camera lights, arms up in the air and singing along. The chorus will be epic! Yep, deafening “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey Jude” rolling around the stage! The song finishes to massive cheers from the crowd, and “Nah, nah, nah nah” starts up again, just like I expected it to!

Goodness, there's an encore! This never happens at Glasto. It's ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’. Even Kylie didn't do an encore! People are loving it! Now they're playing ‘Rock and Roll Music’! They do a combination Chuck Berry number, then leave the stage.

That was a great gig, I'll be watching out for them in the future!













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