• Mark Fraser

Glastonbury 2009


Our globe-smashing reporter Rachael Spink has been tearing it up overseas.

She survived UK’s annual Glastonbury Festival long enough (well almost) to get us a review of what made her day...

BEST PERFORMANCE of the weekend was indie-rockers The Temper Trap from Melbourne.

They had me in goose bumps from the first “ooh baby” in Rest through to their last song Science Of Fear.

Their sound is amazingly rhythmical and pulsating with singer Dougy Mandagi’s beautifully eminent vocals, the layered guitars and the upbeat drums.

Whatever you want to call them, the next TV On The Radio, U2 or Arcade Fire they’re set for big success and I want to see them play next year at the Pyramid Stage.

WORTH A MENTION was Pete Doherty.

I don’t know if we love him for his music or just because he’s a fuck up so I don’t know if people were there to hear his music or just to see if he’d fuck it up but we all had a good sing –a-long to Last Of The English Roses and a laugh when he did what must have been an impromptu cover of Psycho Killerby Talking Heads because he sort of trailed off on the second verse saying he didn’t know the words. 

BEST DRESSED, besides the trannies at Trash City, were electro-talented Metronomy, who each wore a big round, white light bulb on their chests that could have been flashing to the beat of their hearts as they played favourites such as Radio Ladio and Heartbreaker with that killer juicy bass line. 

Front man Joseph Mount introduced the crowd to new members, former Lightspeed Champion drummer Anna Prior and Gbenga Adelekan on bass and collectively they delivered a flawless, energetic show that put them up on my favourites list.

SPECIAL GUESTS were N*E*R*D.

It was a great performance for so many reasons.

One because they played that Rock Star song I love, two because they pulled a whole bunch of people from the crowd up on stage with them to dance and three because we got to watch Pharrell’s ego explode as he’s given five minutes to finish his set and he audaciously yells into the mic that he’ll finish when he wants to because “200,000 people came here to see NERD” hmm… did we?

A HARD CHOICE was whether to watch Neil Young or The Horrors and Animal Collective.

I’ve heard only great things about Young’s performance, some even said “phenomenal” but I’m glad I was over at the Park Stage because both The Horrors and Animal Collective blew me away.

I’ll admit that if it was 12 months earlier I wouldn’t have cared less to see The Horrors but since their rebirth with new album Primary Colours I didn’t want to miss them.

They’re no longer musical delinquents dressed in goth attire, with scratchy guitar sounds and banging drums, singing songs about parasites but have become liberated shoegazing rock-stars. 


And as for Animal Collective, well I knew they’d be great. You can’t really define them in a genre or define their sound it’s just… a lot of sound. I love their name, Animal Collective so I just like to think of their sound as like a cult of wild animals out in the jungle making noise… collectively… high on acid.

OTHER great bands I saw were Friendly Fires who drew a huge crowd under the sunshine on the Friday, probably the biggest crowd of their careers so far. Everyone was dancing, come to think of it; it was the only time I danced all weekend. The crowd went crazy for Jump In The Pool, Paris and my favourite, Skeleton Boy.

La Roux was also great! Even though I couldn’t see anymore than her giant ginger quiff because I was pushed right to the back of the Dance East tent under some sweaty chavs armpit and wasn’t tall enough to see over her sea of fans. She sounded awesome nonetheless.

In For The Kill had electropop scenesters in a frenzy and Bulletproof untied the whole dance village in smiles and a sing-a-long.

I didn’t really know any White Lies stuff but went with a friend who really wanted to see them and kept trying to sing me their song Death saying “come on you know it”.


Anyway, I ended up finding myself pleasantly surprised. They’ve got that big rock-band sound with excellent guitar-manship and soaring vocals.

They played Death last, which sounded brilliant and yes I did know it in the end, although it sounded nothing like they way my friend sang it. Surprise surprise!

WHAT AN IDIOT am I? I don’t know if it was the highly potent stench of the toilets (something I’ll never recover from) that went to my head or the highly potent bottle of cheap red wine I smuggled in but something made me pass out at 9pm on the Sunday night and miss Blur.

Extremely disappointed in myself I can only use the words of others to describe them “fucking incredible”.


Rachel Spink - redbackrock.com

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