On Friday afternoon we pitched our tents on the hill above the Park stage at Glastonbury. Then, Steve (electric guitar), my manager and I, and our respective partners, headed for The Park's backstage bar - with it's bright flowers and twee lighting, pagan style wicker and may poles - before heading out onto the site to see what state the natives of this pop up town of 145,000 were in. The atmosphere was raucous, the costumes vivid and outrageous.
At the BBC Introducing stage we found the heavy blues riffing of Bite the Buffalo. As a duo comprised of only drums and electric guitar, you can't help but be reminded of the White Stripes and just how powerful it can be when two people alone attempt to fill the musical soundscape. The pair worked well together, they should; they are brothers.
We find another family affair in the Avalon field. The Staves, three sisters, are placed in the ideal venue for their harmonies and giggles, Croissant Neuf. Under the bright canopy the audience were respectfully silence whilst these three sirens performed. The Staves made me want to rush off home and create harmonies like I did with my sister as a child; their voices make everything feel homely ... sisterly.
Dizzie Rascal held his audience too, albeit in an entirely different way. He was all energy, all swearing and all crowd surfing; all personality. The crowd at the main stage jumped and danced and reveled in the fireworks until the last beat of his set. I was particularly energized when Bonkers sounded through the massive speaker stacks, I jumped along in my Wellingtons (it had rained, it was grey and it was drizzly), and Glastonbury had well and truly begun.
On Saturday it was my turn to play. It was the perfect day, the sun arrived, the ground dried out; out came the shorts, the t-shirts, the vests, the sunglasses and the sandals. Nick Mulvey, played on the Park stage before Steve and I. His was a smooth set of gutsy, acoustic blues, heavy on the strumming and detailed on the finger picking. He received a sincerely warm response from the audience.
By the time we went on, the hill in front of the Park stage was buzzing and friendly. We started with What A Day, the first single from my album Portrait. Its upbeat and always feels like a good start for a sunny day; it went well and I felt pretty relaxed after that ... phew! I'd decided to throw a new song into the set too; it's called Desert Without A Stream. It has a strong moody riff but it still seemed to work in sun. We finished with House Of Mirrors, the closing ballad from Portrait. And even though I love performing, hitting that final high-note is always a relief, because it's another job done; another show complete, another notch on the proverbial bedpost of gigs.
Sun still shining, it was time for lunch backstage and then a trek up to the Crow's Nest for the second set of the day. The Crow's Nest is a venue for tea in the afternoon and reggae at night, it has a small stage for an intimate gig, perfect for any Glastonbury revellers looking for a moment of peace.
We played a shorter set this time, hopefully one that was equally as reflective and representative of the album. The gig before ours - or event, would be more accurate a word - was a talk by Professor Brian Cox of Manchester University. I met him afterwards and we took a picture together; my later tweet said "science meets music," but then he was a musician previously, so that has already been done.
After the Crow's Nest gig I caught some of Elvis Costello on the Pyramid stage, but my favourite Elvis song, Shipbuilding, didn't hit the spot - I was too tired, too sun drained, and saving energy for the last slot of the day, which was yet to come.
I found myself back in the Park stage bar, where I relaxed to the sounds of Rodriguez who had just taken to the Park stage itself. At around 8pm I sound checked at the BBC compound on the hill and then tried to make my way to the Pyramid stage to catch The Rolling Stones. But it was too late, from nowhere could I get close enough to see either stage or screens. I gave up. I knew that I'd get the full low-down later on from my manager, my boyfriend and Steve, who were already somewhere in the crowd. I went to see Example on the Other stage instead. And again, like Dizzie, one man and one mic rocked the crowd and gave added weight to the title M.C.
Soon it was time to do my last gig of the day. On top of the hill, at the BBC compound, I played a live acoustic version of What A Day for the BBC 2 Glastonbury Highlights show. The bright day hadn't left a cloud in the sky, so there was nothing to keep the heat on the ground - it was a wonderful backdrop of Glastonbury at night and a bitterly cold breeze that I played against. I thought I'd rushed the song because I was so cold. But watching back later it seemed fine ... Phew!
By Sunday morning my Glastonbury was over. The twitter interactions were coming in steadily, because of the BBC live show and we hit the road and found the first services that sold bacon sandwiches.
Here is a video of one song from my Glastonbury 2013 set on the Park Stage:
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