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It’s the final day at the Eavis farm and our temporary city is crumbling – tents are beginning to look like sad, mangled daddy longlegs, and most girls’ hair is forming into one singular dreadlock. The post-Glastonbury blues are settling in prematurely, with Shangri-La’s ‘corporate nightmare’ about to take hold as a reality.
So “working nine to five” isn’t really what we want to be enthusiastically yelling right now, but country legend Dolly Parton charms us all into submission. The Pyramid Stage is even more swamped than it was for Metallica yesterday, except that black T-shirts have been swapped for curly blonde wigs and rhinestoned cowboy hats. A flashmob dance is planned and executed for ‘Jolene’, with even the bulky security guards at the barriers making the relevant hand gestures.
Things take a bit of a weird turn when Dolly starts playing the Benny Hill theme on the saxophone, describes her family as “horny hillbillies” and does a rap about mud, but her performance is so engaging that you can’t really fault it. Especially so when you consider that she’s 68 (although here’s a fun fact: Dolly Parton once entered a Dolly Parton lookalike contest and lost to a drag queen). For her finale she brings out Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora – we hope for a rendition of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, but unfortunately don’t get one.
A hit of psychedelic pop comes courtesy of Connan Mockasin, who after a failed attempt to get his Park stage crowd yodelling, lulls us into a gently rocking haze with ‘I’m The Man That Will Find You’. Nine-piece Leeds band Gentleman’s Dub Club always put on a riotous performance, and on the Gully Outernational stage this is no exception – they fling their ties around to the trumpet-heavy sounds of ‘High Grade’ and ‘Gentleman’s Sleng’.
Fuelled by bunnychow (curry-filled bread loaves which are basically the best Glastonbury sustenance), our feet wander to James Blake. The Mercury Prize winner welcomes in an Egyptian sunset with ‘CMYK’ and ‘Retrograde’, playing keys and singing, while backed by other instrumentalists.
Ethereal, wraithlike performances continue with Massive Attack – who perform ‘Mezzanine’ classic ‘Teardrop’ as a single white flare drops down from the night sky. As vocal, long-term opponents to the Iraq war, the band’s visuals include quotes from Bush and Blair, along with a list of names of prisoners kept at Guantanamo Bay, and red and black flashes of the logos of giant corporations. They perform with Martina Topley-Bird and Deborah Miller, while the words “ENGAGE, LIKE, CONNECT, FOLLOW, ENDORSE” flash up on screens – being ‘in the moment’ is clearly important to the band, which is presumably the reason why they asked their set not to be filmed by the media (much to people’s dismay). We record a snippet of ‘Future Proof’ on our phone… sorry, Massive Attack.
Now back to the Temple, where 1,000 litres of UV paint are handed out, the stacked room divided into East and West and the handfuls released on the drop at midnight. A cloud of bright pink, orange and yellow explodes in our faces as none other than Jaguar Skills is announced as the secret guest. The mixing legend shows off his cut-n-paste style to devastating effect, bringing out an M Beat ‘Incredible’ dubplate alongside other jungle and drum ‘n’ bass classics.
It’s time for a sad farewell to Shangri-La, where spoof pirate radio DJs Kurupt FM are creating havoc on the Hell stage. Clad in Burberry shirts and Moschino, the stars of BBC hit People Just Do Nothing spin a selection of UK garage as well as their “hit” single ‘Get Out The Way’ with MC Grindah on the mic and Beats on the deck.
Perhaps an unconventional end to our three days, but as the day draws in and the stone circle inevitably fills up, we reflect on what a pleasure it’s been, Glastonbury – we’ll see you in exactly a year’s time.
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