Fat Butcher's Photosonica
North London V-tard splicing beauty to the beats

Fat Butcher @ Glastonbury 2008

Can’t believe it’s over already!

Three of the most enervating and exhilerating days of my life just rushed past and the mud’s still caked to my feet to prove it.

From Friday to Sunday afternoon I stood in the epic blast of MGMT, Winehouse, Vampire Weekend, Roisin Murphy, Ladyhawke and CSS and loved every second. Jay-Z’s entrance was legendary (thanks in part to a phenomenal AV introduction mixing up Noel Gallagher’s grumpy rebuke about hip-hop at the festival with politicised imagery and quotes from a zeitgeisty smattering of talking heads) and the beats and freaks at the Bassline Circus were just overwhelming.

I played a set of around 8-10 hours (with a falafel break) on the Sunday night, when the tent played host to a diverse bunch encompassing Alex Paterson from the Orb, an amazing breakbeat/DnB band called Step 13, energetic, upfront socially conscious MCs Black Twang, and a storming wee-hours sonic assault led by Deekline & Wizard, Wax & Inferno, and Chump DJs featuring Jim Bitch to close the festival. I mixed in The Wild One to the dub reggae, raga and dancehall, Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill! with live beatboxing and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari into hip hop and grime.

The show was regularly stolen over the weekend by the acrobatics of the Bassline Circus aerial performers, who rolled up and down ropes and through hoops with jawdropping ease and grace. When a hula-hoop appeared on the dancefloor I whipped out my hula girl and hula boy snipped out of a Wham-O! advert from the 60’s. Here’s when half the mosh pit decided to invade the stage around midnight…

Those green boxes to the right and left were the screens. We had four motorised rotating cubes of white mesh, one in each corner, and when the acrobats weren’t rocking the rafters there was a large cube in the centre of the tent and sometimes a large screen at the back of the stage as the breakbeat and DnB mashups drilled us all a new one. People were pouring into the tent all Sunday night, going mad for the broken beats and the live performance, the lounge area with recycled truck tyre seats and the bar positioned conveniently under the AV rig. Pointless Productions put on a superb AV show, spearheaded by Dav and Becky, who were also excellent hosts; making me feel welcome and guarding my laptop and mixer from the mud and the long-leggity beasties from the Trash City field…

Exploring the site, I bumped into VJ Use and VJ Meno in the Dance tents, outputting trippy club visuals on two circular screens flanking a rectangular one centre stage. The John Peel tent and the Pyramid stage had some good visuals to pep up the live feeds from multiple cameras trained on the stage and the audience, as well as some beautiful squid-shaped fabric festoons creeping up the ceiling.

So this was my first Glastonbury, and it more than exceeded my expectations. From the chilled hush of the crew-only field where we camped, to the friendly punters stood in the shadows of the big tops under the beating sun, the vegan breakfasts and the vintage threads, the big names and the new faces, kids watching their fingers as they played their first guitar at their first festival to couples rolling in the mud near the portaloos, from arriving in the drizzle to leaving under the beating sun, the whole festival was unforgettable. My only worry is that nothing will ever measure up to it! Thanks again to Dav and Becky of Pointless Creations, Lazer Chris, Kim Lone, and Rosa, and especially my assistant and sidekick Mtnz, for making it such a special weekend.

* * * * * * * * * UPDATE * * * * * * *

You can now sniff, prod and frisk Pointless Creations’ own account of the Glastonbury festival here.

3 Responses to “Fat Butcher @ Glastonbury 2008”

  1. well hey there glasto ed! i’m ever so honored to get a mention, yay! nice summary of the festival experience, although you may have missed out on at least one epic glasto moment: leonard cohen did indeed sing hallelujah. it was glorious. currently back in holland watching raindrops fall down, still feeling very sunburnt and very groggy. cheers.

  2. Yes, I heard he nailed it! And the Verve were astounding, watch them on the BBC iPlayer for Richard Ashcroft’s stirring rendition of The Drugs Don’t Work. I also missed Goldfrapp and Crystal Castles (I’ve seen them both before in London) but wouldn’t have missed the Bassline on Sunday night for anything. MGMT on the JP stage was probably my #1 moment.

    Verve @ Glasto: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7480545.stm

  3. Oh and catching a set from Skream ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W_yi6uFtn4 ) on the Saturday.

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