Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Glastonbury Festival: 25th-29th June 2014

John Newman - Glastonbury 2014
John Newman - Glastonbury 2014 Kelis - Glastonbury 2014 Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble) - Glastonbury 2014 Massive Attack - Glastonbury 2014 Shaolin Afronauts: Glastonbury 2014 M.I.A. - Glastonbury 2014 John Newman - Glastonbury 2014 Kelis - Glastonbury 2014 Charles Bradley - Daptone Records Super Soul Review - Glastonbury 2014 M.I.A. - Glastonbury 2014 M.I.A. - Glastonbury 2014 Massive Attack - Glastonbury 2014 Charles Bradley - Daptone Records Super Soul Review - Glastonbury 2014 Charles Bradley - Daptone Records Super Soul Review - Glastonbury 2014 BinkIE Griptite - Daptone Super Soul Review - Glastonbury 2014 Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble) - Glastonbury 2014 Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble) - Glastonbury 2014 Tinariwen - Glastonbury 2014 Tinariwen - Glastonbury 2014 Dap-Kings - Daptone Records Super Soul Review: Glastonbury 2014 Michael Eavis - Glastonbury 2014 Crowd - Glastonbury 2014 Crowd - Glastonbury 2014 Crowd - Glastonbury 2014

Here, do you know what they say about Glastonbury? If it's not a muddy, one then they get the stuff imported! Well there was certainly no need to go to that expense this year as there was plenty about, plus rain in biblical proportions and electrical storms which temporarily shut down several of the main stages. Putting acts of God aside, it was still a humdinger of a party, filled with a line-up which would take you 6 months to cover, never mind a lost weekend!

John Newman drew a huge crowd, his distinctive swagger and peacock strutting antics was just the ticket to get the party started. Rising to the occasion with his love filled anthems, he set the crowd into instant sing song mode, especially with his epic No.1 smash "Love Me Again" and Rudimental's "Not Givin' In". But by the time "Feel The Love" appeared it was time for the big man to evacuate the stage as the electrical storm took precedent, a great set cut short, which unfortunately happened to quite a few bands that day!

Freestyle Records act Shaolin Afronauts entertained the Glade Stage with their horn heavy, afrobeat inspired grooves, looking like psychedelic monks in their funky robes but thankfully keeping the weather at bay with their good Aussie vibes, hurrah! Then a not so quick dash to the main stage to catch some hip hop heritage…

De La Soul ducked the deluge and took to the Pyramid stage with
ease, the sun came out and perfectly complemented these daisy age
revivalists, who played (with a live band ) vast chunks of their seminal
classic "3 feet High And Rising". This was a breeze in the park for these fellas, they had the crowd eating out out of their hand right from the off with the posturing Posdnuos ramping up the call and response tactics to deadly effect.

A quick dash over to my favourite stage, West Holts (who surpassed themselves with a fab line-up this year) saw Deltron 3030, a genuine hip hop supergroup featuring Dan the Automator. Del the Funky Homosapian and Kid Koala performing with a full orchestra, yes it was all going off as "Sunshine In A Bag" proved to be an ominous closing number (See Vingtage Trouble review!)

Sun Ra Orchestra were up next with their intergalactic strain of avant grade jazz, resplendent in their ceremonial robes- their free jazz unbridled and challenging (they woefully and wilfully deconstruct the jazz idiom), took some getting into but since space was their theme, they certainly sent us out there. It could have done with some more of their funky grooves, they unleashed that far too intermittently but their wonky jazz dominated the mild mannered and discerning listener, even if the funk got put asunder!

Vintage Trouble were up next and they hit the ground running, this blistering LA four-piece merge funk & soul with some good old fashioned rock 'n' roll. Frontman, Ty Taylor was raring to go, but seriously menacing clouds gathered above them and lightning broke out. After only 2 songs ("High Times" and "Blues Hand Me Down") they were forced to evacuate the stage for fear of lightning strikes hitting the top of the stage, disaster struck again, what a shame, from what little I heard they sounded incredible. Let's hope they at least get some tv coverage from their intro numbers to soften the blow! Respect to them for getting down into the crowd to finish things off with an acoustic set, now that's a band!

Meantime Jurassic 5 were milling around backstage and treading about very gingerly, so as to not get mud on their trainers! Let's face it, like De La Soul, everybody loves them and the full crew was out in force, including: Chali 2na and Cut Chemist, their stage energy was off the chain. They seemed genuinely overawed by the size of the crowd, who had trudged through the mud to see them (EACH STAGE IS ROUGHLY HALF A MILE APART!) It had been a full ten years since they last played here and crowd fave "Concrete Schoolyard" never sounded better. The pink sunset and warm evening air added to it all, while lifting our spirits high… jeez, talk about four seasons in one day!

A mad dash to the furthest stage (The Acoustic Stage) saw this intrepid explorer discover the delights of Tinariwen. I’ve been a big fan of this Tuareg nomad group ever since the heady days of Aman Iman: "Water Is Life" I heard years ago. Their fusion of American style psych-blues guitar with the lilting grooves of West African folk music is mesmeric, the interlocking guitars seemed to swirl around in a huge dustbowl, evoking the vast beauty of the Saharan Desert and the everyday battle of surviving in a war-torn part of the world. Incidentally, Tinariwen are famed for going into battle astride camels with an AK47 on one shoulder and a Fender Strat on the other! Suffice to say, these guys are the real deal and they looked magnificent in their native robes and turbans.

From the sublime to the ridiculous… As I caught the headlining West Holts act, M.I.A., who was in defiant mood accompanied by a myriad of T-shirt-clad performers brandishing glowsticks, which were thrown into the crowd (several hit me on the bounce!) and lit up in colours mid-way through opening track "Bucky Gun". Adorned in more bling than the pound shop, the gold track suited M.I.A. pumped out her fat beats and bass, accompanied by one solitary DJ, to the adoring young crowd, who were revelling in it. Her set was a mixed bag of stuff from her four albums and was interspersed with instrumental breakdowns and samples, including; Kanye West's "Jesus Walks", and also "Born Free", from her third album "Maya". Followed by "Galang", which saw her leap down from the barriers into the crowd. Energetic to the end, mixing music with politics M.I.A. certainly did not disappoint.

The first act I saw on Saturday was Neo-Soul Superstar Kelis, who is riding high with her comeback album "Food" and a nice sideline as a tv chef! However to be frank, Kelis was a little disappointing, she seemed overwhelmed by the crowd, which were subdued for much of the show. She started off by singing the first half of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good", which sounded promising, but proved to be short lived. Her vocal sounded good, throaty throughout her Motown inspired set, wielding a four-strong brass band…things 'should' have been good. "Milkshake" and "Millionaire" sounded fly with a big band style arrangement and propulsive percussion, but it was a far cry from her earlier days and I found myself wishing for that attitude and bolshiness of Kelis' "Trick Me" days. The new look and big hair was stunning, a low plunged diva styled dress was very Diana Ross and certainly showed off her fine assets but to the detriment of her set, shame poor Kelis didn't really show up!

Saturday saw Daptone Records put on their Super Soul Review, harking back to the heady days and golden era of soul music - mimicking the famous review shows of Ike & Tina Turner and of course James Brown. Two and half hours was a tad long but it was good to see Charles Bradley strutting about and Sharon Jones getting her wiggle on, thanking the audience for her clean bill of health, she is so obviously not wasting! MC Binkie Griptite looked sharp too in his silver suit and shades brandishing a black Les Paul. Daptone will have made new fans with this impressive performance.

Seun Kuti was no slouch either, Fela's youngest son (and by far the best) who inherited his dad's band Egypt 80, belted out cuts from his tightest and most electrifying album to date, "A Long Way To The Beginning". Judging by this scintillating effort, Afrobeat is in safe hands, bone deep baby! Next up, my gig, so reporting duties for Saturday concluded, but Sunday was a different story…

Sunday, christened 'Dolly Day', saw the diminutive diva suck up most of the punters… Good stuff was still going elsewhere in the shape of Lee Thompson's Ska Orchestra, who along with fellow ex-Madness member Mark Bedford, put on a hearty show of tunes inspired by the 60's Jamaican music scene - while also offering several cuts from their fab debut album, "The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius".

Continuing the party, The Wailers put on a terrific show too. Now led by Aston 'Family Man' Barrett, with all the Marley favourites being aired, a natural mystic was definitely in the air on a beautiful glasto sunset… jah Glastafari!

Local trip-hop heroes Massive Attack took the festival out on a high with their moody electronica and heavily political audio visual slide show, refusing to be filmed by the BBC, Massive Attack stood their ground and continued the sermon with selected tracks from their archive, which included; "Future Proof", "Teardrop" and money shot "Unfinished Sympathy". This was an awesome finish to a great festival, yet again! If only Prince had finished up at West Holts then that would have topped it all…apparently spotted on site, but alas it was not to be.

Maybe next year?

Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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