Posted by: martinworster | May 1, 2008


Linton Kwesi Johnson
Wow, I was so pleased he was on the lineup. I even studied him as part of my A-Level English course and had seen him in London in the early 90s. He’s a dub poet. Which sounds like a misnomer, how can poetry be dub? Great stage presence and wonderful background info between each poem. A faithful and appreciative crowd in the know, hanging on his every word and getting a lesson in post-War British race politics. Respec.

Sean Penn
Appeared on stage to try and rustle together some takers for a journey from Coachella to New Orleans to build houses and sing around camp fires on route. Slighty confusing. Perhaps the guilty obsessions of a mollycoddled Hollywood A-Lister.

I’m From Barcelona
I Used To Live In Barcelona so thought I’d give them a twirl. Had heard indie media good press. Seemed like a novelty en masse act for a kids party with fifty people on stage. Them crazy Swedes.

New Welsh hotly tipped soul singer. Dusty Springfield with legs. This years Joss Stone / Amy Winehouse minus the crack / nu-yet-retro soul upstart. Great voice and good stage presence, like the song ‘Warwick Avenue’ didn’t hang around for much else.

Gogol Bordello
Saw them as part of Madonna’s act at Live 8. Didn’t think much then. Don’t think much now. Good energy but ultimately the gypsy punk schtick wore thin. Epic finales reached far beyond where the climax should have ended.

A band I feel I should know more about but have never bought an album of. Oft mentioned in hushed, praise worthy tones by a lot of the media. Very mellow – which is welcomed in the heat and I liked the stage presence of six females playing violins and other string instruments.

Another revelation. Perhaps my second favourite set after The Verve. She used to be the lead singer with Zero 7 and has clearly come into her own. Amazing voice and a great, jokey, very sweet and endearing stage persona. Cheeky. Blown away by her voice. The crowd went nuts.

Roger Waters
Final act on the last night. I presumed all the other tents were empty as there was a mass exodus to see the geezer who hijacked Pink Floyd. I find Floyd frequently self indulgent, epic and overblown, but not without some quality moments. Roger was in good shape, great guitar player, very confident.

Amazing stage set up, lazers in the sky and 3D surround sound. At one point an aeroplane flew over the lazers sprinkling paper into the lights. Over the top. At a time when artists are trying to cut down their carbon footprints Mr Waters is doing the exact reverse.

He took a break and then came back to start playing Dark Side Of The Moon. Great trippy intro mixed in with the multimedia, flasing images on the screen, great timing between pre-programmed stuff and live. To beat the traffic jams we left after Money. I thought it an apt song to leave on considering how much Pink Floyd have rowed over it.


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