Reviews

Glastonbury

4

All human life is here - some of it looking decidedly less human on Monday morning than it did on Friday evening. Aromatic gridlock on the A361, churlish local yokels, some tosser in an adjacent tent caning Ozric Tentacles at 4am... If you haven't been to Glastonbury yet, what else are you doing with that fading youth every June?

By raiding hundreds of hours' worth of Glasto-goers' own footage, Temple condenses the whole silly-costumed, veggie-burgered, band-hopping weekend into a glorious, hallucinogenic two hours. Shame, then, that his choice of performance footage is so off-key. Lowlights: Faithless and their dreary rave for reps, the sexless pomp of The Bravery and put your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care for, er, David Gray!

Still, Glastonbury is more concerned with the festival's rich, socially reflective history than with a straight-up artist showcase. Twitching back and forth through the decades, Temple tracks the growth from Eavis' 1970 shamble-about with 1,500 hippies to the celebrated 100,000-strong mosh of multiculture it is today.

But as the music, drugs and causes have evolved (LSD/Vietnam, coke/CND, E/Criminal Justice Bill) the festival's reputation as a Mecca for political tubthumping has been diluted. The notorious, 'unscalable' fence was erected in 2002 after a year of dangerous overcrowding. But Temple, the old punk that he is, casually presents it as a symbol of how the rough edges have been shaved off down the years. Is the barrier there to keep the middleclass weekenders safe from harm, or to shut out the unpredictables and undesirables? Lingering recent shots of Starbucks and NatWest logos are equally barbed ('Complain about how the festival isn't as good as it used to be here!' offers one of the many placard wags).

So there's the shine, the grime and, naturally, the shit. Digest that hotdog in good time for the lingering shot of a Farmer Palmer-type raking and dumping a porridgey torrent of congealed turd. Otherwise, enjoy.

Verdict:

A giddy brew of history lesson and being-there DIY doc, but needs a tighter sifting of the class acts from the crass to be truly definitive.

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