Sunday, 6 July 2008

Glastonbury Review: Volume Three

Last year Glastonbury was, as visible above, the year of the mud. It was nasty. Wet, squidgy, everywhere. This year, with the sun out in the sky, the mud relatively non-existent and sunburns a frequent issue there was a need for another definition. Perhaps we could accurately call Glastonbury 2008 the Year of the Old Man. Which brings on nicely to today's Glastonbury Top Ten man:

9. Neil Diamond

By Sunday afternoon the sun had been shining for a solid two days and festival spirits were higher than the population of the Stone Circle at dawn that morning. I squeezed my way down the side of the Pyramid stage and watched Neil Diamond walk out in front of tens of thousands of sunkissed people.

I was front row, but so far over that I could have been fiftieth row in the centre and I still would have been closer. Still, when a man overflows with joie de vie as much as Diamond does, you could be keeping your kids busy at the back of the field and still have the time of your life.

Skipping through every song your regular Glastonbury punter is likely to know, Diamond led treats such as Red Red Wine and I'm A Believer with more enthusiasm than a vampire at a bloodbank, though perhaps a little less sinisterly. Of course, by the time Neil Diamond finished America, the crowd were putty in his hands. Even a three-minute loss of sound hadn't slowed down a man who has gathered every ounce of his experience together to make one of the greatest shows of his generation. When he started Sweet Caroline, there was no real question over how the crowd would react.

There must be some feeling of satisfaction in getting the biggest crowd singalong of Glastonbury 2008, but if there was, Neil Diamond remainded humble nonetheless, leaving everyone who saw him beaming at his fantastic and modest approach to putting on a great set.

mp3: 'Sweet Caroline' by Neil Diamond

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