REWIND JUNE: ARMCHAIR GIGGING
June means Glastonbury means headliner anticipation means a whole lotta speculation, and who are we to resist?
Last year it was Metallica who fired the ire, and while they weren’t pin-sharp they were human and knew what the game was, pulling off what looked – from the TV at least – like one of those pretty great Underdogs Victorious shows. This year’s bad-boy was even more divisive: everyone’s favourite Kardashian, Mr Kanye.
Should he have been there? ‘course he should. All that moaning and groaning and, lamest of all, a petition from the Fuckwits of Glastonbury 2015, was so far beyond the festival spirit that it was laughable. A petition? What, like you’re gonna sign something and change the bill so that Another Mainstream Guitar Band can headline? GET A LIFE!!! It’s music, not an illegal invasion – go watch something else, there’s not exactly a shortage at Worthy Farm, is there?
Me, I wanted Kanye West Inc to blow minds. Can’t say I’m a fan (megalomaniacal hip hop not my area) but I do have Yeezus and, musically at least, it’s a dense piece of work – way more intense than you might think – and if KWest is a fraction as good as people/he claim then a headline slot should be a piece of piss. Let him prove it. That way, it’s his gig to win or lose.
And for the first three or four tracks, he does win. Black Skinhead festival-loud? Immense. Excess-all-areas gigawatt light show? Ditto. NASA-scale spectacle that unfolds from one-man intro to mega-band multimedia Show Biz Ness ‘I was there’ moment?
Er … no. And that’s what kills it for the non-Kanyes who coulda been won. There is no spectacle from the World’s Greatest Rock Star (whatever), there is no attempt to connect, there is nothing at all but Wanye K in his sweaty combats, singing to his own tunes like a celebrity karaoke/Kanyeoke special. Real-time hubris: ‘I shall own this motherfucking stage. Coz I’m not letting anyone else on it.’
Flick the channel and see a saviour in Suede, performing to and for the FANS. Flick back to the Pyramid Stage and see a man on his own. In a crane.
West just lost.
Back on more familiar Amplifier ground, what about Motorhead? Sadly, it looks like the days of Motorheadaches might be gone. Lemmy is uncomfortably frail to watch, and when Ace of Spades gets sung instead of Overkill… ach. Sad to see. At least Spiritualized ace it over the weekend.
’til next time!