Glasto 2010

I’m pretty much used to the rain and mud of Glasto. This year I learnt that good weather brings with it midday naps, shade-hopping, suntan lotion, waking up when the sun starts warming the tent and hayfever. It might also have been the reason people got down to the site much earlier than usual.

I know Glasto is about more than the bands but personally I enjoy gorging myself on live acts for a couple of days, having the excuse to see bands I wouldn’t ordinarily bother buying tickets for. One year I’d love to spend more time in the theatre fields (although there was a bit more of that this year), green fields and the more out-there Shangri La/Arcadia/Block9 places but every time I get sucked into the list of bands on the schedule.

Here’s who I saw:


  • Beardyman – “The sun has got his hat on and he wants some drum n bass”. FUN! A great way to kick things off
  • Egyptian Hip Hop – to quote someone else’s assessment, “they don’t let their charisma get in the way of their music”


  • Rolf Harris – a jam-packed field and Rolf delivered exactly what you’d expect him to
  • Femi Kuti – good summertime sounds. Not that it was a problem at that time of day, but his set seemed to lack a little drive and power
  • Megan Henwood – a nice lady with a lovely voice. Looking forward to catching her again at Moseley Folk later in the year
  • Frank Turner – we couldn’t get into the tent for this one. He’s got a flair for audience involvement that I’d not expected with plenty of singalong goodnes
  • Bonobo – love the Black Sands album but couldn’t stick around for too long to listen to the set. Sounded good though
  • Snoop Dogg – a very polished performer with a slick, hit-stuffed set. Pilton went all gangsta for an hour or so. Was a bit worried Tinie Tempah was going to explode with excitement when he came on
  • Rusko – just buzzed by but this was sounding heavy
  • Florence & The Machine – the best bit was her girlish glee at making a whole field of people jump up and down on the spot


  • Two Door Cinema Club – I really like the album and they reproduced it really well but live, many of the songs sounded the same and vocals came across as a bit weak
  • Brother Ali – heard while looking for the pharmacy to get some different hayfever drugs. Sounded ok. Determined to get as many ‘hell yeah’s as possible
  • Shouting At Planes – we were hiding in the shade of the Queens Head tent when these came on. Can’t remember anything about how they sounded
  • Wild Beasts – came highly recommended. Perhaps they sound better on record/in less sunny circumstances
  • Neville Staple – really glad to have dropped in on this on the way to the next lot. He gave in to the crowd and played a bunch of Specials tracks
  • The National – impressed with these. Decent songs and an unshowy but strong stage presence
  • Shakira – she’s tiny! Quite good fun and I was on TV and everything (pic below)
  • MistaJam – actually I was hoping to catch a bit of Kelis but she was late so we got Mistajam playing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme (and other hits) instead
  • The xx – a highlight. Surprised by how the crowd responded to a muted set of songs with clapping and singing along. The segue into the refrain from ATB’s 9PM (Till I Come) . Florence turning up to sing glitched vocals on their You Got the Love remix was a welcome surprise
  • Pet Shop Boys – they played everything I wanted them to, accompanied by an inventive stage show. Things dipped when the music played second fiddle to the theatrics but It’s A Sin and Always On My Mind were epic

Crowd for Shakira at Glastonbury 2010


  • Tunng – definitively not a band making inaccessible music for beard strokers – I’ve no idea why I ever got that impression. The new album’s really good and they put on a charming live show
  • Slash – he’s hired a better behaved Axl Rose impersonator for vocals. Solo material wasn’t much to write home about but Sweet Child of Mine and Paradise City were great
  • Ray Davies – a good show but his stuff has never featured much in my life. Definitely preferable to watching the football
  • Toddla T/Professor Green – saw these two (on separate stages) while wandering about the dance village. Truth be told I was distracted by the middle-aged man who was having the time of his life throwing a plastic bottle high up in the air and catching it, over and over again
  • Broken Social Scene – better than expected
  • Chew Lips – only caught the last few songs but I like these. They were on the BBC Introducing stage but had a good crowd. They should be bigger this time next year
  • Julian Casablancas – we sat listening outside the tent for a couple of songs but it was all a bit whiny. Saw plenty of eager-looking girls go rushing into the tent, some wearing wedding dresses
  • Stevie Wonder – utterly superb in every way

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

One reply on “Glasto 2010”

  1. Like your write up, Chris. Rolf Harris and afternoon naps were def on our Glastonbury agenda. Also spent time in ShangriLa and Block 9. Pretty weird and wonderful
    performances in the Snakepit in the former and blown away by the sets built for Trash City and Block 9. Wonder if it’s more the same or very different next Festival.

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