Saturday, 19 December 2009

Sounds awful, yet magnetic

I am both repelled and intrigued by an ad I just saw in the paper, for High Voltage, a rock festival next year "Custom built by Rock Fans, for Rock Fans" it says.

Come off it, it's custom built by old men, for old men. The only acts announced are ZZ Top and ELP so far, but you can see where it's going. It's Knebworth, it's the original Glastonbury. It's 1973, but this time they're going to do it properly.

And I have a wonderful nostalgic pang for it. Even though I'd hate it, even though a vintage bike rally (part of the experience) is less interesting to me than cheese tasting, still I love the idea of this festival of old folk playing their old music to their old fans. Because, dammit, deny it as I might, I am that old. I am a man in his forties, and if there's one thing we old folk can't stand it's the young. But we still like to party and we don't like to be hypocritical. So why, for year after year, have we had to gatecrash Glastonbury and Reading and the V Festival, bringing with us not only our kids, but all our favourite bands.

2009's Glastonbury was Radio 2 incarnate, a line up of acts whose heyday predated Britain having 4 TV channels. Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tony Christie. Tony Christie? His heyday was 1971. Having Tony Christie on the bill at Glastonbury was like if the original Woodstock had put Al Jolson on

So good on you High Voltage. You'll have a creche, for the grandchildren. You could have the Hells Angels from Altamont doing the security, safe in the knowledge that none of them can even lift a pool cue these days, let alone smash in a hippy with it. And then maybe Glastonbury can just have new young exciting acts on, and I needn't bother watching it ever again.

And a happy new year when it comes.

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