Saturday, 15 September 2012

Music: Keep or Cull No.8: Afro Celt Sound System - Volume 1: Sound Magic (1996)

The first music festival I ever went to was Glastonbury ’98. I’d just finished my GCSEs and got my first job making nuts in a nut factory in Wolverhampton. The work was repetitive and tedious, and at the end of every shift I’d end up picking out tiny flecks of iron filings from my fingers, but for £3 an hour, I didn’t complain. At the end of each week, I was paid in cash, and the bulk of my £105 pay packet was usually spent on my bike ride home in a record shop in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, called Max Millwood’s Records. The shop was crammed with overpriced CDs and dusty cassettes, and I could happily browse in there for hours, chatting to the staff about music and searching through the bargain bin for some hidden gems.

On one of the weeks, at the end of June, I took a few days off to go to Glastonbury festival with a couple of friends from school, and some other people I didn’t really know at the time, but who became good friends through the experience.

My parents didn’t have a lot of money, so for my birthday in the May, they paid for my return coach ride to Glastonbury. I had kept aside £60 spending money for the weekend, and went down without a ticket. I figured that I would just jump the fence; I’d heard of people doing it, and figured it couldn’t be that hard. At the bus station I met up with a few school friends, and realised that I wasn’t the only one without a ticket. Arriving at the site, we looked up in horror at the fence. Other friends had convinced me that there was nothing to the fence, and that it may as well have been guarded by garden gnomes the security was so lax. I felt duped. As a Glastonbury veteran (he’d been there the year before), I felt that he’d been slightly misleading. But if I hadn’t been so confident in my ability to gain illegal entry, I probably wouldn’t have gone: he did the right thing. ...

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