The Early edition at Glastonbury; playing tribute to Michael Jackson
Tim Clark26 June 2009
Day two of Glastonbury (officially really day one) and already the musical event of the weekend is not going to emerge from the likes of the Pyramid Stage, uexpectedly it came from across the pond in LA with news of the death of Michael Jackson.
It is amazing how quickly news can travel, especially when you are stuck in a field with barely enough reception to update a twitter feed - but apathy can travel even faster.
Michael Jackson’s unfortunate demise has spread faster than Swine Flu but within minutes it already seemed to be old news. Sure, the DJ’s played tribute songs and journalists awaited the Pyramid Stage this morning hoping that Eavis might make a profound statement before the opening act, (he is one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world afterall) but alas no official statement was announced and the masses were already 'over' the king of pop's demise.
That didn’t stop the media bandwagon which is the Glastonbury Press Corps trying in vain to find some kind of comment on the situation. You would think that with the world’s greatest concentration of musicians on the planet (at the moment) on your doorstep there would be plenty of obituaries from the likes of Niel Young et al, but again they've drawn a blank.
According to our sources, the BBC searched in vain last night to find someone, anyone, who cared a damn about the death of the ‘80s legend. But in the age of the viral text message the story had become old hat before I even made it back to my tent never mind BBC Breakfast News.
So, in true fashion it was left to the cabaret tent to truly give Glastonbury it’s Michael Jackson epitaph.
And there is no place better than the Early Edition to truly exorcise the demons of the late, great, popstar's life.
Andre Vincent was the first to crack a Jackson gag with ‘Well, that was one arrest that finally work’ before Brigstocke chimed in with his own about the funeral; ‘They’ll arrive in black and it’ll gradually fade ’ before an impromptu ‘show us your Michael Jackson txt joke ’ sprang around the whole of the tent.
It seems that mocking Jackson is fair game in life or death but to be fair, the only other news of note today was that Vladimir Putin had stormed a local Russian supermarket to demand a reduction in the price of sausages.
However this is where the Early Edition comes into its own. There are very few TV or Radio programmes which can be reproduced as well in front of a live audience and still capture that originality which makes it a hit show.
With a Glastonbury audience lacking their usual link with the outside world the chance to wax lyrical over the day’s news was a moment to savour.
The show has a group dynamic which comes into its own whenever they can take on a particular story and run with it, using the various talents of Brigstocke, Vincent and Phill Jupitus to follow the main theme until it is thoroughly lost in an abstract world.
A simple story about the plight of the Watervole in the Western Daily News managed to quickly become transformed into a condom joke without a moments pause, with Brigstocke and Jupitus ad-libbing Westcountry accents to discuss the finer side of furry sex preventatives.
Brigstocke is the most amusing to watch. Almost every subject the veteran comic touches upon will finish with the same outcome ‘journalists are fucking idiots’. His criticism is particularly acerbic whenever he talks about the Daily Mail, where he can expose their ridiculous online gypsy poll, or simply calling the Express fascists - ‘Journalists are fucking idiots’ should be added to his CV.
But vociferous comments aside, the chance to bring the Fourth Estate down a peg or two is possibly also a good social commentary on the encroachment of vacuous press-release re-writes in modern journalism - though we will save that debate for a later date and possibly ask Brigstocke himself, hopefully before he buggers off out of the mud to his luxury ensuite caravan.
The highlight of the day has to be that the comedy bill is actually a much more stellar than we first thought.
SSP was worried that the gods of Glastonbury had decided that comedy wasn't as important as Lily Allen but low and behold Phill Jupitus seems to have come out of nowhere to be onstage with the Early Edition and other comedy gems such as Andrew Maxwell and Craig Campbell are also in attendance, even though you won’t see them on any festival line-up. Add this to the already confirmed Ed Byrne, Josie Long and Brendan Burns and a much more thoroughly enjoyable weekend awaits us.
We’re also glad that a certain poetic genius named Lady Carol is gracing the Poetry Stage with her presence at least twice over the weekend and she is well worth a watch.
SSP will keep you posted but alas, we are off to bail out my tent with a bucket and dry off the majority of my clothing before catching the specials, playing the 'What would you do for a DairyLea' game and possibly finding that comey Nivarna with Andrw Maxwell with the Full Mooners at midnight.
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