Tim’s very kindly written a blog/diary letting us know what he’s been up to since Keane’s last show, in Sweden on June 25th…
After a lovely couple of days in Copenhagen we headed up to Borlänge in Sweden. We had the best part of two days off there since we weren’t playing until 00.30 on Thursday night. I spent most of the time either working on new tracks or sunning myself in the park. Some large and delicious ice creams may also have been consumed.
Lykke Li was playing just before us on another stage, so we watched as much of that as we could. She was utterly brilliant – I love Youth Novels but hadn’t seen her live before – much more arch and dramatic than I had imagined, and a great singer too. I was kind of blown away by it, to be honest.
Anyway, I rushed back from that just in time to go on stage, only to be greeted with rumours that Michael Jackson had died. Felt pretty deflated after that, but the gig was still fun and the crowd were incredibly friendly. Backstage we ran into Anders Friberg, who, as tour manager of The Ark, brought us over to Malmo in 2003 (I think) for our first ever gig outside the UK.
Flew back to the UK after a refreshing 3-hour sleep. Tom and I went straight from Heathrow to Glastonbury Festival. By the time we were settled in and ready to delve into the action, the rain had stopped and the vibes were rosy. Below is a brief and highly subjective report…
Puppini Sisters – glamorous, gorgeous and brilliant as ever.
Little Boots – wanted to check her out as she seems to be suffering the inevitable backlash that comes with being popular. Maybe a little cold I thought, but the songs are great and that’s what matters most to me.
The Ting Tings – amazing to see them playing to such a massive crowd, but they’ve got so many brilliant songs and everyone was loving it. Their video stuff was pretty great too.
Ray Davies – bit of a difficult choice between Ray Davies and Neil Young, but I followed my heart. It was the most enjoyable and emotional gig I’ve ever been to. Every song was a true classic, people were belting them out, willing him on with love, tears were shed. He did four encores, and we still wanted more.
Did a lot of chilling out, but still had time for a bit of music.
La Roux – did the 17-mile walk over to Dance East only to find we couldn’t get anywhere near the tent, let alone in it. Quite right too – she’s fantastic.
Passion Pit – really fun. Lots of synth geekery (which I love, of course), and a much more friendly, less uber-cool vibe than I expected, which is an extremely good thing.
Dawdled around the Sensation Seekers stage for a bit of the excellent Dynamo Rhythm Aces, a bit of weird drunken intra-audience kissing choreographed by a hilarious compere, and a bit of Sheelanagig before taking up our positions for The Boss.
Bruce Springsteen – a masterclass in working a huge crowd, not to mention the phenomenal musicianship. But too slick for me. The hyperbole and passion didn’t feel real, but maybe I just wasn’t in the zone. And more to the point, I may just be sulking because I was pinning my hopes on him playing Girls In Their Summer Clothes.
Kind of planned for a day lolling around at the Mi7/Chess Club stage in the Departure Lounge.
Beans On Toast – recommended by Jesse. A rambling and very splendid blend of half-songs and genius philosophising.
Glenn Tilbrook – arrived at the Avalon tent to find Teddy Thompson had cancelled. But in his place was the legendary Mr Tilbrook, who ran through a few of Squeeze’s many classic tunes accompanied by his six-year-old son Leon on percussion. Pretty fantastic.
King Charles – back in the Departure Lounge, which frankly had been pretty empty all weekend, there were suddenly hundreds of people crammed into the tiny and incredible hot tent in anticipation of the wondrous triple-bill of King Charles, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling. King Charles was rocking, and his band were really beautiful, grooving players. Something that hit me over the weekend was how many brilliant musicians and bands there are everywhere you look (and listen). It’s both intimidating and inspiring.
Mumford and Sons – such a great live band, and you can feel that they’re riding high. There was a real sense of excitement and goodwill in the room for their set, everyone screaming along and Marcus charming our pants off as usual.
Blur – things were running an hour late on the Mi7/Chess Club stage by that point so I had to tear myself away from Laura Marling in favour of the band that soundtracked so many great moments of my youth. Blur’s set was everything I had missed in Saturday night’s headline show. The nerves, the tears, the genuine elation and love (from both band and crowd) – it was real and magical in a way that must be almost impossible in a gig of that scale. It also helped that for so many of us each song was like a cherished photograph of a beautiful time; we thought we’d lost all those photographs, but actually they’d just slipped down the back of the sofa.
Blur really are such a truly great and distinctive band, and to hear them play again was to be reminded of just how many perfectly-crafted songs they’ve written, and how many varied styles they explored together. Again, an inspiration to us all.
Back to reality
Monday morning was pretty brutal, another 5am alarm call. But there are always things to do in Keane-land. This week has seen more work on the K’naan tracks – some brass overdubs with our old friend Jerry Clack, who we last played with about 14 years ago, plus some finishing touches (hopefully) on the other song. The latter sounds pretty amazing in my opinion, but I am a little biased, I suppose.
Right, I need to pack for Beirut, Dubai, T, etc. See you there!