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DJ John Peel during the 1999 Glastonbury Festival

Peel went to the first Glastonbury festival in 1971 and then attended the event regularly from 1992, both for a family holiday and to take part in the BBC Radio One and BBC TV coverage. The list below, intended to cover his comments about the festival on his radio shows, his programmes from the event and radio broadcasts of related music, was compiled from the database of this site, Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and Ken Garner's Peel Sessions (chapter 11). Please add more information if known.

1972

1992

  • 03 July 1992: John raves about his recent visit to the Glastonbury Festival, “an utterly magical event” (the first time he had been since the inaugural event in 1971). Plays three tracks by artists he saw there. “And who was man of the match? Lou Reed? Tom Verlaine? Carter? Primal Scream? Mark E. Smith? The Levellers? Van Morrison? No: it was this man…” It was Tom Jones who Peel rates above all the others: in fact, he considers getting hold of the tape made of this performance and broadcasting it as a session, which never happened.
    - JP: “Picture the scene. I'm lying on the grass at the Glastonbury Festival, backstage of course, you know how it is, surrounded by celebs of one sort or another, enjoying a beer with the Shend, and these people come up and say, "Remember us? Recognise us, do you?" There should be some kind of legislation to stop people doing that sort of thing, because it's always terrifically embarrassing because you never do recognise the people in question. As it turns out, it was members of Th' Faith Healers, and I should have said, "Well, I've never seen you in the daylight before", but I didn't think of that until now.”
  • 03 July 1992: Pink Fairies: 'Do It (3xLP Compilation -Glastonbury Fayre - The Electric Score) Revelation Enterprises Ltd.
  • 03 July 1992: Orb: U.F.Orb (LP-U.F.Orb)' (Big Life) (JP: 'I missed them at Glastonbury because I was still in transit.')
  • 07 August 1992: Billy Bragg: Accident Waiting To Happen (Live) (2xCD - In A Field Of Their Own - Highlights Of Glastonbury 1992) NME
  • 08 August 1992: Th' Faith Healers: Reptile Smile (2xCD - In A Field Of Their Own - Highlights Of Glastonbury 1992) NME
  • 08 August 1992: Dr Phibes And The House Of Wax Equations: Hazy Lazy Hologram (compilation album - In A Field Of Their Own - Highlights Of Glastonbury 1992) New Musical Express
  • 17 August 1992 (BFBS): Orb: A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld (CD - In a Field of Their Own) NME
  • 28 August 1992: Orb: A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld (v/a album - In A Field Of Their Own - Highlights Of Glastonbury 1992) New Musical Express

1993

  • 25 June 1993, 26 June 1993, 27 June 1993: programs hosted by John and Andy Kershaw; Johnnie Walker also appears. Mix tape Glastonbury 1993 includes thoughts on Velvet Underground, live tracks from Rolf Harris, Saw Doctors, Hot House Flowers.
    - 26 June 1993: Orb, Sharon Shannon recorded live at Glastonbury.
  • 03 July 1993: ‘Thanks very much Andy [Kershaw]. Another two hours of glistering new gold. And this is a voice which sent Andy scurrying from the acoustic stage at Glastonbury with near indecent haste’. (Plays Donovan: ‘Tinker And The Crab (2xLP – A Gift From A Flower To A Garden)’ (Pye). JP: ‘Well I still have a soft spot for the old boy.’)
  • 10 July 1993 (BFBS): JP says that the sanitary arrangements at Glastonbury were more interesting than the bands.
    - JP: 'During the Andy [Kershaw] and John programme from Glastonbury I played a record on Rainforest it’s an import from the United States of America, again, another 7 inch single, by The New Bad Things called 'I Suck'. And quite a few people wrote in asking to hear this again and wanting more information about it.’
  • 02 August 1993 (Ö3): JP: 'I can't remember whether I mentioned to you a month ago that Glastonbury, the Glastonbury Festival, the music there was a bit dismal as well [he had been discussing that year’s Phoenix Festival]: lots of record company bands playing competent sets for the benefit of record company people, as far as I could tell. About the only thing that really inspired me over the whole of the weekend was a set by the Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon.'
  • 22 October 1993 (BFBS): Superchunk: Seed Toss (v/a album - In A Field Of Their Own Volume 2 - Glastonbury 93) New Musical Express

1994

  • 24 June 1994: Show is from Glastonbury, where is getting dark and is now pouring with rain. But Peel is nice and warm in the BBC van, "so I don't care really, when it comes right down to it." Live sets from Cheapsuitaroonies, Madder Rose, Dreadzone.
    - Peel made the effort to get up early to see Dreadzone on the Pyramid Stage and reports that they were “dazzlingly good”.
    - Andy Kershaw drops by with boogie-woogie pianist Ben Waters, whose album Peel admits has received more exposure on the Kershaw show.
  • 01 July 1994: Show includes Orbital Glastonbury set from previous weekend.
  • 08 July 1994: “This is Kat’s Caravan and tonight we have Credit To The Nation recorded at Glastonbury and Chumbawamba also recorded at Glastonbury”.
  • 09 July 1994: Pulp live set from Glastonbury
  • 09 July 1994 (BFBS): John is just back from Glastonbury (5 or 6 days prior to the recording of the show, so this show must have been recorded on the weekend of 1st July).
    - At Glasto John had managed to secure the use of a backstage hot shower. And just as he was about to step in and luxuriate, Mixmaster Morris put on the following record...
    Congos: Fisherman (album - Heart Of The Congos) Black Ark
    - John says he ended up liking bands such as Echobelly and Oasis at Glastonbury much more than he thought he would and thinks he may have been too initially dismissive....
  • 15 July 1994: Programme includes a live set by Transglobal Underground, recorded at the 1994 Glastonbury Festival.
  • 16 July 1994: Inspiral Carpets live set from Glastonbury
  • 23 July 1994: Oasis I Am The Walrus (Live from Glastonbury 1994)
  • 24 September 1994: JP: 'I've been looking forward to both of our sessions, but one of them in particular, since a morning, I was going to say a chill morning but that would be exaggerating I think, and romanticising slightly, but at the Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, when I stood on stage along with Kershaw and we watched Dreadzone. Not a great number of people there in the front of the stage, but those who were there will have seen one of the great sets, I think. It was wonderful, I thought.'

1995

  • 23 June 1995: Live show from Glastonbury. Sets from Ash, Sleeper, Supergrass, Boredoms. Ash had been introduced on the NME stage by Peel earlier that day.
    - Son Tom turns up to introduce "Tom's Tip" but then leaves while it is being played. Daughter Flossie and her friend Zowie later arrive and describe their meeting with Louise from Sleeper. She'd given them autographs, records and photos. JP: "Fantastic, in that case we love Sleeper even more than we did at lunchtime." When asked, Flossie and Zowie give Oasis the thumbs down.
    - Between live sets, JP plays a couple of tracks from the upcoming Goldie album, which he has as an exclusive - so exclusive that Pete Tong apparently doesn't yet have a copy. Goldie will be topping the bill on the NME stage on Sunday night.
    - Following day's festival schedule includes Zion Train followed by Dreadzone - "a combination so wonderful that I may easily vaporize and ascend to heaven."
  • 24 June 1995: Show is live from Glastonbury. Zion Train, Dreadzone, Diblo Dibala, Sharon Shannon live sets. JP (after Dreadzone): “It was another mighty set, listeners....They're playing tomorrow in the Dance Tent and will I be down there tapping a toe? I suspect...”
  • 08 July 1995 (BFBS): John relates tales of his recent visit to Glastonbury: PJ Harvey kissed him on the lips, Zion Train were on the NME Stage with him, and Pulp and Dreadzone were the other highlights.
  • 30 December 1995: JP: 'This year. we took our Flossie to the Glastonbury Festival for the first time, and what was the highlight of the Glastonbury Festival for you, Floss?' Flossie: 'Watching Elastica and Pulp.' JP: 'Exactly.'
    - 1995 Festive Fifty (#2): Pulp: 'Sorted For E's And Whizz' (live at Glastonbury) (JP: 'Indisputably one of those great pop moments, I think....you perhaps wanted the record of it, but I think that's so atmospheric it would have been foolishness not to have played it.')

1996

(no Glastonbury festival)

  • 05 January 1996: JP: "Am I going to make it to the next Glastonbury Festival?"
  • 13 January 1996 (BFBS): "Great grief" at Peel Acres with the news that there was to be no Glastonbury Festival (it is normal practice for this to happen every fifth year): the Peel family had come to look on this as an annual holiday.

1997

  • 26 June 1997: All-records show presented backstage from Glastonbury.
  • 28 June 1997: 3-hour show broadcast live from Glastonbury. Includes sets from Cast, Echo And The Bunnymen, Wannadies and Dodgy, whose set was broadcast live. JP is impressed with the technical editing team that he can start his show with edited highlights of Cast's set whilst it is still taking place.
  • 18 December 1997 (BFBS): Long-time BFBS producer Charles Foster sits in for Peel. Show includes Inspiral Carpets, recorded at the NME Stage, Glastonbury, 26 June 1994.

1998

  • 25 June 1998, 27 June 1998, 28 June 1998: shows from Glastonbury.
  • 30 June 1998: Tony Bennett: It Had To Be You (live from Glastonbury)
  • 01 July 1998: JP: “Even today I'm still picking mud out of my bags of mail and stuff like that [...] having been to Glastonbury of course last weekend as you probably noticed. All kinds of terrible rumours of the things that went on there, the most conspicuous of them being a story I was discussing with Steve Lamacq on the air of a sludgegulper in one of the tents which actually disgorged its previous contents rather than accepting new ones... obviously one hopes that wasn't true."

1999

2000

2001

(no Glastonbury festival)

2002

  • 26 June 2002: Ron Albrecht: Dockland (12") Albrecht (JP: "I shall put that in my box to take to Glastonbury with me. I've not been invited to play out at all, but you know, it's like taking your harp to the party. That kind of thing. Someone might say, 'Hey! Do you fancy playing some tunes?'.")
  • 27 June 2002: Pre-recorded show. JP: "Hello again and look in for another John Peel wingding, a 'driving down to Glastonbury spectacular' from Peel Acres with a very large bluebottle in the studio which you may well get to hear."
    - Peel states that he is "definitely going to be seeing" Caroline Martin at that weekend's Glastonbury Festival. He subsequently reveals that he'd not done so because he couldn't find the stage where she was appearing (see 27 February 2003).
    - JP: "When you hear this programme I shall be - to be honest with you - I shall be making my way down to Glastonbury where I'm not involved with Radio One on this instance, which is disappointing, but will be taking care of some TV coverage. In the past when I've said that it's turned out to be almost entirely untrue because last time I was down there to do this, somebody spotted that Jo Whiley and Jamie Theakston were rather more attractive than I am and I was kind of rather written out of the script. But I've been assured that this won't happen again. We'll wait and see."
    - JP: "Bearing in mind what people's dominant anxiety at Glastonbury and other festivals is, it seemed appropriate to finish this programme with a track called bodily functions." (Plays Cursor Miner: Bodily Functions (LP - Explosive Piece Of Mind) Lo)
  • 03 July 2002: Peel had spoken to Cornershop at Glastonbury, albeit briefly. He comments that he should have asked them what their current single is all about.
    - Prince Far I: Stop The War (7") Tamoki Wambesi (JP: "Just one of the records that I took to Glastonbury with me just in case anybody asked me to play out. Nobody did, so I carried them all back again.")

2003

  • 27 February 2003: JP (on Caroline Martin): "The strange thing is, if Caroline walked into this room at this very moment, I'd not recognise her. I'd be very surprised actually, if she did but as I say, I'd not recognise her cos I've never seen her. I almost saw her at Glastonbury but arrived too late cos I couldn't find the place where she was supposed to be playing."
  • 25 June 2003: Peel expresses regret that production assistant Hermeet isn't going to the Glastonbury Festival that coming weekend with the programme team.
  • 01 July 2003: Show includes Super Furry Animals live set from Glastonbury 2003.
    - Peel is now back from the Glastonbury festival. He stayed in a hotel in Street while working at the event. There is talk of taking a photo of Peel's scars on his legs that he sustained when falling to the ditch at Glastonbury. JP "I think people should see it and be impressed by my heroism."
    - JP: "That's 'Heir To The Chaos Throne' by Three Inches Of Blood, a name which just about sums up my Glastonbury really. On Friday, attacked by a stranger - music lover, wrestled me to the ground rather painfully actually. Then on the Saturday, fell into a ditch. Lashings of blood all over everywhere. And on the Sunday, went home because I thought it would be safer there."
  • 02 July 2003: Flaming Lips live set from Glastonbury
  • 03 July 2003 (Radio Eins): Peel is looking forward to the Glastonbury Festival to which he will go as soon as he's finished recording this programme.
  • 21 August 2003: "In tonight's programme, three tunes for you from Kanda Bongo Man recorded at this year's Glastonbury Festival. An amazing set: I was there and it was only scant seconds after he'd finished that I fell into a ditch and quite badly injured myself. But I've been terrifically heroic about it and won't go on about it.”

2004

  • 29 June 2004: Belle & Sebastian, PJ Harvey live sets from Glastonbury.
    - JP: "Loads of people at Glastonbury came over and asked me what I thought of the music and stuff, and er, by and large there wasn't an awful lot, apart from the things we're going to be playing later in these programmes, HA, to set the pulses racing I felt. But what I really wanted was a kind of "tasteless" stage where there'd be bands playing that really made people think "Oh come on, this is too much" and I always cited as an example of this, when people said "Well what sort of thing do you mean?", I said "Well, Mastodon, for example", no particular reason that I picked them, but I picked them fairly consistently, and then when people said "What do Mastodon sound like?", I said "I'll play you a track on Tuesday night's programme". This is it ..." (Plays Mastodon: Where Strides the Behemoth? (LP - Remission) Relapse.)
  • 30 June 2004: 22-20s, Von Bondies live sets from Glastonbury.
  • 15 July 2004: Ralfe Band: 'Women Of Japan' (LP 'Glastonbury Unsigned')
  • 31 October 2004 (Andy Kershaw): ”Many years ago, John and I presented a Radio One programme together live from the Glastonbury festival. And it was a muddy one that year, and the legs of the Radio One mobile had at one end sunk into the ground. And we were playing this next one for our women folk – in John's case Sheila and mine Juliette – and to be honest with you we were getting a bit sentimental, because we were a bit squiffy. And because the truck was tilting at one end, so were the turntables, and John looked at this LP going round in his best deadpan way, 'Oh handy, the record seems to be playing uphill.' So Sheila, once again, this is for you.” [Plays Van Morrison: St Dominic's Preview (live).]
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