Pyramid Stage

by Paul Mills
Glastonbury homepage (website)
28th June 2002

The air is thick with the stench of skunk spliffs, the sun is shining and as the opening few bars of “Machine Head” triggers all today’s crusty, hairy rockers to suddenly get into the lunchtime buzz and let rip into a frenzied exchange of dandruff and plastic containers. Gavin Rossdale (rock stars shouldn’t be called Gavin. It’s just not on) and the lads are playing it down nicely and tackling the amassed throng with accomplished ease, despite the fact that it’s not really their crowd, what with everyone hanging around for Idlewild later on. John Entwhistle died last night and the news is just starting to filter through so there’s a modestly respectful vibe going on among the masses old enough to consider it significant. Two of the others were heard to say:



and failed to see the joke.

The Americans here can’t believe that a band like Bush is on this early in the Festival. It surprises some that they’re not as massive over here than over there, but today, they’re at home (sort of) and Gavin’s thankful for it at least. They’re effortlessly slick, whatever you may feel about them and it seems they’re winning even more friends.

When Sixteen Stone appeared Bush came along with perfect timing just when they were needed, catapulting themselves straight into stadia-rock hugeness and earning an undeserved Nirvana-Lite reputation. Today’s set predominantly and rather predictably revolves around it. “Everything Zen” is in there, so’s “Little Things” at the end, but there’s more to them than that and it’s a shame that they didn’t get long enough to be able to elaborate even more on fresher material as for at least 20 minutes Bush were the epitome of cool and exactly where anyone should be to get a good vibe, and there are few places with better vibes than this Festival.

I like the fact that although Bush have a dominant air of seriousness, there are always the underplayed touches of silliness and that’s quite refreshing. As Gavin jumps into the crowd and lets a hoard of girls all desperate to sleep with him, tousle and massage his barnet and probably cop a feel, he’s having the time of his life and wants everyone to know it, but probably doesn’t want too much of a fuss made.

Gavin tells John Entwhistle to rest in peace and then launches straight into REM’s “The One I Love”. It’s a brave move and the tune fits them like fresh Durex, turning it into something that doesn’t seem in the slightest bit out of place and climaxes with a traditional rock and roll guitar-twatted-against-the-amps display, which of course needed to be done as it’d be rude not to.

They’re good lads, Bush, and they’ve achieved a lot being here, despite the low billing, and they’re willing to give it all they have. I doubt success could go to these boy’s heads even if they wanted it to and that encourages my faith in people. Nice one.