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Wurzels Take Glastonbury!
review of The Wurzels' headlining The Bandstand at the world-famous
Glastonbury Festival (25th June 2000) by Pete Smith (Percy
over an hour crowds gathered and waited, basking in the sun, huddled
around the tiny bandstand. The eye of the market stalls at Glastonbury
came to a near standstill. Due on at 2:00, The Wurzels didn’t
arrive until nearly 3:00. After a quick drink with their families
out in the open air they disappeared again. Five minutes and numerous
glances at watches later they appeared.
Dressed up as always, they made their way through the crowd and
up onto The Bandstand, a tiny platform not far from the Pyramid
stage. But the setting was an irrelevance. In an ironic way the
almost insulting setting for the gig was charming. The Wurzels are
about true fans, true fun, true love, and how better than that come
across that when the fans can actually touch the stage upon which
they’re playing. Usually saved for small local bands that no-one
has ever heard of, the bandstand this time was for a local band
that everyone knows and loves.
No sooner had they started playing, the crowd swelled and the fans
jigged. The hits kept coming, song after song. Such songs as The
Combine Harvester, Morning Glory, I Am A Cider Drinker,
Farmer Bill’s Cowman and many more thrilled the audience,
who sung and danced along with delight. But the Wurzels can never
be taken seriously and half the experience was the humour. When
technical problems temporarily halted the music Tommy Banner
(the Scottish Wurzel) quickly said "sorry we have a technical ‘itch.
And my technicals have been itching all day"!
After around an hour in the sun in fully clothed...well nearly.
(Tommy has no excuse for scaring the kids by taking his top off)
they made a get away attempt. But the crowd were ‘avin’ none of
it. Whistled, cheered, clapped and begged, they turned back and
agreed to play an encore, despite John Morgan’s age of 72.
The whole set finally ended with the classic Drink Up Thy Zider.
With a large number of Bristol City fans in the audience
(like me) this one got a huge response and was sung along to at
the top of people’s voices. The final line was sung by all the audience
"and so be weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" to round off the best gig in Glastonbury’s
After finishing they mingled with the crowd for a good 10 minutes,
shaking hands, posing for photo’s, signing autographs, and talking
to adoring fans while a core of Bristol City fans sung City songs
like "City ‘till I die" and "all hate Bristol Rovers" much to the
bemusement of the crowd from further a field. The gig was amazing
and next time Michael Eavis must surely give them a proper
stage so that more people can see them. No doubt if this had been
advertised, it would have attracted a huge audience. Congratulations
to the Wurzels for great music, great fun, great humour, great energy
and a great gig. John Morgan, Tommy Banner, Pete
Budd and Dave Winter...we salute you!
Pete Smith (Percy Parrot)
Visit Percy's Reliant
Robins unofficial Bristol City website
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by Pip Kear
the Wurzels finally took to a Glastonbury stage on
Sunday they took the opportunity to sparkle among the mediocre acts
that formed most of this years line-up. After a delayed start and
early sound problems they kicked in and from the start had the crowd
eating out of their hands and sent a message to the organizers that
they needed a bigger stage.
Combine Harvester stopped the human traffic and from then
on the great unwashed witnessed what seemed like a home-coming.
A stirring Morning Glory was my highlight, the crowd messmerised
but at the same time in exellent voice. The hits obviously sent
the crowd into cider overdrive and by the time Zider Drinker
finished it up, a good few people had had their Glastonbury experience
The crowd, of course they wanted more but the boys had given their
all. Me, I drank up and went home. David Bowie, looked crap on the
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Wurzels Take Glastonbury! A review by Richard Allen of PC Format
reviewed the Wurzelmania! website for PC Format magazine,
it was with cyder-addled breath that I heard The Wurzels were
due to make an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival. So,
armed with a few cans of beer and a couple of 'spiritual cigarettes'
from mother's cabinet, I made my way down to the site early on the
Sunday in the hope the rumours might be true.
Teaming up with PC Format cohorts Ian Harris and Kai Wood,
already well-oiled after two days of scrump-addled activity, the three
of us ambled our merry way to the bandstand, where we heard the Farmyard
Four were due to make an appearance. It was almost inevitable
that we'd chance upon the cider bus on our way - so we downed three
pints of Devizes Sheep-dip (8.9%) to bolster our ardour. After a quick
toke on the specialist tobacco, which sent young 'un Ian Harris into
a royal tizzy, we espied the bandstand and repaired there in high
spirits. No sooner did we arrive than I spotted Tommy Banner,
looking resplendent in a white M&S vest and clutching a mobile phone
to his ear. Introducing ourselves to the esteemed author of office
favourite, Haggis Farewell, we enjoyed a light-hearted
conversation before he was called away to perform. With the band due
on stage in five minutes and the air thick with anticipation, we visited
the beer tent one more time to oil our onions.
No sooner did we return than The Wurzels took to the stage
to riotous applause from the assembled hordes. Tommy Banner performed
his party piece by stripping almost right down to the courgette and
plums, prompting shrieks of delight from the ladies in the crowd.
The band performed a selection of songs cherry picked from their extensive
back catalogue, most memorable of which were a rousing I Wish I
Was Back on the Farm - which prompted some roaring vocals from
your correspondent - and a blistering Pill Pill, which had
my esteemed colleague Kai Wood singing like a skylark. Virtually hoarse,
we rallied for one final holler to the hedgerows when the Wurzels
returned to the stage for a blistering Drink Up Thy Zider.
Then it was all over, and the band posed for photos and signed autographs
like a West Country version of Steps. Ian Harris started to
cry, Kai Wood kept shouting for 'Pill Pill', but I simply smiled to
myself. It isn't every day you see genius at play.
By Richard Allen
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