Once a year I stop being a grown up along with a bunch of amazing musicians I call my NYBB family.
They are the shizzle.
We are incredibly lucky that New York Brass Band get invited to play numerous times across the festival site from Theatre and Circus stages, to the amazing Truth Stage in Shangri-la and awesome smaller venues like Gaz’s Rocket Lounge and Bread and Roses. Each and every time, the band give it their all as I provide dodgy backing vocals, occasionally bash a tambourine (much to the dismay of John the drummer) and inbetween times, capture all the crazy magic and energy on film and photographs.
I love every single minute.
This year, we hiked up to the Glastonbury sign in 30 degree heat, sang happy birthday twice, witnessed a marriage proposal and played the final gig in a tiny Airstream caravan at 11pm somewhere backstage in Shangri-la, with 12 people in attendance – most of which couldn’t actually fit inside. We played 16 gigs in 6 days and that’s a pretty tough schedule by anyone’s standards!
We also managed to fit in some other gigs including the amazing Tankus the Henge backstage at the Green Room bar, The Ezra Collective, Kylie, The Chemicals, Loyle Carner, Billie Eilish, She Drew the Gun, Pip Blom, plus a load more, and even did a ‘brass off’ with the dudes from Das Brass with zero amplification in the middle of a busy field – my ears will never every recover.
We drank ridiculous amounts of warm cider and beer, saw Glastonbury on Sea, jammed with some guys in the Park, had our eyebrows singed off at Pangea whilst dancing to Fat Boy Slim, and stumbled into bed at 4am pretty much every day. I am officially broken.
I’m so grateful to Sally and James who run the band, who see fit to squeeze me into their ‘list’ to make the journey to Pilton to capture them all dancing, swearing, singing and playing, getting sunburn, wearing dodgy leggings, sparkly sequin jackets and awesome hats. I have no idea what I’ll do when they stop letting me be the honorary band member – possibly cry and beg to be taken back into the fold.
High fives to all the boys in the band… Dan, Will, Connor, Stu, Stugger, Murphy, Charlie, Joe, Cam, John, Chris and Nigel (aka Al) and also the occasional people who pop by to bash an instrument including Laurence and his awesome tap dancing wife. And to the beautiful Grace, whose gorgeous vocals and big smile are the greatest beacon of happiness there is. Thanks to them all for letting me put my cameras in their faces constantly and putting up with me moving them out of the way so I can get a good shot. And to all the amazing people who come and see us all week long, shouting ‘Yorkshire’ over and over, and do ‘circle time’. Thanks for letting me photograph your happy happy faces!
Big shout out to assistants Lynda and Vicki who keep us all on the straight and narrow… sort of. Vicki is also my social secretary making sure I’m at the right gig at the right time whilst providing excellent gear carrying services. Not sure how I’d manage without her.
And finally, thank you to Lord Eavis and Emily for putting on the Greatest Show on Earth and inviting us back every year. Roll on the big 50 next year!