View from the stage: Pete Turner, bassist in Elbow


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The Independent Culture

How does it feel to be topping the bill at this year's Latitude?

I'm really looking forward to it. As headliners you get longer and we can put on more of a show. We're looking forward to all the fezzies we've got this year, actually. There's a lot fewer than last year, though. Last year I think we ended up playing at about 25, this year we've got nearer ten.

What's the maddest time you've ever had at a festival?

There are hundreds of times! It would usually be at Glastonbury. I never recall that much, to be honest with you. When we play Glasto we're always there for a full weekend, so we really get into the whole spirit of the thing. Last year when we played we'd all been there for a few days and were all totally caked in mud, but I think it adds to it, it means you're more a part of it.

What's the best festival gig you've ever seen?

I had a lot of fun watching Blur at T in the Park. They're one of those bands where you go "another hit?". They absolutely just roll them out, it's unbelievable how many big tunes they've got, and it's good because you're just singing along – badly, in my case. But the best one ever was seeing Spiritualized in the John Peel tent a few years ago with my girlfriend. That was mind-blowing, unbelievable. They're an Elbow favourite – one of the bands that's influenced us the most.

Who'd headline your dream festival?

Spiritualized are a special band for us and I'd like Talk Talk there as well, another of our key influences. Tom Waits too, maybe. I'd also like the Smashing Pumpkins, so long as it was the original four. That would be cool.

What's been your best festival moment?

Glastonbury. The main stage field was completely full, I think there were about 80,000 people while we were waiting at the side of the stage to go on. The crowd were singing "Hey Jude" and then it kind of morphed into "One Day Like This". When we walked on, all our mates were at the side of the stage and some of them were in tears. It was just really lovely, and Jay-Z and Beyoncé and Coldplay were all watching as well. That was a really special gig, and definitely my favourite gig ever.

What's the most unusual thing you've ever seen at a festival?

That's hard – every second at Glastonbury something unusual walks past you. I'm usually pretty drunk so nothing ever seems too weird. We were in the backstage area once and Grace Jones was in a dressing room just across from us. It was only a small area and this car pulled up next to her Portakabin, picked her up and then drove her about 20 metres to the toilet and waited. To be fair they were the regular ones that everyone uses, but I thought that's pretty bizarre. It was so stupid, she would have been quicker walking. But, it's Grace Jones so she can kind of get away with it – she's pretty out there!

Elbow play Latitude festival on Saturday 14 July