First Night: Babyshambles, Glastonbury

Paths turned to rivers, airbeds became swimming aids and Glastonbury 2005 was greeted with a unprecedented storm. That put paid to the morning shows on the main stages, but rain did not altogether stop play. At the John Peel stage, Boyfriends warmed people's hearts with a Smiths-style racket and a cover of Tracey Ullman's "They Don't Know About Us". The first band in the former new band tent would have been appreciated by Peel himself.

As the site's streams burst their banks, Glastonbury was split in two distinct camps. On the north lay the feelgood factor of the main Pyramid stage. Perfect, then, for the nursery rhyme and sea shanties of The Zutons. "Don't Ever Think Too Much" was a perfect anthem for an audience determined to make the best of things.

"This is for AC Milan," shouted the frontman as he introduced "Confusion". A real live-wire, he encouraged the audience into sing-a-longs and rousing loud cheers. You may think it's inappropriate for a pampered star to demand adulation from fans that have been through so much, but in the typical Glastonbury spirit, they were happy to be transported away from the grime.

Facing the other side of the valley was the Other Stage's more alternative selection. As the alfresco venues came on line, the Editors provided a rousing reception for those wandering down from rescuing their tents from the newly formed brooks. Their trick was to purloin the strident, po-faced cones of Eighties rock giants Echo And The Bunnymen, then propel them with beats of an almost house-like insistence.

For such a young band, the Editors put on quite a show. Much more scintillating than a bland showing by Canadian band Hot Hot Heat. No matter how wildly their singer shook his afro, he could not connect with the crowd. On this performance, they failed to live up their early promise.

But there was room for only one star on that stage: Pete Doherty. Inevitably, a huge crowd missed Elvis Costello or Nigel Kennedy's jazz project in favour of the former Libertine. Just as inevitably, the band came on 20 minutes late. Doherty would be late for his wedding to Kate Moss, which is rumoured to occur in the Lost Vagueness Chapel this weekend.

This might explain why Doherty appeared distracted. For a poet, he was surprisingly reticent, even stumbling over the name of the festival. Songs got lost in his lazy vocal style, while his band's polite take on The Clash's reggae rock crossover were not robust enough for the open air.

Then "Killamangiro", the band's breakthrough tune, got the crowd skanking. Doherty reciprocated by bravely diving into the mud-spattered crowd. Somehow he made it back with his Panama hat.

Suddenly the set turned from freak show to celebration. Forthcoming single "Forever" was warmly welcomed, it's lumpen rhythm and death or glory sentiment perfect for the occasion.

Then, after barely half an hour, they were gone, leaving a few supporters delirious with joy. Meanwhile, the majority that had come to gawp were left non-plussed. At least we were spared the car crash situation that many had come to see.

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