James Blunt; Van Morrison; Brian Wilson, Glastonbury Festival

Wilson brings a smile on day of rest and relaxation
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The Independent Culture

After the horrors of Friday and the trench warfare conditions of Saturday, Sunday was for rest and relaxation. As welcome rays cleared the morning cloud cover, the Glastonbury hard core basked in the sunny disposition of the troubadour James Blunt.

After the horrors of Friday and the trench warfare conditions of Saturday, Sunday was for rest and relaxation. As welcome rays cleared the morning cloud cover, the Glastonbury hard core basked in the sunny disposition of the troubadour James Blunt.

Just as his debut album has slowly climbed up the charts, his stock rose here with a soothing folk cover of the Pixies' "Where is my Mind". His own tune "You're Beautiful" was as weak as a kitten, even for Coldplay fans, but it's easygoing nature suited the bacon roll and cider vibe.

More stimulating performances came from the dance tents, where Quantic Soul Orchestra reprised the obscure funk beloved of hip-hop samplers. Then Jamie Lidell provided a modern take on dance music. The UK soul sensation sang "Skat" with big-lunged passion, sampling his voice to layer the sound and create his own beatbox rhythm. It left Jamiroquai looking pedestrian.

While the festival newcomers made their mark, Van Morrison is a Glastonbury institution. In a wide ranging set of blues and soul standards, an early highlight was a swinging version of "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You". With a sharp brass section and the drummer hitting his rims, there was a reggae feel to Van The Man's performance. He sang "Moondance"as elegant lounge jazz. The rock'nroll classic "Brand New Cadillac", though, was pleasingly basic while "Brown Eyed Girl" was sweet.

While the reasons behind Van's irascibility remain a mystery, the mental problems of Brian Wilson are well documented. The Beach Boy has recovered enough to finish his long-postponed album Smile. Today, though, was reserved for surf classics.

"And Then I Kissed Her" with its sun-kissed melody set the tone, as did Wilson himself. Sat at a piano, he relied on his guitar riffs to sing lead vocal on opening numbers. Wilson's own voice was a wisp easily carried away by the breeze. Nor did he touch the keyboard, but given his years of seclusion, it was enough to witness the creative force behind the band most associated with idyllic summers. His band provided standard pub versions of their canon, though their harmonies transported us to a plane where the only water around rolls against the shore. It was as if Friday had never happened.

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