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Glasto Gear Guide - Hippy Or Hipster

Published: Wed July 02, 2014  News Feed

Glasto Gear Guide - Hippy Or Hipster?

By Hugh McKenna

For many of it's the greatest show on earth, others have a more nuanced view a "a rabid, filthy, depraved hypercapitalist clusterf**k. ...and some of the best fun it’s possible to have anywhere in the world."

It doesn't make much difference either way, none of us went apart from Stu; who's still unresponsive to all forms of human contact.

Stu Desk

We just sat at home with Glasto on the iPad and football on the "big telly". There was quite a difference from last year, with a significant drop in the number of hipsters on stage and in the crowd, thus scuppering our plans to repeat last years Hipster Gear Guide. Tell you what we did see though, lots of hippies or rather wannabe hippies (most of them weren't old enough to remember MGMT first time around never mind the Rolling Stones).

So with all the bitter cynicism that only someone who wasn't there could muster, we give you our Glastonbury Gear Guide Review of hippies, hipsters and guitars. Who had the sweetest amps? Who's rocking a mullet? And who sent their crowd members to sleep?


Hipster Points - 0/10

Hippy Count - 0

We'll start at the bottom and work our way up. As expected, Kasabian were about as hipster as a bulldog wearing a North Face doggy jacket that's chewing the bottom of a falafel vendor's cutoffs. They did rock a nice pair of Marshall combos and a Gibson SG though, classic. Dance Rock ain't dead, not our cup of tea but anyone who gets their crowd wearing skull masks can't be all bad.

Kasabian Crowd

Kasabian Glastonbury

Four Tet

Hipster Points - 6/10

Hippy Count - 1

Ramping things up a little in terms of hipsterism but down in terms of volume and tempo we've got electronica guru Four Tet. We love Kieran Hebden and have had a gander at his gear before, however we're still not sure his beautiful music translates to the stage. There was a rather muted response from the crowd and on closer inspection we see why. Here's two very chilled folktronica fans, one of them looking rather too relaxed. Just say no.

Fourt Tet Glastonbury

Four Tet Crowd Glasto


Hipster Points - 4/10

Hippy Count - Too dark to see really, we're willing to bet it's a big fat zero though. Who ever heard of a Scottish hippy?

The Glesga doom lords were once a firm favourite among hipsters and they still retain a following among the beardy set, thanks to going all Krautrock and technical. No surprise to see them using a classic Roland Juno synth and more contemporary Novation jobbie on stage. As for the guitars? They've remained true to their post-rock roots with piles of silver Fender, Telecasters and some Marshall for when things get heavy. You can be sure there's still a Big Muff kicking round on that pedal board somewhere too.

Mogawai Glasto Crowd
We're glad somebody gets what we're doing here. This lad in the Mogwai crowd gives us all a quite literal game of Where's Wally?

Mogwai Fender
Mogwai Novation
Mogwai Roland

Black Keys

Hipster Points - 8/10

Hippy Count - 2, that guy scores double for confusing us with a hipster look and hippy hair.

And we have an early front runner! The Black Keys were too cool for school when the garage rock revival was at it's height and the world listened to the music of people from Detroit and Akron, Ohio. We fear those heady days have passed, good news for barbers, bad news for vintage clothes shops. But they Keys moved with the times on their latest album and when your bassist looks this sharp we can only doff our trilbys.

Black Keys Bassist

When it comes to the gear the Keys are also painfully chic, check this rack of ludicrously tasty guitar amps on some kind of gameshow staircase riser.

Black Keys Amp Rig

And score two for the hippy count. How does the scoring work? Does it matter?

Black Keys Glastonbury

Foster The People

Hipster Points - 5/10

Hippy Count -  Minus 1

We've checked out these lads before when they were chatting about their Akai keyboard, it's on stage again along with a Boss pedal and one remarkably nonplussed looking punter. In fairness he looks like he's been targeted by some very localised rainfall, like some kind of unhappy anti-hippy. The kid in face paint redressed the balance but it's still a negative hippy score for Foster The People.

Foster The People Glastonbury

Foster The People Akai

De La Soul

Hipster Points - 3/10

Hippy Count - 4

De La showed that they still have it and know how to keep things fresh. However it seems that the press dubbing them "hippy hop" has come to haunt them. Look at this flagrant display of hippyster-nurave-ism!

De La Soul Glastonbury


Hipster Points - 6/10

Hippy Count - 0

Pretty, suave and trendy, like you would expect from a songwriter who topped critic's Album Of The Year charts. Not so sure about wearing your own band's T-Shirt on stage though. Also not sure about the scheduling of this one either, the low tempo and bittersweet tales of lust and loss seem to have proved too much for one party hard punter.

Phosphorescent Glasto

Bless him.

Phosphorescent Keyboards

Roland VR-09 and Korg keys filling out the arrangements nicely.


No other band's T's you could of worn eh fella?

Jack White

Hipster Points - 8/10

Hippy Count - 0

Much like the Black Keys Jack White has moved on from his stripped back garage rock days with a really impressive rock ensemble. As ever he came to Glasto colour co-ordinated and with rakes of sweet, sweet gear. Tons of Fender silverfaces being used for monitoring on keys, guitars, violin and for all we know maybe the drummer had Fender IEMs! There was also an unusual stage riser/amp thing we spotted along with some vintage telly stuff. Hip as hell and good with it.

Jack White Glastonbury 2014


Hipster Points - 9/10

Hippy Count - 1

At last something to have a gear goggle at, MGMT have a pretty elaborate stage setup running Ableton on two laptops plus a Push and Akai keyboard controller. Looks like they might have a beefy Dave Smiths synth too. With all them knobs and controls you might anticipate a navel gazing techy set but MGMT are no fools and let the backing musicians hold down the fort, while they egg on the crowd and play cow bell solos.


Want to do a little snooping of your own? Then you've got to check out the BBC's immense coverage of the event.
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