IT was 1997 at Glastonbury – one of the wettest in history – and the Chemical Brothers were about three quarters of the way through a rousing set on the second stage.
It was around 10.45 when a mini exodus found literally hundreds of revellers trudge through a foot-deep morass of mud towards an even muddier field in front of the Pyramid stage.
As the rain continued to pour down on came Radiohead to what has been described as a seminal moment in rock history and, certainly, one of Glastonbury’s best ever performances.
It was the night the five talented members, led by Thom Yorke, came of age.
So it was fascinating to witness Yorke’s first live show in Portugal, supporting headliners the Chemical Brothers this weekend at Nos Alive in Lisbon.
In a steamy circus tent, with the temperature nudging 30 degrees, he shuffled on nervously all dressed in black, apart from his Stan Smith trainers.
But it was soon apparent that the crowd loved it.
Atmospheric and moody, with understated graphics and lighting, the electronic sound, coupled with light electro drums, came over brilliantly in the intimate space.
In particular, songs like Traffic swirled around like a dust storm, while Suspirium soared as high as the Trip Hop flag he is so perfectly flying these days. The encore of Dawn Chorus was beautiful.
But it was the hypnotic Black Swan that really stole the show, with its ‘f**ked up’ chorus, before we all skipped over to the main stage, where the Chemicals were soon to blow us all away with a stunningly well rehearsed and planned set.
Not exactly a role reversal, but these two former Manchester University students are at the top of their game and alive and kicking in more ways than one.
More than capable aided by the amazing graphics of Vegetable Vision, who have been doing it for them for over two decades, it was impossible to stand still.
This was a greatest hits medley, with legendary tunes like Hey Boy Hey Girl and Under the Influence – now 20 years old – amazing live. Galvanise from the 2005 album Push the Button went down well.
Nos Alive is a superb festival to attend, in particular it being so close to Lisbon and just €7 euros by taxi from the centre.
Now well established in its 13th year, it manages to combine enough big name acts, with good up-and-coming groups to justify 20% of its 55,000 daily punters coming from the UK.
It’s large, but not too large, with the Portuguese locals charming and welcoming as ever and with prices at just €60 euros for a day ticket excellent value for the amount of acts on show.
Other highlights included a soulful, infectious show by Londoner Jorja Smith, a wild, angry explosion by Idles, plus the much anticipated performance by American Bon Iver, which was as interesting, as it was flat at times.
That said, 666 was superb, while wonderful Holocene had more people in tears over the weekend than Federer losing at Wimbledon, and was worth the journey from Spain alone.
And finally, the Cure headlining on Thursday night as part of their 40th anniversary tour, was about as good as any Cure fans can remember… once they had got through the first few songs, including the rather tedious Shake Dog Shake.
Highlights were Just like Heaven and Love Song, while the encore of Boys Don’t Cry and Friday I’m in Love sent everyone home with big smiles.