Sunday, 29 June 2014

Metallica at Glastonbury

I've had Metallica running round my head all morning. Will it ever go away? It can't be healthy. But last night's performance at Glastonbury is now etched in the memory; Lar's bald patch, that amazing bass player/machine, James' pot marks, and all around that dance of madrigal and thunder that epitomises the Gothic, even if, technically, or for debate, it isn't. For weeks I've received all sorts of pleas on Facebook to ban Metallica from 'Glasto' because James Hetfield hunts bears, but you do not admire the Gothic for it's social structures, your enjoy it, if you can, for it's technical proficiency; you enjoy the fan vaulting and the fretwork. And you get the proverbial willies amidst heaven and hell at the same time.
I mean, did you, like me, count the shear number of guitars they went through?
Those who confuse the Gothic with some weird age of chivalry soon get in to trouble, be them England football fans in Lionheart outfits or Kenneth Clark in his castle in Kent championing dogs and St Francis of Assisi. The English are as culpable here as the Germans, who let their tutonic mythology loose with disastrous results in 1939. Manchester Town Hall, in fact the whole of the south side of the Manchester suburbs (so avoiding the stink of the chimneys) The Houses of Parliament, all that phony Gothic daftness, supported by turgid Ruskinian piety, it's all horrible. There was nothing good about living in a castle, it was just slightly better than living everywhere else.
So really, James Hetfield is just performing to type, he is correct, doing the right thing in hunting his bears. If Kenneth  Clark had hunted bears rather than married countesses and the establishment I would believe his 'Civilisation' more. Goths do what they have to do, there will always be classicists to go weak at the knees in front of the Oath of the Horatii.

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