When you’re knee-deep in shit and you realise you’re not actually capable of making the effort fo walking for 45 mins to catch that band you were wanting to see; when you queue 20 minutes for a cup of tea, 30 for a carboard tray of noodles and 45 for a toilet, sometimes you want to cauterize yourself from your surroundings.
Enter, Brothers Pear Cider, a Glastonbury institution since 1995. The Brothes bar is near the Jazz World stage at Glasto, and there’s a nice flat area full of flags flapping in the breeze where you can sit down and savour.
Brothers Cider is 7%, bone dry, tastes of next to nothing and yet is incredibly moreish. Pints disappear in minutes. Most drinks at Glastonbury are served in the same white paper cups from the Workers Beer Company, festooned with the logo of which ever is the official beer. Brothers Cider is the only product with its own paper cups, whic are a distinctive green.
And whenever you see a real victim at Glastonbury, the people who think it’s a good idea to strip down to their undies and mud surf; those who unzip their flies and start urinating into the slime that is the field in front of the Other Stage; those who in the middle of the afternoon can be found lying prone in the mud, face down – they always have a green cup next to them.
A couple of years ago this led us to invent a new euphemism for extreme drunkenness. Whenever you see someone so drunk they have lost control, when you look into their flat, lifeless eyes and realise that most higher order brain functions have shut down, leaving only the basic motor functions running, you can say they have been “drinking from the green cup”.
Most of the time, I value my sanity. One of my favourite phrases that I have ever coined in my writing, which I try to use as often as possible, is “surely the best nights out are the ones you can remember.” For all the drinking I did in Three Sheets, I was only ever properly pissed about three or four times. For these reasons, I’ve always given the Brothers a wide berth. But on Friday at Glastonbury 07, when we realised it was going to be yet another mud bath, having never missed a muddy Glastonbury but having missed most of the nice ones, it all became a bit too much.
We approached the Brothers bar, which had a crowd almost as deep as the crowd around the Jazz stage.
We got our pints.
And I decided to get my notebook out.
Here, unedited, is what I decided to write in it:
“What was I thinking about? I have no idea – I’ve succumbed to drinking Brothers Cider. Like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, I know what’s going to happen: I know my mind is forfeit, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
The next bit seems to have been written later, because the hand becomes much less steady. And because the content has taken an alarming turn in the direction of bollocks:
“The workings of the mind become a succession of frozen shards with no forward narrative, no way to make any sense of sequential thought. It’s a bit like being let into some kind of seceret brotherhood – feeling the base plates in my mind shift, and knowing I won’t be able to remember any of this tomorrow. Liz, after half a pint, falls asleep. Chris, after half a pint, gets up and starts dancing. I, after half a pint, start scribbling shite. One foot is squelchy; the other is perfectly dry.”
Christopher Gittner, doing the dance of the Green CupI don’t remember writing any of this. Some time later, I’ve attempted to write in hieroglyphs I can just make out:”African fellas on the jazz stage. It wouldn’t be quite the same if we went to Mali and played them On Ilkley Moor Bah’t ‘at, would it? Is it just that it’s diff? Or is it just better?”I think we know the answer to that one.The last thing I wrote that afternoon was:”Wake me up when someone gives a shit.” I guess it was only a few seconds later when this photo of me was taken:
Kids, just say no.