The Optimist Gallery

The Optimist Gallery: Gary Tunn

Saw this and thought i would throw my two’penneth in. I fell in love with the band after early airplay on radio1 back in the day. As soon as the album came out i rushed to buy it and loved it instantly. I was going through a crappy divorce at the time and used to go and sit in my vw camper with a cuppa and listen to the album from start to finish.

At the end of June 2001 I decided I needed to get away so headed off down to newquay in my camper for RUN TO THE SUN. I had 2 CDs in the glovebox, one being The Optimist which i can still picture myself now singing along to Feeling Oblivion and Underdog etc. The week in newquay was fantastic and i came back ready to face divorce!! Winding the clock on nearly 10 years (which is quite apt) I was lucky enough to go to Glastonbury last year. Looking through the line up I was elated to see Turin Brakes  as, although I’d loved them all those years, I’d never seen them live. So… Friday night at the accoustic stage was duly pencilled in.

We arrived early with about 20 mins of the previous set to go so went and got some fantastic olive bread from a nearby stall and a few beers. As we sat soaking up the blistering sun on the grass outside the tent, I happened to overhear a conversation of a man and his son who were saying that the surprise guest on the park stage was going to be Thom Yorke. We interupted to ask if his was true and the son said he had it on good authority from a friend in Oxford. By this time we were buzzing… A sublime Turin Brakes accoustic set followed by Thom Yorke! The act that was on finished and we made out way into the acoustic tent to get a good spot. Turin Brakes were outstanding… Proper hairs on the back of the neck… Singing along like I had 10 years previous and loving it just as much and appreciating it a damn site more. The set flew by and after the encores we left the darkness of the tent and burst back into the daylight ready to leg it up to the park stage.

We abandoned all hope of stopping to see Florence and headed over the other side.We got to the park stage and it was fairly empty with  people none the wiser who was playing. Gary who was with us and a self confirmed Radiohead anorak quickly confirmed that the guitars set out on the stage were indeed Thom Yorke’s and it would be them playing. To say the news spread like wildfire is an under statement! We stood up the top of that field watching hoards of people fleeing towards us. In probably about 15 mins there were thousands crammed in front of the stage still hoping but not convinced it would be Thom Yorke/Radiohead. When Michael Eavis finally came out onto the stage all our hopes were confirmed and the place erupted.

Those 2-3 hours from start to finish were worth going to Glastonbury for and will stay with me for years to come. As we walked back to our tents we were still pinching ourselves that we had seen a magnificent Turin brakes set and then Thom Yorke blowing us away with Karma Police. Definitely my highlights of Glasto 2010 and so privileged to have been there for it. I just hope its not another 10 years before i get to sing along to The Optimist LP again and I’m so glad I earwigged that man’s conversation!!

Gary Tunn

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