Glasto hasn’t looked finer than it did this weekend in a long time. Between the calls of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ and the non-stop sunshine the lineup was incredible. I was unlucky enough to be at home but thanks to the wonders of the internet I didn’t miss a single set. So here is the best of Glasto 2017.
Warpaint: Headlining a stage whilst the Foo Fighters are headlining another is no easy feat but Warpaint put on a show that wasn’t to be missed. Delivering their own brand of psychodelic indie rock under the pulsing lights of the Park Stage. Opening with ‘Undertow’ and ‘Krimson’ and closing with the crashing ‘Disco//Very’ they couldn’t have gone wrong, especially with throwing ‘New Song’ and ‘Beetles’ in the middle.
Circa Waves: Liverpool’s finest went down an absolute treat on the Other stage. Everything from frontman Kieran Shuddal’s flowery shirt, to their (completely fearless) drummer Colin who got in a rubber dingy to crowd surf for ‘T-Shirt Weather’ somewhat regretting his decision as the crowd lost it, they played a sensational set. They keep up the pace and rhythm needed to hold an audience of that size effortlessly, their tracks sounding larger than life.
Of course, the Young Chasers tracks were perfect for Glastonbury, made for sound tracking the summer and sound tracking what’s no doubt some teens’ first festival too. The Different Creatures tracks fared just as well against the huge crowd they amassed, filled with beaming, glittery faced girl and lads with their cans held high. From the opener ‘Wake Up’ Circa Waves proved why they’re one of the most talked about indie bands around at the minute.
The Pale White: Newcastle’s prodigal sons made their Glastonbury debut and they did us all proud. They got a decent audience in the BBC Introducing Tent, and a fair few bouncing bodies, even more bobbing heads and a lone helicoptered tshirt (high praise at Glasto). With the standard they played to on Sunday I have no doubt they turned some heads, raised some eyebrows and can wait for another invitation in the post for next year.
Father John Misty: Ask anyone who went to this set, check Father John Misty’s name on twitter, it’ll all tell you the same thing, that it transcended anything they’d seen at Glasto before. If you watch it you can see the way he holds the crowd captive in his voice and in his performance is exceptional. Following April’s Pure Comedy he debuted some songs in the UK to a warm welcome.
Glass Animals: Glass Animals just have this incredible spirit to them live. The way frontman Dave Bayley lets loose, dancing, moving and grooving just beckons everyone watching to do the same. Their first album Zaba has a smooth, sexy quality but the second one looses it’s seriousness, opting for dreamy summer fun, which Glass Animals are clear to display in their set.
Just ten minutes into the set, Bayley is down on the speakers cutting shapes for ‘Season 2, Episode 3’. Showing their diversity Glass Animals cut into a deeper, darker groove next which the crowd naturally loves. ‘Gooey’ is the highlight of their set, Bayley jumps down again, this time into the crowd to jump around with the adoring teens for the chorus. Part of Glass Animals appeal is not only do they have two incredible albums, they get so into their music that they have an incredible atmosphere at their shows, festivals being no exception.
The Killers: The not-so secret set that was on everyone’s lips by midday Sunday was a roaring success. Unsurprisingly they packed out the John Peel stage from front to back. Previewing ‘The Man’ from Wonderful, Wonderful as well as the best of their back catalogue proved a winner in the sunshine.
The term ‘no pyro, no party’ hasn’t been used so much since the Courteeners hit Leeds last year but ‘Mr Brightside’ revived it in glorious fashion, have a look at the video below. Considering it was Sunday afternoon, the usual lull in activity at festivals, you would think it was Friday night. Realistically The Killers couldn’t have gone wrong with the back to back hits they played.
The National: At first glance, The National seem like a fine choice for the Pyramid Stage, on second look they don’t but in practice they prove themselves worthy for sure. Being a soft-spoken group, The National perhaps don’t sound like they would command the attention of the Pyramid Stage at sunset but the renditions of ‘I Need My Girl’ and ‘England’ were a calm against the storm of the other bands they sat between on the billing. ‘The System Only Dreams In Darkness’ is a particular highlight of their set for me.
Jeremy Corbyn: My man Jeremy. I couldn’t go through the best of Glastonbury without mentioning Jeremy Corbyn, and it’s only fair too since remarkably he pulled the largest crowd of the whole festival this year, Emily Eavis saying ‘I don’t think you could get another person through that field” and being billed on the Pyramid Stage no less. His speech before introducing Run The Jewels was a simple one, of love and unity with a message for Donald Trump, ‘build bridges, not walls’.
Michael Eavis said to NME: “Millions of young people – Glastonbury people – voted for him. I think he has a fundamental sense of justice, of real political change, of being anti-war and anti-nuclear. That’s what we’ve spent our lives campaigning for, too. Since Emily was two, we’ve been going to London to march for all those things that Jeremy represents.”
Lorde: We can all agree that ‘Melodrama’ is a piece of fine art, it’s one of the best pop albums we’ve seen in years and Lorde is an artist for having created it. Everything from the way she holds herself, the way she sings to fact she has a glass box and performance dancers at a festival shows that she knows exactly what she’s doing.
Side note: She also reminded me how much I used to love ‘Magnets’. The performance is brave, fiery and exactly what I want from Lorde. She dances up and down the stage carefree while maintaining her cool, her body flowing with the music so in sync it could only be her music she’s dancing to. She’s sensational and her performance just works in every way.
Nothing but Thieves: Nothing but Thieves absolutely knocked it out the park with this one, I’ve been lucky enough to see them live a fair bit and never have they looked so at home than they did in front of the masses at the Other Stage. After getting themselves off the ground a few weeks ago at Isle of Wight they were positively soaring at Glasto. Rolling through the best of their debut album they were even brave enough to risk two as of yet, unreleased songs from the second album. The gamble, however, paid off for sure as the audience were lapping it up whether they knew the words or not.
Honourable Mentions: The honourable mentions this year go to Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s artsy dad dancing, the wonderful George Ezra making his return, The Amazons who blasted their way through the John Peel tent, Liam Gallagher and that ‘fucking smoke machine’, and the lovely Declan McKenna who made a remarkable jump from the BBC Introducing Stage in 2015 to an evening slot on the Other Stage this year.