Alt-J Astonished Glastonbury Tonight. The Next Time They’re Here, It Could Be As Headliners

Gifted with an opportunity on Sunday evening to put themselves in the shop-window for a future Glastonbury headline slot, Alt-J took it with aplomb. Playing the Pyramid Stage just before Paul Weller and headliners The Who, the three-piece seem keenly aware of the enormity of the occasion. “It’s such an honour playing on probably the most famous festival stage in the world. We can’t believe it. Thank you,” says keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, before correcting his previous equivocating: “Probably? Definitely.”

From the opening pair of ‘Hunger of the Pine’ and ‘Fitzpleasure’, the band have the busy Pyramid stage crowd swaying in the last of the Sunday sun. ‘Left Hand Free’ is another early highpoint, and by the time they get to ‘Tessellate’ and ‘Every Other Freckle’ they’ve proved themselves to have even sexier tunes than arch-lothario Lionel Richie, who’d preceded them.

The only thing missing was the cover of darkness – surely a decent argument for them topping the bill in years to come. From Justin Vernon’s appearance with Kanye last night to the success of artists like Jamie xx, FKA Twigs and James Blake, there’s been a recent trend for quieter, more contemplative bands triumphing at Glastonbury. Alt-J headlining could be a defining moment for the festival – and a hard-earned reward for a trio who continue to impress and innovate. Emily Eavis, it’s over to you…