There’s blood on the strings; Wolf Alice are on the attack. “We don’t know what we’re doing on this massive stage,” gasps Ellie Rowsell, resplendent in gold lame, peering out at the Pyramid throng. You’re leading the charge, Ellie. Saturday afternoon at the Pyramid Stage is the battleground for the indie rock fightback – later on The Last Shadow Puppets and Tame Impala arrive to clean up the bodies bit it’s Wolf Alice who stampede into the valley of death, guitars aloft.
Rowsell is the rallying warrior queen; cooing, snarling and screaming through ‘You’re A Germ’ with her trademark mood-swing mania, by turns the innocent flower and the serpent under it. The band are her dedicated foot soldiers – guitarist Joff Oddie slashes his hand during the crazed thrash frenzy that breaks out in the middle of ‘Lisbon’, a plush guitar pop song that loses its collective shit midway through, but keeps playing despite his fretboard looking like a scene from Hostel 2. Wolf Alice invade mainstream Glastonbury with a fever and a fury; if this doesn’t prove the breakout set of the weekend, Britain has really lost it.
The key is the charm behind their bloodlust. Clearly in awe of the opportunity, Ellie tells the crowd about the time she and Joff lost an emerging artist contest to play here, and there are moments designed not to scare off the Jess Glynne fans. The rose-tinted shimmer pop of ‘Bros’, full of fond memories of childhood adventures; the stunning, stirring ‘Silk’; the ZZ Top synchronised swaying of ‘Giant Peach’; the beauteous billows of ‘The Wonderwhy’ and ‘Blush’. “I didn’t expect anyone to be here, so this is ridiculous,” Ellie tells the crowd. Just wait ‘til you’re headlining…
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