The last time Bastille played Glastonbury, on June 26 last year, it was a secret set at the William’s Green tent, which saw fans spilling out of the sides trying to catch a glimpse. It confirmed them not only as a band ready for the big stages, but as one whose anthemic tunes are made for the Pilton fields. This year, it was time to cash the cheque. Appearing in a prominent slot The Other Stage at 8.40pm, the four-piece put on a show that’s sure to be a bridge to ever-bigger things. Here are five ways they nailed it.
They oozed positivity
There’s being pleased to be somewhere, and there’s singer Dan Smith, bounding on stage so giddily he looks like he’s won a competition. “On this very weird day, we can’t think of anywhere better to be,” he said, referencing the morning’s referendum result. And he gushed about being at Glastonbury he had to stop himself. “I know I’ve said it about 40 times but I mean it so much,” he said later in the show.
They brought brass
Trumpets and saxophones (yes, not technically brass, I know) beefed up the band’s sound, and were particularly ace on new single ‘Good Grief’. And on that note…
They have great new material
With new album ‘Wild World’ out soon, Bastille treated the crowd to four new tracks: the aforementioned bouncy new single; the woozy, Tarantino soundtrack-like ‘Snakes’; the brassy, hip-hop influenced mega-swagger of ‘Send Them Off’ and the very topical ‘Currents’. And on that note…
One of the new songs is weirdly topical in light of the Brexit news
‘The Current’ was introduced by Dan – after a caveat that he doesn’t enjoy explaining his songs – as being a song about “people misusing the podium they have and saying divisive things” and “wanting to get the hell away from that”. Yes, Nige, we reckon he means you. The lyrics include a line many will have uttered this morning: “Oh my god, I can’t quite believe my ears,” plus lines about “firing up the crazies” and “I can’t believe the scary points you make”. Earlier, in a BBC session recorded on-site, they changed the lyrics of ‘Pompeii; to reference the post-Brexit chaos, singing: “And the pound kept tumbling down on the weekend that we love.”
They brought bangers
‘Flaws’, ‘Of The Night’, ‘Icarus’, ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ and – of course – a set-closing ‘Pompeii’: big tunes all.
They had a stage set
Typically, people don’t bring big productions to Glastonbury. Bastille brought a giant video screen, two building-like structures and a pair of Anthony Gormley-esque sculptures. To hell with the budget!
Dan does proper frontman moves
Unwarbling vocals while bouncing up and down on a monitor? No problem, apparently. He got right down in the crowd at one point, too.
There’s a song you don’t need to know the words to
That’d be ‘Pompeii’ again, which introduced the now-ubiquitous “oh-eh-oh-eh-oh”-type chant to pop music and which it’s impossible not to be able to sing along to. The crowd sang along loudly, even when the band finished. And then Dan took photos on his phone, because this is probably not a night he’d want to forget.
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Bastille, Two Door Cinema Club and Blossoms react to Brexit news