Even as we’re watching Christine & The Queens’ spectacular, star-making set on the Other Stage, there’s a post-Referendum twinge of ‘Here’s what you could have won’: a pop star par excellence, gifted to us by the citizenry of France, who have, in their wisdom, made Héloïse Letissier an all-conquering phenomenon in her homeland. It seems unlikely she’ll be stopping there, either: Letissier looks set to explode this summer, and it’s no mystery why. As charming and funny as she is fierce and captivating, she betrays no sign of nerves despite the magnitude of the occasion – she’s even brought flowers along to seal the deal on her “first date” with the festival. “Wow, this one looks like Beyonce!” she says, holding up a daffodil. “She’s all like, ‘I woke up like this…’ And this one, my friends, this one is Rihanna – so raw, so sexual, so powerful.” Finally, she holds up a stalk whose head has been snapped off and decides, “This one is me! I’m still hanging in there, just trying really hard to blossom. But you know what’s good, guys? I get to be part of the same bouquet.”
Read more: Christine & The Queens Interviewed
Not that it ever needed much sealing, of course. A huge crowd have gathered at the Other Stage, and not even the driving rain that starts shortly after opening track ‘Starshipper’ can dampen the mood. Christine & The Queens’ artsy, oddball synth-pop – typified by tracks like ‘iT’ and ‘Science Fiction’ – would be impressive enough on its own, but seeing the songs performed by Letissier and her move-busting band of uniformed backing-dancers is a different experience entirely. So much thought and care has gone into this performance that you can’t help but applaud – you’d be hard-pushed to spot a hair going out of place, let alone a step. There’s no gaudy, multi-million-pound production going on behind her, but nevertheless, this is pop music at its most visual and innovative.
Letissier herself is a fascinating focal point, gliding across the stage with Michael Jackson-esque elan and commanding your attention even as her bandmates pull off ever-more-improbable feats of breakdancing during a cover of Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. Indeed, she’s so in-control, she can even afford a little light self-deprecation: “So now you know me, Glastonbury – hashtag tiny French angry thing.” She neglects to add ‘brilliant’, ‘bewitching’ and ‘imperious’, but then, no-one present for this set will need any reminding of that.