Shura performed in a teepee in the chilled-out Healing Field last time she played Glastonbury, so it’s a huge jump that brings her to the Other Stage – the second largest performance area on the whole site. “This is a very big stage,” she notes a few songs in, “For a very very tiny person.”
As the 24-year-old electropop singer and producer (aka Aleksandra Denton) glides through her eight-song set, it’s not just the ’80s-inflected break-up bangers that draw the crowd in, but also her infectious cheer. ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’ is an early high-point – a recently released single that has a brilliant chorus and gets the early crowd going (it’s only just after midday).
Glastonbury 2016: Shura plays headliner wars with NME
‘Indecision’, which sounds like Shura’s answer to Madonna’s ‘Holiday’, mixes millennial angst with bouncing synths and proves even more danceable, but afterwards she’s busy contemplating the nutritional make-up of hair: the gusty wind has been blowing it in her mouth the whole way through. She decides it’d be good for protein, at which her bandmate scoffs and she gives him a face. Later she explains where all these songs are coming from – ‘Nothing’s Real’, the debut album she’s going to “give birth to” in a couple of weeks time.
The arrival of ‘Touch’ gets the biggest cheers – this viral 2014 track about ex-dom made Shura a Big Deal and got her on the BBC Sound Of 2015 list – but final track ‘White Light’ is a winner too, with the throng now at its largest and most mobile of the set. As she announces this one, she compares her anthems about relationship woes to the EU Referendum result. “The less said about that the better, really,” she adds, “so let’s have a fun song.”
Before she leaves she gives us a final laugh. Over these 40 minutes she indicates her stage chat has perhaps not gone quite the way she thought, so she apologises to audible laughter from the whole crowd – who are totally on-side at this point. “I pictured myself coming out on stage in sunglasses looking like a badass motherfucker,” she mourns, “and all I’ve ended up doing is talking about eating my own hair, protein and giving birth to an album.” Fine by us.
‘What’s It Gonna Be?’
‘What Happened To Us’
‘Make It Up’
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