The Who closed Glastonbury 2015 in style on the Pyramid stage, but there were plenty of other highlights around the site. Here’s ten of them:
John Peel, Sunday, 12.40PM
It’s ballsy to wear pristine suits to Worthy Farm, but LA trio Mini Mansions aren’t afraid of a bit of dirt. Drummer / singer Michael Shuman is in his traditional all-white, and in both style and sound they bring a sharp sophistication to the John Peel Stage. ‘Honey I’m Home’ and Mirror Mountain’ – both from the band’s dazzling second album ‘The Great Pretenders’ – segue into each other in a splurge of frazzled psych. ‘Vertigo’ follows, and slinks through the tent as Shuman takes on the Alex Turner guest verse (“let’s make love to one another”) with as much sultry ease as the Arctic Monkeys man. The glistening pop hooks of closer ‘Freakout!’, meanwhile, bring the group’s Glasto debut to a close in a manner as elegant as the clothes on their backs.
Other Stage, 2.15PM
Chilli Jesson hammers the opening chords of ‘Best Of Friends’ with the fingers of his right hand covered in blood. There’s a nick on the Palma Violets bassist’s nose too, but he smashes his face into his mic stand regardless. The next four minutes are a total shambles, Jesson and guitarist Sam Fryer screaming the chorus over a dirge of guitars and drums. The messiest, most unifying moment of the south London band’s Other Stage performance ends just as it should, with a bedraggled Jesson nuzzling the patchy stubble on Fryer’s chin.
Pyramid Stage, 2.15PM
When Patti Smiths stops her set to recite a poem written in honour of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, no-one is expecting the man himself to come out onstage and join her. When he does, however, it’s one of the weekend’s most magical moments. Following a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ and the presentation of a cake, the Tibetian spiritual leader goes on to extoll the virtues of friendship to a rapt crowd. “We are a social animal,” he says. “Friendship is very important. Friendship cannot be bought with money, or brought by force, only by warm-heartedness. I practice that, so I want to share those good wishes.”
Pyramid Stage, 4PM
Last year, Dolly Parton raised the annual Sunday afternoon ‘legends’ slot’ into a new league, drawing one of the biggest crowds in Glastonbury history for a trawl through the hits and a slightly bizarre ditty about mud. The buzz around last year’s set seems to have spilled over into 2015 and, as a beaming Lionel Richie strolls on stage at 4pm, the field is busier than for any other act on the bill so far. He opens with ‘Running With The Night’, before telling the crowd he’s brought “the California sunshine” as grey clouds float over the sky. The rest of the set is similarly – but pleasantly – quirky, and the climax of ‘Hello’, ‘All Night Long’ and ‘We Are The World’ are among Glastonbury 2015’s biggest moments.
Other Stage, 5.15PM
Samuel T. Herring may have tumbled onto his backside during Future Islands’ Other Stage set, but it didn’t stop the band winning the hearts of the crowd, nor inhibit Herring’s penchant for idiosyncratic dance moves. Celebrating the 991st show of Future Islands’ career, Herring fell over at the end of opening song ‘A Dream of You and Me’, but was soon back to his high-kicking best as the band tour through a set which peaked with last year’s breakthrough hit ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’.
Pyramid Stage, 5.45PM
There’s nothing more endearing than a band who seem genuinely overawed at just how big they’ve become. As the sun beats down on the Pyramid Stage – which we’re putting down to the Dalai Lama’s cameo there – frontman Joe Newman looks out at the huge crowd and grins the biggest grin of the weekend, and it doesn’t leave his face for the next hour. You’d think Alt-J’s music was all about low-lights, midnights and smoking spliffs on bean-bags, but in the blazing sunshine the likes of ‘Left Hand Free’ and ‘Dissolve Me’ thump out of the PA with a sturdy grace. Unmistakably future headliner material.
Pyramid Stage, 7.30PM
Paul Weller peacocks to the front of the Pyramid Stage, curls his top lip at the crowd and grabs his mic stand. “We’ve got time for two more tunes,” he shouts. The band kick into The Jam’s ‘Town Called Malice’ and Weller jitters on the spot, hacking out its riff. The 57-year-old tears across the stage, grabbing his bandmates by their necks and goading them to bawl the chorus with him. It climaxes with a rumble of punked up guitar, before Weller – his carefully coiffure centre-parting still in place – bows in line with the band. It turns out The Jam only had time for one more song, but it was easily enough.
It’s been a day for cult heroes on the Other Stage, with Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring and Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch basking in the adoration of their fanbase. Biggest of the lot, however, is Jamie T, who attracts a monstrous crowd – one which erupts with warmth and positivity from the moment he finally walks onstage. “That’s a lot of fucking people,” he marvels after ‘Don’t You Find’. “We normally play in tents when we come here. I don’t know what’s going on!” Best get used to it, Jamie.
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West Holts, 8.30PM
There are many great moments during FKA Twigs’ West Holts stage performance, such as when she’s thrown across the stage by her dancers at the end of ‘How’s That’, or her stunning performance of ‘Glass & Patron’. But most show stopping of all is when she takes the mic to say “thanks so much for being here with me”. Her voice almost breaks with emotion as she explains how much it means to her, a Gloucestershire girl, to play Glastonbury. Behind the otherworldly façade she’s human after all.
Kevin EG Perry
The Chemical Brothers
Other Stage, 9.45PM
Fans wearing sunglasses and wielding smoking red flares descend upon The Other Stage for The Chemical Brothers’ headline set. The throng is huge and unruly, and the dance legends stoke the fire by instantly dropping ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’. The bass rattles the burger stands lining the stage and the crowd surges forward as the duo unleash ‘EML Ritual’ and ‘Do It Again’ in quick succession. Fireworks fly high into the night sky as the set enters a dark, trippy mid-section. Flashing 3D visuals leap from screens surrounding the stage and green laser beams shoot over the audience. Tom Rowlands conducts the madness from the middle of the stage, relishing in the power of his beats. After a fade to a false ending, he reemerges for 30 pulverising minutes that culminate in the double sucker punch of ‘Galvanise’ and ‘Block Rockin’ Beat’.