From Swim Deep to Kanye – all in one place
Day two at Glastonbury Festival saw stage invaders, rivalries, packed tents and one-off collaborations as acts including, Kanye West, Slaves, The Maccabees took to the stage at Worthy Farm.
Swim Deep opened The Other Stage as The Unthanks opened the Pyramid Stage. The Birmingham band opened with ‘Francisco’, ‘Honey’ and the poppy ‘Namaste’. After the latter, frontman Austin Williams told the crowd: “I’m tired and hung over but I’ve never been happier.”
Slaves made their rapturously-received Glastonbury debut on the John Peel stage, delivering a spiky wake-up call to the massed sunbathers soaking up the fine weather outside the tent. Arriving onstage dressed all in black– save for frontman Isaac Holman’s cat-shaped woolly hat – the Turnbridge Wells duo opened with a shambling acoustic rendition of ‘Are You Satisfied?’ and told the crowd that they were there “to have a nice time.” A noisy time might have been closer to the truth, as they launched into the snarling likes of ‘Live Like An Animal’ and ‘Sockets’, while Holman even started stripping off, ending the gig topless but for a bumbag. Their 40-minute set climaxed with ‘Feed The Manta Ray’, on which they were joined by a friend dressed as the titular creature.
Sleaford Mods played a shouty, expletive-filled set on the John Peel Stage. Frontman Jason Williamson was a bundle of aggressive energy from the off, twitching and violently flicking the back of his head during ‘Jolly Fucker’. Before a bass-heavy ‘It’s All Gone Wrong’, he addressed the spaces at the back of the tent. “Is everyone in the toilet or what? I can’t believe it if they are, the toilets are fucking shit here. Everything is fucking shit here.” Williamson later goaded Slaves, whose set preceded Sleaford Mods’, and said, “Did you see the support band? Were they any good? Who were they? Take That?” His words prompted further shouts of approval, and the noise increased during a violent ‘Tiswas’. Next to Williamson, producer Andrew Fearn, wearing a t-shirt splashed with the image of Simpsons character Chief Wiggum, cued the tracks on his laptop and swigged from a can of beer. The duo’s penultimate song, ‘Tarantula Deadly Cargo’ was taken from forthcoming new album ‘Key Markets’ and the set climaxed with ‘The Wage Don’t Fit’, after which Williamson shouted, “Sleaford Mods! Thank you!”
George Ezra drew a huge crowd to his 3pm Pyramid Stage slot, as the Londoner played a set drawn from his debut album and well-loved covers. Performing to a bigger crowd that you might expect to see at an afternoon slot – a reflection of the 22-year-old’s startling rise these past 12 months – Ezra gave renditions of Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl From The North Country’ and Macy Gray’s ‘I Try’ to the sun-soaked audience.
Frank Turner made his third appearance at Glastonbury Festival this weekend, following a set at Strummerville last night (June 26) and an appearance on the Other Stage this morning (June 27) with a special appearance in The Leftfield with Billy Bragg. Turner played acoustic versions of ‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’, from his 2007 debut album ‘Sleep Is For The Week’, as well as ‘Glorious You’ from his forthcoming sixth LP ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ and ‘Balthazar, Impresario’ from 2011’s ‘England Keep My Bones’.
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Burt Bacharach opened his incomparable songbook on the Pyramid Stage, where the 87-year-old led a band through versions of hits including ‘Alfie’, ‘Do You Know The Way To San Jose’ and as the sun blazed down. With a vast audience out front, Bacharach performed accompanied with an orchestra and guest singers, as well as his son Oliver. His 1969 song ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’ drew the biggest cheers from the crowd – the irony of Glastonbury’s changeable weather this weekend not lost on anybody.
Years & Years drew a massive crowd to the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury today (June 27) with a rowdy and dramatic set. Some fans were unable to gain entry to the tent and had to be content with watching the show from just outside as the British electronica trio gave a high octane performance punctuated by lights, laser, smoke machines and their prominent percussion sections.
Merthyr Tydfil four-piece Pretty Vicious played a raucous set at 7pm on the BBC Introducing stage, where they were introduced by DJ Huw Stephens as “proper rock’n’roll”. The band tore though a 25 minute set that recalled Oasis or Arctic Monkeys at their heaviest, keeping banter to a minimum between playing the likes of ‘Cave Song’ and ‘Booty’.
Toronto dance-punks Death From Above 1979 made their first Glastonbury appearance at the John Peel tent, with drummer Sebastien Grainger joking with the crowd that, “we’ve secretly been hoping it would rain, just so we could fill the tent.” Happily, however, “that didn’t even need to happen – you guys all came!” Playing an hour-long set which drew heavily from new album ‘The Physical World’, the duo also threw in a number of older cuts, including ‘You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine’, ‘Little Girl’ and ‘Romantic Rights’, from their 2004 debut.
Jamie T joined The Maccabees in their slot before Ben Howard and headliner Deadmau5 on The Other Stage, where they played a mixture of fan favourites and material from new album ‘Marks To Prove It’. Jamie T joined the band for recent single the title track, playing guitar and providing backing vocals. Introducing Jamie T on stage, Maccabees frontman Orlando Weeks described him as a “hero” and said “he’s proper.”
La Roux’s Ellie Jackson returned to Glastonbury for the first time since 2010, and delivered a crowd-pleasing set that left the John Peel tent grooving into the night. Sporting a blazer, white trousers, and with her hair sculpted back into a pristine quiff, Jackson looked and sounded immaculate throughout, opening with ‘Uptight Downtown’, from last year’s critically-acclaimed second LP ‘Trouble in Paradise’, before going straight into her breakthrough hit ‘In For The Kill’. “That went way too quickly,” she told the crowd before bringing things to a close with her 2009 chart-topper ‘Bulletproof’, promising to return sooner rather than later.
Pharrell Williams brought a full production involving choreographed dancers to his evening slot on the Pyramid Stage. Performing medleys of his own hits, his hit productions and tracks by his band N*E*R*D*, Pharrell flattered the crowd by saying “When you go to England, you definitely meet the most beautiful girls.” Later, a member of the crowd brought on stage to dance took to the opportunity to twerk against the singer, to Pharrell’s mock surprise and a huge roar of appreciation from the crowd.
The Family Stone opened a night of funk and soul on the West Holts
Stage at 9:45pm on Saturday. “Where’s the funkateers? Throw your hands up,” they announced as they arrived onstage, before getting the crowd dancing to hits including ‘Everyday People’ and ‘Dance To The Music’. “This ain’t no sit down party,” they added. “This is a get up and shake what your mother gave you party. So we’re going to give you the music to shake it to.” They were later followed onto the stage by George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic.
Suede headlined the John Peel Stage in what was their first appearance at Worthy Farm since 2003. The Britpop veterans, led by Brett Anderson, played a greatest hits set that veered from early classics including ‘Killing Of A Flash Boy’ to material from 2013’s comeback album Bloodsports. 1996 single ‘Trash’ was played early on in the set, followed by more Britpop favourites including ‘Animal Nitrate’ and ‘We Are The Pigs’. The former track saw the first big singalong of the night. Anderson kept stage chat to a minimum, but did encourage the crowd to “fucking have it” during ‘Trash’, while he spent a large portion of ‘Killing Of A Flashboy’ writhing around the floor. An acoustic ‘Living Dead’ saw the frontman put his mic down to allow the audience to sing, and early single ‘The Drowners’ also drew a frenzied crowd response after Anderson performed much of it while hanging onto the safety barrier and greeting fans. Following a brief break after ‘Beautiful Ones’, the band kicked off their encore with an acoustic rendition of ‘She’s In Fashion’, followed by a final track from Dog Man Star, and the last song of the evening, ‘New Generation’.
Kanye West ended his headline performance by proclaiming himself the “greatest living rock star in the world.” The Chicago rapper performed a nearly two hour set on the Pyramid Stage, playing tracks from throughout his career as well as a short cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. He was joined on stage by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and performed some of the set while hoisted above the audience by a crane. A man made his way onto the stage at the very start of the set and was immediately tackled by security and removed, causing West to restart ‘Black Skinhead’. The man has since been identified as comedian Simon Brodkin, aka comedian Lee Nelson.
Other artists performing today included Clean Bandit, Ella Eyre, Enter Shikari and Deadmau5.
Glastonbury 2015 comes to a close tomorrow (June 28) with a headline performance from The Who. Stay tuned to NME.com for all of the action.
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