Glasto 2002 - Friday, Pyramid Stage : Coldplay, Ash, Doves...

Glasto welcomes Coldplay into the hall of fame... Ash, Doves and, erm, Nelly Furtado come highly recommended

Chris Martin has grown in stature before NME's eyes, from nervous curly-coiffured shyboy to sharp-suited sex totem in the time it takes most acts to record an album. Grinning and purposeful, he commands the stage as though he was born there. Unveiling tracks from new album, 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' something strange occurs. We love 'Yellow' and 'Shiver' but get this – the new songs are better. Not slightly or a notch above but full-blown gobsmackingly, nerve-strokingly astonishing.

Show opener 'Politik' shaped around an unrelenting snare drum dazzles with a sophistication and heartfulness that makes previous smash singles seen almost limp by comparison, while 'The Scientist' drips beauty from every chord. However, 'Yellow' stands its ground touching even the hardest-hearted cynical hack.

As fireworks fade into the star-filled sky, Chris Martin must surely know that the job is done - Coldplay join the small elite of headlining acts - including Pulp and Radiohead - who effortlessly fill an entire field with the seductive appearance of utter intimacy.

[/a] - surely the only reason they're this high up on the Pyramid Stage bill is because Chris Martin had a quiet word in the ear of Mr Eavis and asked him to put the shitest band of the weekend on before his, therefore making Coldplay's impending rise to utter megastardom that little bit smoother.

After ten minutes of their repetitive, sanitised house drivel, you'd be willing to accept anything - Rolf Harris and the Glastonbury Town Band included - as a preference. God is a DJ? Come on. Even the most tripped out of Glastonbury regulars must know, that God is a gas.

And perhaps more importantly God has created, quite simply, the scientifically-proven no doubt perfect festival band. And he called them Ash. Still as fresh and exciting as well they first exploded with 'Jack Names The Planets', they encapsulate everything that's great about Glastonbury and festivals in general. You may not necessarily own any of their records, but it's impossible to resist the likes of 'Girl From Mars', 'Goldfinger' and a no nonsense reading of 'Shining Light'.

On a similar festival hand, Cooper Temple Clause is the pure distillation of festival chic, hippy chick. If she didn't exist, The Face would have invented her for a themed novelty photoshoot. Big on charisma - and in normal circumstances medium to petit on tunes – she wowed every kind of festival-goer from leery beerboy to the disturbing number of, well, ramblers on site with tunes which soundtracked the sunshine adroitly.

Jimi Goodwin is overcome. The sun is beating down, the crowd have just burst into an impromptu singalong to 'Here It Comes' and Jimi is utterly overcome. "Are we doing okay Glasto?" he beams. "I don't know what to say!" The tunes speak for him, though. Blissfully laidback as ever but now with enough backbone to be termed anthems, new single 'Pounding' and 'There Goes The Fear' make Bush one of the weekend's highlights before the sun's even gone down on Friday. Stunning stuff.

Alabama 3, the nation's favourite mobile phone salesmen, battle gamely against sound problems (a trumpet-augmented 'Heroin Is So Passe' sounds particularly flatulent) and the fact that they're playing at the same time as the crowd-friendly to deliver a frankly workmanlike 'will this do?' set of oldies.

The heavily-bearded Courtney Taylor (in this weather! Madman!) looks resigned. The sun shines, people dance to 'Bohemian Like You' and then the crowd starts to trickle away as they realise that, yes, they don't actually know any more Dandy's songs. Ho hum.

The first vaguely menacing rock action of the weekend comes from and that's with the emphasis on vague, as Gavin Rossdale's diet grunge was never going to sit easily at Glasto. Material from current album, 'Golden State' might possess a promising demonic swagger but on this stage it's all about the hits and 'Swallow' gives the people what they want. Their closing muscular jolt through REM's 'One I Love' sounds like an admission of defeat.

[a] are perfect for the vaguely ridiculous summer loving going down today. They kick off swaggering through 'Woke Up This Morning' and 'Cocaine Killed My Community' sees the Brixton collective rock like champions. This deep fried Americana might be as authentic as Bjorn Again but it's tremendous fun.

The 40-strong Shibusashirazu Orchestra kick off the morning with a riot of experimental Manga funk, pink people waving pom-poms and a man jutting his lunchbox into the crowd is a perfect Glasto spectacle but we're still talking about performance jazz. They return to their natural habitat, the Jazz World stage tonight at 8pm.

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