Day one sets the standard from Queens' blinder to Garbage's pop topping...
Like a cherry-tipped reward after a day of crème, Garbage are the pop reward.
Shirley’s gym instructor persona is ideally suited to lead a laser-guided greatest hits set. While appearing more at home in some cyber-powered J.G. Ballard sci-fi fantasy than, frankly, in a cow field, they conquer the second stage with consummate ease. Shirley, undeniable underrated by the UK, is an inspirational frontwoman who fashions ‘Vow’ as such a hard-rocking armour-plated beast that you could put a mortar on it and call it a tank. A lesson in how it’s done. Pure. Simple.
Spiritualized then. They did it again, they grabbed the much vaunted and desired sunset set. While in the past year they’ve been pilloried for some of their quite boring performances, this is a purposeful set that resurrects everything we loved about Spiritualized from the outset, little happening onstage, but drama unfolding in the epic soundwaves.
‘Electricity’ stuns as an opener and the inspired selection of tracks from last two album ensures that Jason Pierce can maintain the grin he’s been wearing all afternoon.
Jonathan Donahue appears curiously unaffected by the huge crowd who turn out for Mercury Rev‘s beautiful hymnal epics. While the world turns, the Rev stand aloof… thank goodness. ‘Goddess On A Hiway’ is breathtaking while ‘Holes’ hangs suspended beautiful in the sky, totally mesmerising in its fragility. They shoehorn in a half –cocked version of [a]Lostprophets[/a]’ ‘Once In A Lifetime’ which lingers like a bad smell, but that aside it’s a solid and enchanting, if unsurprising, set.
No messing. No waste. Heads down… three… two… one…go. Dave Grohl’s drumming shifts a gear up for [a]Idlewild[/a], a band who it once seemed just couldn’t improve. Add a dash of [a]Cooper Temple Clause[/a]’ Mark Lanagan and you have what amounts to – whisper it – a metal pomp supergroup. But good.
Letting fly with a salvo of tracks from forthcoming album, ‘Songs For The Deaf’, they build on their well-deserved reputation for ‘Rated R’. Newie ‘No One Knows’ is quite simply one of the best debut songs of the day – and that includes Coldplay‘s new outings. Add to that no nakedness and you’ve got one of the top three performances of the festival. Yes, already.
The last time [a]Ryan Adams[/a] played a major UK festival, at Reading last year, there was mayhem in the tent as their adoring hordes fought to be near the stage. Today, there is considerably more room to move about. And it is used. From the opening chord of the very first song to final chime of ‘Shenobi vs Dragonninja’ at their set’s delirious close, wave after wave of mini-Prophets surf towards their heroes.
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Sounding harder than ever before (time spent in the US has put [a]Ryan Adams[/a] on their mettle), Britain’s only skate punk/straight edge/nu-metal breed of worth prove that faith in their fire has not been misplaced. The main stage is theirs next year.
“For the first time ever,” says Idlewild’s humble hero Roddie Woomble from the brink of the stage “I feel like a good-time band.” And for the first time ever watching [a]Vex Red[/a] feels immensely special. It’s like watching a headline audition gig. An audition that they pass with flying colours.
In previous festival slots, the ‘Wild have practically apologised their way through half an hour, this time they take Glasto by the throat and shake the heart and soul out of it. Ramshackle indie – songs that trip over themselves in their hurry to get nowhere in particular – is kept to a minimum today replaced instead by sublime roars from their forthcoming ’The Remote Part’ masterpiece and a stadium-demolishing romp through ‘American English’ that manages to lift the roof off a gig with no roof. Bigger, harder, faster, wilder.
Cometh the hour, cometh the hair. [a]Hives[/a] take to the second stage and bring the best part of the festival’s early arrivals with them.
Gainfully trying for three songs, they give up their search for a tune and decide to bluster through with their Pink Floyd/ Primal Scream hybrid. It works, oddly and brings to the fore a fan with a stuffed pigeon on a stick. This is completely true.
[a][/a] warms up for them with the sort of early afternoon singer/songwriter schtick that Glastonbury calls out for. With trumpets! “I’m a little drunk already,” he says, pitching into ‘Undertaker’s Strut’ from as yet unreleased new album. He has decided to stop being England’s b-list [a][/a] and instead is now focused on being a poorman’s [a][/a]. Glastonbury forgives, and loves him.
[a][/a] have been in the US playing to four men and a dog for many weeks. Their relief at facing a sizeable crowd is palpable. They are loud, gloriously loud. They are a band still finding their feet, but their earnest angst rock strikes a strange early afternoon chord. And they cover Christina Aguilera‘s Genie In A Bottle’. And it works.
Ikara Colt kick things off. It’s a shame, though. They pull from the wrong bits of [a][/a] and the Von Bondies and fail to engage. They dedicate ‘Bishop’s Son’ to John Entwistle which brings the loudest cheer of their set.