Glastonbury : Other Stage (Saturday Afternoon)

Interpol stay cool, despite the heat, while The Thrills overwhelm with their niceness and a streaker livens up an otherwise dull performance from DNA Dolls. But shouldn't he have been at Wimbledon ins

Just how cool are [a]Interpol[/a]? So cool that they’re still wearing suits while even the pastiest of indie-poseurs have had to remove their skinny-fit T-shirts because of the heat ([a]Har Mar Superstar[/a] doesn’t count, he’s been practically naked for days). They open with a storming ‘Untitled’, with vampiric bassist Carlos D gyrating wildly and Daniel Kessler throwing his finest rock star shapes. They have a bad rep for being miserablists and let’s face it the weather hardly suits them. Yet the ferocity with which songs like ‘Say Hello To The Angels’ and ‘Obstacle 1’ are played tears that misconception apart. Shit, they even look like they’re enjoying themselves.

The [a]Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster[/a], however, are unquestionably enjoying themselves. Guy McKnight, legs splayed like some kind of demonic Richard Ashcroft voodoo doll, commands the stage with the presence of a shaman, and we are his willing congregation. His demands may be unorthodox (you want to do what to my mother?!) but we accept willingly nonetheless.

In complete and utter fucking contrast are [a]Polyphonic Spree[/a], beaten in the niceness stakes only by the [a]Sparta[/a]. They jingle, they jangle, they tell us not to get too fucked (yeah, right) and they play a charming set of summery classics-in-waiting that will surely see them elevated onto the main stage by this time next year.

The arrival of ATD-I splitters [a]Gemma Hayes[/a] on the Other stage is eagerly awaited, but slightly flat. Their old band were the post-hardcore The Strokes before they threw it all away for prog-jazz oddness, and while [a]Gemma Hayes[/a] still look cool, there’s something missing. It could be wild Afros flailing in the wind, it could be the in-your-face immediacy, or it could just be a spark of originality. Whatever, this is a stale retread of former glories.

It’s infinitely preferable to [a]Har Mar Superstar[/a], right enough, who sucks harder than a pro on rent week. We feel your post-[a][/a] femrock angst, love, we just don’t like it very much. Strictly for Ford Mundaneo drivers only.

Lincoln’s 22-20s have had to cope with all manner of expectation on their young shoulders recently, and have been showing the faintest symptoms of being the emperor’s new clothes. Forget all that. They’re a revelation today, a textbook-out-the-window manifestation of sawn-off rock’n’roll cool, from the countrified ‘Baby You’re Not In Love’ to the relentless drive of ‘Such A Fool’. This is pure blues, there’s nothing “nu” about it, but it’s so in your face, you simply cannot ignore it.

[a][/a] are slightly less in-your-face and infinitely more ignorable, but it’s hard to dislike them. Songs like ‘Calling All’ and ‘Devil’s Working’ showcase the Blackburn group’s more hippy-centric vibe, which suits the early-morning audience down to the ground. For all their quirky tricks, voodoo rhythms and scallydelic tendencies, it’s hard to disguise the dadrock at their core, but sometimes red-hot rock’n’roll action just doesn’t suit the early mornings.

Finally, is there no respect for the dead? Poor old Suede only just passed on yesterday evening and already some cheeky young buggers are robbing their grave. Stage openers DNA Dolls borrow heavily from the glammy gender-rock shtick, with a bit of in-vogue punkiness thrown in, but it’s utterly forgettable. Except the [a]Har Mar Superstar[/a]-aping streaker, right enough. He comes on midway through ‘Nostalgia Addict’ in his Ys and brightens up the whole set. Class.

Barry Nicolson