Since Metallica headlined two years ago, metal and Glastonbury have been feeling their way around each other like a couple on a third Tinder date. Is this a depraved on-off hook-up or something more lasting and meaningful, demanding mutual tattoos? Sheffield’s [a}Bring Me The Horizon[/a] are this year’s fumble towards hard rock’s third base, a band with the punch to make a real impact (they’re on after Editors and before Bastille, for Lemmy’s sake) and also enough credibility, melodic sensibility and bits that sound like The Cure to cross over. They have the potential to appeal to the man on the Pilton omnibus’ more deviant rock tastes, even if singer Oliver Sykes bawling “I wanna see some blood!” and “kill each other!” might raise a few eyebrows amongst the Green Crafts field regulars.
They don’t quite gauge Glastonbury’s rebel metal level correctly, though. Oli’s demands that we “sit on the fucking floor” are widely ignored (he does know everything’s covered in shit, right?), his calls for a Wall Of Death produce something more like a River Of Imbalance and his insistence that we “open this place up as far as it’ll fucking go” forgets the crucial factor that this place could open up several miles and still not have opened up to its maximum possible extent. The crowd does go along with Sykes’ spot middle-finger referendum, though, with the ballot returning a decisive victory for Don’t Give A Fuck.
Nonetheless, BMTH are a riveting handbrake turn for Glastonbury 2016. Arriving to a comedy cartoon ‘safety video’ intro advising the audience to consume any drugs on their person before the gig begins and tell their loved ones they love them “as you may never see them alive again”, they blast out ‘Happy Song’ in a frenzy of steam and brutal riffs, bury Worthy Farm under ‘Avalanche’ and provide aural Valium for the “depressed” in the form of ‘Sleepwalking’. For all their mammoth synth rock barrages and incitements of widespread violence, there’s heart beneath their world-beating metal attack too: ‘Follow You’ could almost be a romantic R&B number if it didn’t punch you in the face throughout the chorus.
It all ends with Oli inviting a torrent of crowd-surfers to come and high-five him, to much consternation from a security detail that could barely deal with an errant Tim Booth earlier. Okay metal, you charmed us again. We’ll let you unbutton our top fleece.