As 20-year-old Essex boy Jordan Cardy begins his secret set in Glastonbury‘s William’s Green, there’s an England flag and a Pride flag flying high above the crowd, both hanging off the same stick. Mostly, the crowd don’t know who they’re waiting for but they’re pumped to see some of the first live music of Glastonbury 2016.
Rat Boy, who has yet to release his debut album ‘Scum’, played his 2016 single ‘Move’ live at the NME Awards this year in front of bands like Coldplay and Foals. It was a storming performance that included some hilarious choreography and cemented his status as NME’s Best New Artist of 2016. Tonight he begins with the same hip-hop/indie infusion but keeps the moves a little cooler, with his guitar strapped on and his band right at the front of the stage. He’s not afraid to show a little emotion though: “I love you!” he declares.
Anticipation at William’s Green reaches fever pitch following DMA’s secret set – rumours suggest The Last Shadow Puppets or Two Door Cinema Club may be playing – but Cardy holds onto his partially unfamiliar crowd with his winning Jamie T-style lyrics and urban indie. “Dance around to this one,” he says as he reaches the middle of this set, ditching his guitar, pointing out into the fray. “You in the middle!” he orders.
He doesn’t even need to ask the crowd though: madness breaks out during ‘Left 4 Dead’. Sporting his own merch – socks named after his album, ‘Scum’ and a T-shirt saying ‘Turn round m8’ – he responds to the furore at the front by spraying a bottle of water over his adoring crowd.
Cardy ends with the irresistible one-two of ‘Sign On’ and ‘Fake ID’, getting the crowd going before stalking off-stage and leaving everyone with a DJ set. By the time he plays the John Peel Stage – tomorrow at 2.25pm – he’s bound to have a new legion of fans to chant along to his harsh but hilarious lyrics.