The Horrors On The Greatest Festival Sets They’ve Ever Seen

Festival season is cranking up, and The Horrors are no strangers to the whole party in a giant field scene. We asked the band to reminisce about the greatest shows they’ve ever been lucky enough to witness as fans. Guitarist Joshua Hayward filled us in:

Kraftwerk, Hurricane/Southside (sister festivals)
“Thanks to the programming we were able to watch them two nights in a row in their native Germany. Surprisingly, both nights were completely different. The first festival crowd seemed stiffer, and they performed with their trademark robotic precision. The second night however had a much more relaxed atmosphere and as a result they performed the grooviest set I’ve seen them play. Both nights were of course amazing.”


Portishead, ATP Minehead
“Back when Butlins would be taken over by noise fans for a weekend every year to listen to doom bands and throw chalet parties. I always enjoyed going to these as bizarre a setting as it was. This was the first time we’d got to see them play “Third” live and it felt like such a special treat. They had decided to play on the smaller stage instead of in the big hall, and it felt wonderfully intimate as a result. It was an honour to be asked to play this weekend, and again at the MBV one a couple of years later.”

Throbbing Gristle, Coachella
“This was my first and last throbbing gristle show. I didn’t really know what to expect and I hadn’t really foreseen it working on a racetrack in the Californian desert, but it was spellbinding. I can’t remember any specifics and that would be missing the point, simply they sounded so alien and it felt so raw.”

Primal Scream, Glastonbury
“This isn’t the set two years later where they berated the crowd for liking Basement Jaxx, but I actually saw this one. I actually came to about a third through their set, surrounded by hippies and with a strong smell of smoke about me. I had passed out near the back of the crowd and a group of people had started a fire and a dance circle around me. Do not trust your friends to do anything more than laugh in these situations.”


Blur, Glastonbury
“After what had been a very emotional weekend I had considered going home early that year, but had pushed through and stayed. I’m glad I did, because this was perhaps the best headline set I’ve seen. They managed to elicit such a sense of togetherness from a tired Sunday crowd, everyone was behind them and they were stunning. It’s great to see a band playing after an extended leave of absence and pick up exactly where they left off, it was a joyous end to the weekend.”


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