The Libertines’ secret set on the Pyramid Stage and Florence + The Machine’s theatrical performance were no doubt the headline-grabbing moments from Friday at Glastonbury. Here’s 8 other alternative highlights from the first 24 hours at Worthy Farm.
Other Stage, 11AM
It’s hard to think of a band better suited to easing your way into the festival’s first big day than The Charlatans, whose surprise appearance on the Other Stage is strategically packed with hits – ‘North Country Boy’, ‘One To Another,’ et al – which serve as a better hangover cure than an Advil-laced full English. They peak with the evergreen baggy vibes of ‘The Only One I Know’, and just like that, the weekend begins in earnest.
Pussy Riot In Conversation
Park Stage, 12PM
Feminist punks Pussy Riot know how to make a statement. They drive a military truck out in front of The Park Stage, before a man in a black balaclava and military fatigues climbs onto the roof and starts waving around an AK-47 and ranting about “The Glastonbury People’s Republic” which would overthrow “American imperialism!” (the crowd cheers) and “ban gay parades!” (the crowd boos). It’s a perfect sketch about power corrupting, and the relief was palpable when Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova emerged to wrestle the gun from him, tie him up and declare their own rebellion.
Kevin EG Perry
Other Stage, 12.30PM
A lunchtime set isn’t the most traditional time for a party, but after telling their crowd that they’ve only had three hours of sleep The Cribs are on surprisingly perky and playfully fun form. Between the hits – of which, from oldie ‘Another Number’ to ‘Mirror Kissers’ via recent single ‘Burning For No-One’, there are now many – frontman Ryan Jarman does his best Freddie Mercury impression, uniting the crowd in a call and response chant that ends in a brilliantly OTT punk rock yowl. As the last strains of ‘Pink Snow’ ring out, Ryan and bassist brother Gary take turns to hurl the singer’s guitar across the stage, smashing the battered instrument to within an inch of its life. Who needs sleep anyway?
Other Stage, 1.50PM
Everything Everything cut themselves as quasi religious leaders in their coloured robes, and a fine congregation greets them at the Other Stage for their Friday afternoon set. The mood is celebratory as they play fizzy artpop from new album ‘Get To Heaven’, including ‘Regret’ and ‘No Reptiles’. ‘We’re at Number 2 in the album charts if you can believe it,” said Jonathan Higgs. “That’s thanks to you guys”. Expect replicas of their technicolour garb to be a trend on-site next year.
Rabbit Hole, 8.30PM
“We’re having a wedding reception,” grins Peace singer Harry Koisser, who’s wearing a bridal veil. The rest of the band are decked out in tuxedos. They’re living out their wedding cover band fantasy, playing everything from ‘The Power Of Love’ to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. In true wedding fashion though, the moment of the night is the mass singalong to Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’. All together now: “AND THROUGH IT ALL, SHE OOOOOFFERS ME AFFEEEEECTION…”
Kevin EG Perry
Other Stage, 9PM
All of Mark Ronson’s set is a big-name extravaganza – Boy George dropped in for ‘Somebody To Love’, Kevin Parker for ‘Daffodils’ and ‘Leaving Los Feliz’ – but it’s ‘Uptown Funk’ that takes it intergalactic. Grandmaster Flash is on the decks, Mary J. Blige fills in for Bruno Mars on vocals, and by the time funk legend George Clinton arrives there’s enough electricity on stage to power Glastonbury for decades.
Park Stage 9.30PM
Jamie xx’s steel drums and pastel rhythms form an idyllic complement to the orange sunset behind the Park Stage. But it’s not until the sun dips and the producer reaches into the bassier corners of recent debut ‘In Colour’ that his set takes off. ‘Gosh’ is the grimy and garagey highlight, showing a grittiness not often associated with the xx man.
Super Furry Animals
The Park Stage, 11PM
They nearly top it when ‘Golden Retriever’ sparks dog-dancing in the front rows, but Super Furry Animals’ headline set peaks when singer Guff Rhys hoists up the first of a series of cardboard signs during a blurry ‘Juxtaposed With U’. The crowd respond thunderously to its simple ‘APPLAUSE’ message – an outpouring of emotion that underlines the importance of the Cardiff band’s return.