Kaiser Chiefs open Glastonbury 2014 with ‘secret’ 11am set

Plus appearances from Blondie and The War On Drugs

Kaiser Chiefs kicked off the first day of Glastonbury today (Friday, June 27) with a surprise set on The Other Stage.

The slot was marked TBA on the official line-up. Last year, the same slot was filled by an unannounced Beady Eye show. The band tweeted news of their new slot, writing: “Opening the Other stage (11am Fri) & closing the John Peel stage at Glastonbury tomorrow! First & Last. Open & Close”

If the set was still a secret to some, the Kaiser Chiefs logo on the bass drum awaiting their arrival was a dead giveaway. Taking to the stage at 11am on the dot, the band launched straight into ‘I Predict A Riot’, and Ricky Wilson made his way into the crowd – singing the first verse while hanging over the barrier.


A string of singles followed: ‘Never Miss A Beat’, ‘Everyday I Love You Less’ and recent hit ‘Coming Home’. Before the latter, Wilson addressed the crowd: “Glastonbury, look what the weather’s doing? It’s kinda cool. Are we excited [the rain has] stopped? Are we sticking two fingers up at the rain? [To sky] Fuck off!”

‘Meanwhile Up In Heaven’ was dedicated to “anyone who’s lost anybody this year, and the band’s Number One hit ‘Ruby’ followed, with Wilson leading the crowd in a singalong of its chorus once the song proper had ended. ‘The Angry Mob’ saw Wilson perform an athletic leap from the bass drum, and ‘Oh My God’ saw him running from one side of the stage to the other. The band perform again tonight, headlining the John Peel tent.

The War On Drugs were one of the first acts to play the Pyramid Stage this year, kicking off at 12.30pm and following openers, Japanese hardcore band Turtle Island as the weather cleared to make way for blue skies after a rainy night and morning. Beginning with ‘An Ocean Between The Waves’ – from this years’ breakout album ‘Lost In The Dream’, which was released in March – he told the crowd that it was a “pleasure to be here” before ‘Baby Missiles’, which saw frontman Adam Granduciel throw his harmonica into the crowd.

“This one goes out to Lauren Laverne”, he said before introducing slow jam ‘Eyes To The Wind’. It was followed by ‘Under The Pressure’, which received the biggest cheers of the set before a exhilarating ‘Red Eyes’, finishing up their 45 minute set with ‘Come To The City’ from their 2011 album ‘Slave Ambient’.

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and the London Sinfonietta opened West Holts Stage. Greenwood played his own solo works, including an elongated version of ‘Loop’, before the orchestra played Steve Reich’s ‘Music For 18 Musicians’. Four grand Steinway pianos were brought from London for the performance especially, explained the compere. It looks like Greenwood’s slot will be the only Radiohead-related set this year, which is rare for the Worthy Farm regulars.

Blondie drew an enormous crowd for their 12.15pm set on The Other Stage. Wearing an outfit consisting of a black jumpsuit and white leather straps criss-crossing her chest, Debbie Harry waved gleefully at the crowd at various points during the opening three numbers, which included ‘One Way Or Another’ and ‘Hanging On The Telephone’. After the latter, she said how pleased the band are to be at Glastonbury. “Nothing like it in the world, nothing like it,” she said, promising to play “new songs, old songs and some really, really new songs”.


‘Call Me’ began with a long drum solo by Clem Burke, who was wearing a T-shirt from renowned New York punk venue Max’s Kansas City, ‘Maria’ followed, then a cover of ‘Hollywood Babylon’ as a tribute to “some friends of ours, The Misfits”.

Harry then reiterated how much the band enjoy playing in the UK, and how they’d always wanted to play Glastonbury. “It’s my wet dream,” she said. ‘Rapture’ segued into a cover of Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ and was followed by ‘Atomic’ and, later, ‘The Tide Is High’.

Other performances due at Glastonbury today include Lily Allen, Rudimental, Haim, Interpol, Skrillex and headliners Arcade Fire.