Glastonbury 2014 is in full swing, and NME is reporting on the action across the stages.
Arcade Fire headlined the Pyramid Stage on the first night of the festival, bringing fireworks to what frontman Win Butler described as one of “the most incredible” of all the “unbelievable” things that have happened to the band in their career. Click here for a full report and setlist.
In the early afternoon, an electrical storm forced all outdoor stages to shut temporarily, causing numerous delays and performances being cut short across the site.
Skrillex‘s headline slot at the Other Stage began 20 minutes late, and a giant digital clock counted down his entrance before a curtain dropped to reveal the producer/DJ in his spaceship tank. The setlist comprised short bursts and longer versions from tracks from debut album ‘Recess’ (2014) as well as his previous EPs. ‘Wild For The Night’, his track for A$AP Rocky, and ‘DJ, Ease My Mind’, with Niki & The Dove, were both played, as were snippets and samples of Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s ‘Push It’ and ‘Pharoahe Monch’s ‘Simon Says’ among others.
Dressed in black, Skrillex jumped around the stage, running to and from and up and around the multi-levelled tank. Visuals flashed up in response to the music, from unicorns to hamburgers, aliens to screaming babies and vintage cars to balls with teeth. “If you’re alive tonight on this beautiful night let me hear you scream my name!” he told the crowd. Towards the end he asked the audience to crouch on the floor before jumping up and saying, “Glastonbury is my favourite place in the world!”
Metronomy closed the Park Stage with a well-attended set in spite of clashes with Skrillex, M.I.A, and Arcade Fire. Arriving on stage in their customary pristine white suits, the band opened with ‘Holiday’ before going into ‘Radio Ladio’. “We aim to make it worth it,” frontman Joseph Mount told the crowd as he thanked them for turning out. Following ‘Reservoir’ he joked that, “It’s very nice to be here, headlining Glastonbury in 2014. Well we’re one of them anyway…”
Following ‘The Upsetter’, keyboard player Oscar Cash took over on vocals for a cover of ‘Naked Smile’, by Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy’s side project Box Codax. Mount returned to the mic for ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘The Bay’, from 2011 album ‘The English Riviera’ and was greeted warmly by the crowd.
The set finished with ‘You Could Easily Have Me’, with Mount thanking the crowd again. “We’ve had a very lovely evening and thank you for coming out and choosing us over the competition,” he said.
Lykke Li warmed up the crowd for John Peel stage headliners Kaiser Chiefs with a set comprising of tracks from her first three albums, which she describes as a trilogy about being a “woman in her 20s”. Dressed dramatically all in black, the Swedish singer ran through tracks including ‘Dance Dance Dance’ and ‘I Follow Rivers’. Sporting a black shiny raincoat, the singer occasionally backed up her drummer by bashing out rhythms on a lone tom drum between dancing around the stage. She closed her set with a version of ‘Get Some’ from her second album ‘Wounded Rhymes’, yelling to the crowd beforehand: “I love you Glastonbury!”
Like Foster The People before them, Interpol fell victim to the bad weather, with their set time delayed by one hour and reduced to 60 minutes from an originally scheduled 90.
When the suited-up New Yorkers did arrive on stage, they were watched from the audience by a dedicated crowd including Theo Hutchcraft of Hurts. Boosted to a five piece live, Interpol delivered a set comprising tracks from their debut album and a brace of new songs. The two tracks included from the forthcoming ‘El Pintor’ album were ‘Anywhere’ and ‘All The Rage Back Home’. Though typically quiet in terms of on-stage banter, the band let their back catalogue do the talking with tracks including ‘Evil’, ‘Slow Hands’ and ‘Obstacle #1’ contributing to a short, but hit-filled, set.
Elbow brought their trademark warmth and heart to their twilight set on the Pyramid Stage, with singer Guy Garvey effusing about how “beautiful” the crowd looked. In a set that saw performances of tracks including ‘New York Morning’, ‘Real Life (Angel)’, ‘Grounds For Divorce’ and their calling card, ‘One Day Like This’. “What has 200,000 legs and is totally waterproof,” asked Garvey at one point. “You are, Glastonbury.”
Elsewhere, on the West Holts Stage, Jurassic 5 treated the audience to fan favourites including ‘Quality Control’, ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Freedom’. At one point they paused the set while their DJs “scratched” the novelty-sized, J5 vinyl propped in the centre of the stage.
Chvrches frontwoman Lauren Mayberry was cajoled by her bandmates into doing “the worst Dolly Parton impression at Glastonbury” when she treated the John Peel Stage tent to a brief rendition of ‘Jolene’ for their early evening set. Mayberry had previously told the crowd that “I’m quite jealous of whoever gets to see Dolly Parton, because we’ll be gone by then.’Jolene’ is one hell of a tune. I’ve tried singing it in the shower.”
The tent was close to capacity for the Glaswegian electro-pop trio’s Glastonbury debut, and the band themselves seemed taken aback by the turnout. “Hello, Glastonbury festival,” exclaimed Mayberry before ‘Gun’. “That was not a phrase I ever expected to say, so thank you for coming along to see us.”
Before taking over vocal duties on ‘Under The Tide’ synth player Martin Doherty also revealed that, “Ever since I was 14 years old I’ve wanted to be at this festival and without people like you buying our records we couldn’t be here.” The set ended with ‘The Mother We Share’ and Mayberry telling the crowd to, “Have a great weekend, and please remember us as something more than the girl with the bad Dolly Parton impression.”
Parquet Courts played songs from their latest album ‘Sunbathing Animal’ and its 2013 predecessor ‘Light Up Gold’ on the Park Stage once the storm had subsided. The New York quartet played tracks including ‘Mastered My Craft’, ‘Borrowed Time’ and ‘Stoned And Starving’ in their much-delayed set.
“Thanks for letting us back into you country and our first time at Glastonbury festival,” guitarist Austin Brown told the crowd before the band’s main singer Andrew Savage quipped “it’s nice to be headlining Glastonbury.” The group then ran through versions of ‘Black And White’, ‘Instant Disassembly’ and set closer ‘Light Up Gold I’.
Lily Allen hit out at FIFA president in her delayed Glastonbury performance, describing him as “annoyingly corrupt”. Read the full report here.
Allen’s set was delayed for 30 minutes by the storm, with Rudimental’s 16.45 set earlier on the same stage being cut short due to the adverse weather.
Wild Beasts‘ Friday evening appearance on the John Peel tent was delayed by the adverse weather – which caused all outdoor stages to shut temporarily – with lightning given as the reason for all the power in the tent being shut off for over 20 minutes.
The crowd were kept entertained by the stage manager singing Beatles songs on an acoustic guitar while engineers behind the scenes worked to ensure the show could go ahead, with the delay blamed on “somebody sitting in an office, telling us we’ve got to be safe, when they’re not on the ground and they don’t know what’s going on.”
The band finally arrived onstage 40 minutes late and opened with ‘Mecca’, from new album ‘Present Tense’, with frontman Hayden Thorpe telling the crowd “You look bloody gorgeous,” and praising their “Blue sky thinking.”
The Kendal quartet’s set was cut 15 minutes short, but the crowd weren’t too let down, with the likes of ‘Reach A Bit Further’ and recent single ‘Wanderlust’ going down well. ‘All The King’s Men’ brought the set to a close, with Thorpe thanking the crowd for “being such amazing company.”
Foster The People arrived on stage one hour and ten minutes late after adverse weather conditions temporarily delayed the action on The Other Stage. Mark Foster and his bandmates ran through a nine-song set leaning heavily on new album ‘Supermodel’. The band’s set ran for just 45 minutes of the 1 hour and 25 they were originally due to play for. Kicking off with ‘Miss You’, the set also featured ‘Warrior, ‘Pseudologia Fantastica’ and the single ‘Call It What You Want.’
Speaking to the audience, Foster made reference to the bad weather which affected their set, asking, “Is it really Glastonbury if it doesn’t rain?”
Inevitably, the biggest audience reaction came for the band’s 2011 single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ with Foster performing the whole song with his hands in his pockets and later saying that he was “stoked” to perform at Glastonbury for the first time in three years, having previously performed on the John Peel Stage.
Before the bad weather hit, Haim took to the Other Stage for a late afternoon set at 16.20. Kicking off with ‘Falling’, the Californian sister trio then launched into ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ – both tracks from their 2013 debut ‘Days Are Gone’.
“Motherfuckers how you feeling Glastonbury! What the fuck guys this is crazy!” Este Haim said to the crowd, evidently referencing the sunny weather. “We thought we’d bring some Cali sunshine to Glastonbury. I tweeted Mother Earth.”
“On occasions like this we like to jam,” she added before an elongated guitar freak-out, which saw her jump into the speaker stack to cheers from the crowd.
‘Honey and I’ followed, before Este again addressed the crowd. “This is our second time at Glastonbury,” she said, before telling the audience that at the band’s set last year she had to go backstage after suffering a seizure due to diabetes. The band then covered Beyonce’s ‘XO’, before their own tracks ‘Save Me’, ‘Forever’ and ‘The Wire’.
Earlier in the day, De La Soul took things back to the hip-hop old school on the Pyramid Stage, playing a 45-minute set in afternoon sun. They played material from throughout their 25-year career after opening with a series of samples which asked the crowd to remember when they first heard the trio’s 1989 album ‘3 Feet High And Rising’. They closed with ‘Me Myself and I’ from that album, and their collaboration with Gorillaz, ‘Feel Good Inc’. At one point, the band paused the set until the security guards in the field obliged their request to put their hands in the air. They singled out one member of staff in particular who was slow to participate, saying: “Number 242, stop being a fucking wiseguy.”
Courtney Barnett made her Glastonbury debut on the Park Stage, the first of two performances the Australian singer will make this weekend. Backed by her band, The Courtney Barnetts, the trio ran through a number of songs from the 2013 album ‘The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas’, including set opener ‘David’ and an elongated version of ‘Are You Looking After Yourself?’.
Shortly after arriving on stage Barnett alerted the audience to a minor medical emergency she was having by saying, “I knocked my head backstage, I might have concussion.”
Later in the modestly-attended, hour-long set, Barnett played both ‘Out Of The Woodwork’ and ‘Scotty Says’. The band also ran through two unnamed new songs. The biggest crowd response, however, was reserved for the singles ‘Avant Gardner’ and ‘History Eraser’. Courtney Barnett’s next performance comes tomorrow (Saturday June 28) on the John Peel Stage.
Temples were forced to cut short their 3pm slot on the John Peel stage short due to late running. After playing previous single ‘Mesmerise’, singer James Bagshaw said that they “were going to play another song but [they’d] been told to go off,” before finishing with familiar set-closer ‘Shelter Song’. Earlier in the set, the Kettering quartet brought out tracks from this year’s ‘Sun Structures’ including ‘Move With The Season’ and ‘Colours to Life’, while album track ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’ was extended with a long, guitar-heavy outro.
Jungle previewed tracks from their forthcoming self-titled album to a packed John Peel Stage. The West London duo, flanked by a five-piece band that featured a percussionist and two backing vocals, took to the stage at 1pm wearing matching bomber jackets with ‘JUNGLE’ printed on the back. Multi-instruments Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland plus band opened with new instrumental ‘Smoking Pixels’ and 2013 single ‘The Heat’. A string of tracks from next month’s eponymous debut followed, including ‘Julia’ and new single ‘Time’. McFarland thanked the crowd, calling it a “massive honour” to play at Glastonbury.
The biggest roar of applause came for recent single ‘Busy Earnin”, which featured an extended breakdown that saw McFarland and Lloyd-Watson climbing the drum riser to hit floor toms. The set ended with a version of ‘Platoon’ that morphed into a medley, incorporating the vocal melodies from ‘Drops’ and ‘The Heat’.
Drenge took to the John Peel Stage shortly after 2pm, arriving to a screech of guitars and smoke machines and playing a set comprising largely of material from their self-titled, 2013 debut, including ‘I Want to Break You in Half’. A rendition of ‘Bloodsports’ saw crowd surfers being dragged through the packed tent and ‘Dogmeat’ and ‘Backwaters’ kept the excitement levels high. Album closer ‘Fuckabout’ brought the set to a slow close, followed by ‘Let’s Pretend’.
On The Other Stage, Blondie drew an enormous crowd for their 12.15pm set. 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, and a cover of ‘Hollywood Babylon’ was played 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’.
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 wet weather cleared to make way for blue skies. Beginning with ‘An Ocean Between The Waves’ from this years’ breakout album ‘Lost In The Dream’, released in March – frontman Adam Granduciel told the crowd that it was a “pleasure to be here” before ‘Baby Missiles’, during which he threw his harmonica into the crowd.
The slow jam ‘Eyes To The Wind’ was dedicated to BBC 6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne. It was followed by ‘Under The Pressure’, which received the biggest cheers of the set before an exhilarating ‘Red Eyes’. Their 45 minute set concluded with ‘Come To The City’ from their 2011 album ‘Slave Ambient’.
Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and the London Sinfonietta opened West Holts Stage with a performance that involved four grand pianos. Greenwood played his own solo works, including an elongated version of ‘Loop’, before the orchestra played Steve Reich’s ‘Music For 18 Musicians’. The compare explained that the four Steinway pianos were brought from London especially; Greenwood himself remained silent.
And the action all began with Kaiser Chiefs, who played the recently-announced opening spot on The Other Stage. Taking to the stage at 11am on the dot, the band kicked off with ‘I Predict A Riot’, frontman Ricky Wilson immediately making his way into the crowd and 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!”
Other performances due at Glastonbury today include Lily Allen, Rudimental, Haim, Interpol, Skrillex. Arcade Fire headline the Pyramid Stage.
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