Glastonbury 2015 is nearly upon us. To get you in the Worthy Farm spirit, NME presents the story of last year’s festival, from Dolly to Drenge and Metallica to mud, in 65 stunning pictures.
Kasabian’s set began with the background screen displaying the distinctive pink colour used on the sleeve of their latest album ’48:13′, and the band began with a thundering version of album track ‘Bumblebee’, as the word ‘Bumble’ was displayed behind then. Throughout the set, cryptic messages appeared on the screen: among them ‘Voucher’, ‘Canister’ and ‘Dhalsim’.
Following that, ‘Underdog’ saw a flare lit in the crowd, and another fired into the air – the first of many. There was a lengthy breakdown with atmospheric synth effects from co-frontman Serge Pizzorno, who arched over keyboards in a T-shirt reading ‘Wilfred’. ‘Fast Fuse’ followed, then ‘Days Are Forgotten’, which saw three female backing singers wearing skeleton costumes arrive on stage.
As the band launched into ‘Vlad The Impaler’, Noel Fielding appeared with them brandishing a comic bass, turban and with blood on his face. He danced around in his cape as Meighan adjusted the lyrics to reference soul singer Bobby Womack, who died this weekend. “Bobby Womack see you on the other side” he sang. On exiting, Fielding told the crowd, “Glastonbury I suck your head like lollipop”.
Meighan then took a moment to put the set in context: “Ten years ago we opened The Other Stage – we’d been up all night of course,” he said. “Seriously, thank you for this.” A cover of ‘Praise You’ and ‘L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) concluded the set. The crowd were still singing as the band took their bows.
Earlier, Meighan got a member of their crew onstage and got the audience to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him, before playing the hugely well-received ‘Fire’. Read NME’s first impressions review here.
Let’s take you back to the start of the weekend. On the Thursday evening, the show everyone was talking about was Kate Tempest, who performed tracks from her new album ‘Everybody Down’ in a tiny venue called the Rum Shack in a far-off field.
Jonny Greenwood and the London Sinfonietta opened the West Holts Stage on Friday morning. The Radiohead guitarist played solo tracks including a sublime version of ‘Loop’ before the orchestra played Steve Reich’s ‘Music For 18 Musicians’. Watching people raving to a track that’s inspired innumerable electronic artists who’ve played Glastonbury over the years was a beautiful sight to behold.
Kaiser Chiefs took the early slot on the Other Stage. 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.
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’.
Drenge arrived on stage to a screech of guitars and smoke machines and playing a set comprising largely of material from their self-titled, 2013 debut. They dropped by the NME Glasto HQ on Friday to tell us what they did with their Tory music grant. Watch here.
The crowd for Jungle was immense. 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’.
Friday saw Worthy Farm lashed by an early evening electrical storm so extreme it caused William Hill to bets on over whether the festival would actually have to shut down.
Rudimental’s set was cut short as thunder and lightning approached the site. The group were pretty upset about it –
watch the interview here.
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.”
17Glastonbury – Worthy Farm – 27/06/2014
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.
After the storm had gone, Lily Allen took to the Pyramid stage. A Glasto-regular she’s only ever missed one festival. She played songs from her ‘Sheezus’ LP and took a pop at FIFA. Read NME’s review of Lily Allen’s set.
Interpol’s set was also cut short but 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.
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’.
Well, if you’re wet anyway…
A giant digital clock counted down Skrillex’s entrance before a curtain dropped to reveal the producer in his spaceship tank. The setlist comprised short bursts and longer versions from tracks from album ‘Recess’ as well as previous EPs. Read NME’s review of Skrillex’s show.
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.
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.
25Glastonbury – Worthy Farm – 27/06/2014
Arcade Fire headlined the Pyramid Stage on the Friday, 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. Was it the show of their career? Read NME’s thoughts here.
Fans expecting a special guest were left disappointed by a Tweet sent by Lorde during Arcade Fire’s performance in which she hinted she was scheduled to join the Canadian band on stage. Watch an interview with the band here.
Before their encore, Arcade Fire were beaten to the stage by the papier-mache-headed fake band, who have followed them on their world tour. The gang danced to snippets of songs by Pulp, The Verve and Jay-Z and Oasis’ The real Arcade Fire eventually interrupted and the set concluded with ‘Wake Up’ which saw Butler throw his microphone into the audience to finish singing the song themselves.
28Glastonbury – Worthy Farm – 28/06/2014
There was a queue five rows deep to get into the tent for Royal Blood’s performance on the John Peel Stage. Clearly overwhelmed by the huge crowd they had pulled, frontman Mike Kerr said it was “blowing [his] fucking mind”.
Watch an interview with the band here.
Rapper Angel Haze kicked off her set by jumping straight onto the speaker stack, running into the crowd and standing on the railings. “What the fuck is up Glastonbury?” she said before ‘Werkin’ Girls’ from her 2013 debut LP ‘Dirty Gold’. Watch an interview with Angel Haze here.
Taking to the stage – which was decked out in gold fabric and mirrors – in a luminous pink robe, Kelis stood a book and her mobile phone down on a music stand next to her before launching into a sultry rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’, accompanied by a brass quartet. ‘Breakfast’, the opener to her recent album ‘Food’ followed.
Edinburgh-based band Young Fathers rocked the Park Stage with tracks from new album ‘Dead’.
Robert Plant told the crowd how happy he was to be playing back in the area, having played the 1969 Bath And Shepton Mallet Blues Festival with Led Zeppelin. “It’s quite a trip for me to be back here again,” he said. The latter part of the set saw Plant play ‘Whole Lotta Love.’ “Can’t wait to see Jack [White] and Metallica,” he said after, before playing final track ‘Rock And Roll’.
Wolf Alice made their first appearance at Glastonbury with a performance on the John Peel Stage. Running on stage at 4pm, front woman Ellie Rowsell introduced the band to the crowd, saying: “Why hello, this is very scary! If we look nervous it’s because it’s the biggest gig of our lives.” They then opened their set with recent single ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’.
The band took the opportunity to play two new songs in their half hour performance, playing the anthemic ‘Lighters’ and sprawling ‘The Jam’. After ‘Blush’, the title track from their debut EP released last year, they segued into a cover of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ before wishing happy birthday to their friends and Rowsell’s mum, who was watching from the side of stage.
Twenty years after Manic Street Preachers’ infamous debut Glastonbury appearance, during which bassist Nicky Wire referred to Worthy Farm as a “shit hole” and said that a bypass should be built over the site, the Welsh rockers played a storming set as the sun went down over the Other Stage.
Jack White covered a portion of ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica at his set on the Pyramid Stage. He told the crowd that Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley visited him in his hotel room in Bristol, and both had a message for him to pass on to the crowd, but “it’s too superficial to tell you through a microphone.”
Pixies’ set highlights came from ‘Here Comes Your Man’, ‘Vamos’ – during which guitarist Joey Santiago created screeches of feedback playing two guitars against each other – and a buoyant rendition of ‘Debaser’. Watch an interview with Pixies here.
38Glastonbury – Worthy Farm – 28/06/2014
The crowd prepares for the controversial Saturday headliner, Metallica. Watch an interview with Lars Ulrich here.
With anticipation-building, a video appeared on the big screens, which switched from a tribute to the recently deceased actor Eli Wallach to a video of a British fox hunt – a thinly veiled reference to the recent controversy over James Hetfield’s narrating a documentary about bear hunting, which led to a petition to have the band removed from the Glastonbury bill.
Frontman James Hetfield dropped “Glasto” into the lyrics and asked the crowd to sing along. Read NME’s first impressions review here.
Sunday at Glastonbury started with organiser Michael Eavis’s annual press conference. He told journalists that he’d already booked the three headliners for next year. Vote in our poll about 2015’s big billings.
The Pyramid Stage on Sunday was opened by Billy Bragg, who remarked that he felt “a bit Spinal Tap” before playing ‘Between The Wars’. He emphasised the lyric: “l’ll give my consent/To any government/That does not deny a man a living wage” as a nod to his involvement in the current Living Wage campaign.
Bragg introduced a performance of ‘Dust’ by the English National Ballet. Choreographed by Akram Khan, who also planned the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, the performance explored the empowerment of women in the war. Beginning by evoking the disappearance of men into the trenches, it then dealt with how women became Britain’s major workforce.
With just 30 minutes onstage, Darlia played a set including tracks ‘Dear Diary’, ‘Candyman’ and ‘Animal Kingdom’ with frontman Nathan Day raising his guitar up above his head and smashing it in half following final song ‘Queen Of Hearts.’
The Preatures took to the John Peel Stage shortly before 1pm bringing more and more fans into the tent as their set rolled on. Lead singer Isabella Manfredi wore a white T-shirt with the phrase “New York is for lovers” on the front as she dedicated ‘Threat’ to “All the ladies in the audience.”
Manfredi pulled a series of handstands and cartwheels as the band played a new, unnamed song before later asking the audience if they were “ready to dance really badly” as the Australian band ended their appearance with an energetic rendition ‘Is This How You Feel?’
By Sunday lunchtime Dolly fever was riding high…
St Vincent began her set on the Park Stage with ‘Rattlesnake’ and ‘Digital Witness’ before saying hello to the “freaks” at the festival. “Hello ladies and gentlemen of Glastonbury, and hello to the freaks and the others of Glastonbury,” said Annie Clark. “I think we have something in common.”
The Black Keys’ new album ‘Turn Blue’ seemed strangely under-represented, with only ‘It’s Up To You Now’, ‘Gotta Get Away’ and lead single ‘Fever’ making the 16-song setlist. The band instead chose a career-spanning set that kept the large crowd enthralled. “Thank you for spending time with us this evening,” frontman Dan Auerbach told the audience before ‘Gold On The Ceiling’.
James Blake opened his set with ‘CMYK’. After a soulful ‘A Case Of You’ and emotive ‘Overgrown’, ‘Digital Lion’ featured a ravey breakdown that was at odds with the mellow mood of the previous songs. Blake’s cover Bill Withers’ ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ was a set highlight, as was ‘Retrograde’. Nice wellies.
Massive Attack played a set that included political visuals and strobe lights. Before ‘Risingson’, Robert Del Naja thanked the crowd in what was a performance of few words but covered tracks from across their back catalogue, including ‘Future Proof’ from their 2003 album ‘100th Window’ and classics from 1998’s ‘Mezzanine’ including ‘Teardrop.’ And that, dear readers, was Glastonbury 2014.