Years & Years at Glastonbury 2022: the story of his set – in stunning photos

Olly Alexander's Glastonbury debut since going solo with Years & Years shocked, thrilled, and solidified his status as a bonafide star

Anyone who might have already come to Glastonbury in the past to see Years & Years was in for quite a surprise with Olly Alexander’s glorious return in 2022.

It was a major moment for the festival’s return, of course – the first edition since 2019 –but also because the last time Alexander was here, he was the frontman of a three-piece alongside Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen. Now, Years & Years is just him.

There was no hesitation or fear on the Other Stage though – despite blazing sunshine and plenty of layers of leather. Here’s what went down at Alexander’s majestic return.

Olly’s arrival

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Years and Years
(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

It was instant smiles as Alexander took to the stage for the boisterous ‘Night Call’, taking the lyrics literally with his beaten-up telephone booth and sexually with choreography galore.

Anyone there?

Years and Years
(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

Alexander might be a one-man band now, but his Glastonbury show wouldn’t have been complete without his ridiculously good back-up dancers.

Let it shine

(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

It’s hard to pick the most weather-appropriate highlight between Alexander’s glorious cover of The Magician’s ‘Sunlight’ or the blissed-out singalong to ‘Shine’. The latter was a crowd favourite, though, so probably the winner.

Caught in his web

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Years and Years
(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

It would have been a sweaty affair in any weather once Alexander got going for ‘Muscle’, but with exercise bars and wires aplenty as the sun kept on shining over the stage, the throbbing pop belter hit harder than ever.

Heating up

(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

It didn’t take long for things to get hot under the collar – and ‘Consequences’ was always going to be Alexander’s moment to turn the temperature all the way up. NSFW.

All hail

Years and Years
(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

By the time Alexander got to ‘Worship’, the crowd didn’t know what to do with themselves. “I don’t want this to end, ever, I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life,” the singer confessed, catching his breath. We couldn’t agree more.

Taking it all in

Years and Years
(Credit: Andy Ford for NME)

It’s been a hell of a couple of years of Olly Alexander – first, a leading role in Channel 4 smash hit It’s A Sin before taking the leap as a soloist. It was only fitting for him to nod to the acting performance that made him with a spellbinding cover of the Pet Shop Boys song.

Years & Years played:

‘Night Call’

‘Sweet Talker’

‘Consequences’

‘Shine’

‘Muscle’

‘Play’

‘Sunlight’ (The Magician cover)

‘Sanctify’

‘Worship / Rendezvous’

‘Desire’

‘Hallucination’

‘It’s A Sin’ (Pet Shop Boys cover)

‘Crave’

‘Starstruck’

‘If You’re Over Me’

‘King’

Check back at NME here throughout the weekend for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.

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