While Sir David Attenborough was busy holding the majority of Glastonbury‘s attention over on the Pyramid Stage to talk about the ocean (and not-so-subtly plug his new TV show), BABYMETAL were offering their very own sermon on the state of the world. Come with us, and we’ll blast off this climate change-ravaged planet in a one-way escape pod bound for the ‘Metal Galaxy’.
Making their Worthy Farm debut this afternoon (June 30) with an early slot on The Other Stage, the Japanese metal sensations, who are prepping for the October arrival of their galactic-titled third album, are all prepared for take-off as a message displayed on the big screens asks: “Are you ready to headbang?”
The response from the crowd to that is, well, a bit muted. The alluring pull of hearing Attenborough speak has evidently directed much of the band’s potential audience away from The Other Stage, meaning that the sparse amount of fans and inquisitive festivalgoers who actually do turn up to witness their set is, truth be told, a bit of a disappointment.
Still, the BABYMETAL live show must and will always go on, and the exceptionally energetic lead vocalist Su-metal in particular is clearly intent on giving those who were curious enough to spare 40 minutes of their festival a set to remember. Backed by their relentless four-piece backing band — all of whom don the kind of Grim Reaper-aping masks that would get a nod of approval from Slipknot — Su-metal and her fellow vocalist Moametal (along with a third dancer who fills in for the recently departed Yuimetal) power through expressive dance routine-after-dance routine as they shred through the likes of ‘Megitsune’, ‘Elevator Girl’ and their recent insane single ‘Distortion’.
The best moment arrives with an airing of ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’, the dazzling and rule-breaking 2015 breakthrough track which helped catapult BABYMETAL to a worldwide audience. Equipped with arguably the greatest metal-pop chorus that’ll ever be written, it’s the kind of Big Anthem™ that’s fit for the huge stage the band have found themselves on for their first time at Glastonbury.
The crowd have warmed to the occasion by this point, with devil horns/Fox God signs being thrown up and a small circle pit even breaking out towards the front. Glastonbury will never be Download, but, make no mistake, metal is slowly but surely creeping into Worthy Farm’s all-encompassing equation.
Utterly spent by the end of their eight-song set, BABYMETAL take a bow and make their exit safe in the knowledge that they’ve put in a late bid for the most impressive performance of the weekend — don’t worry, Attenborough stans, you can catch it all on iPlayer tomorrow to find out exactly what you missed.