Jessie Buckley seems in a constant state of disbelief that she’s playing Glastonbury. “Oh my god, I can’t believe it,” she says in her thick Irish accent shortly after her set begins. “I’m Jessie or something.”
The star is better known for her acting, appearing in the likes of Chernobyl, Taboo, and Wild Rose. The latter is the reason why she’s sat on a stool in the middle of The Park stage, giddily cackling her way through between-song banter. In the film, she plays Glaswegian country musician Rose-Lynn Harlan – an ex-con who dreams of becoming a star in Nashville.
In some weird, meta twist, playing that role has made Buckley a name to watch on the country scene (she performed most of the songs on the soundtrack herself). That’s why she’s been invited to play here and why there’s a horde of people sat on the grass in front of her, ready to hear a mix of covers and tracks from the movie’s OST.
‘Born To Run’ is a pretty, twanging tune while a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Simple Twist Of Fate’ is a tender addition to the setlist. “Have you been bad?” She asks curiously before her take on Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Louise’, commenting afterwards she felt a little like the titular woman.
Before ‘Wild Rose’ track ‘Angel From Montgomery’, she makes an empowering dedication. “This is for all the women who aren’t allowed to dream the dreams they want to dream,” she introduces it to a chorus of cheers from the ever-growing crowd. Ahead of Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’, she apologises for it potentially being a little rusty. “We decided to do it on the bus at 2am a couple of nights ago so it’s probably going to be – well, I don’t know,” Buckley explains, but she didn’t need to. The cover is gorgeous and heartfelt and fits seamlessly between the original songs that sandwich it.
“I can’t wait to get out there with you guys,” she says excitedly before a faithful version of Emmylou Harris’ ‘Boulder To Birmingham’. “I’m so shocked.” Later, she adds that it’s been “an absolute pleasure and privilege”, a huge grin on her face as she sings ‘Glasgow (No Place Like Home)’. As she and her band do a final, theatrical bow, the bodies relaxing on the grass rise to give them a standing ovation. It seems like this won’t be the only time she’ll be asked to play here, and nor should it be.
Jessie Buckley played:
‘When I Reach The Place I’m Going’
‘Born To Run’
‘Simple Twist Of Fate’
‘Angel From Montgomery’
‘Boulder To Birmingham’
‘Glasgow (No Place Like Home)’