Beabadoobee live at Glastonbury 2022: An invitation to her dream pop world

The Dirty Hit champion hypnotises the John Peel tent with romantic slacker grunge

To the right of the stage in Glastonbury’s John Peel tent is a lyric taken from his favourite song in tribute to the late, great Radio One DJ: “Teenage dreams – so hard to beat”. The Undertones’ mantra couldn’t be much more fitting for Beabadoobee; an artist who speaks so directly to that post-adolescent sense of daydream longing and breezy nonchalance.

The stage’s compere seems to get the vibe, wryly introducing her as “the only doobie you need” before repeatedly pronouncing her name incorrectly. A dedicated squadron fill the tent with good feelings when the hordes have left following Self Esteem packing out the area. The fittingly titled ‘Worth It’ makes it worth sticking around, carrying that nostalgic warmth of a ‘90s teen romcom, albeit with a little more spark when the bubblegum pops.

‘Together’ has the bite of the grungier side of Britpop, before Bea starts to notice the malaise in the tent. “You better move for the next one,” she warns, before ‘Charlie Brown’ sees the whole band cut loose. Bea and co’s prowess isn’t always reflected by the sleepy audience, but the band make a fittingly hazy and bittersweet sound ideal for that lingering Glasto Saturday afternoon that will soon evolve into hope for the night ahead.


Beabadoobee live at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME

There’s heavenly indie jangle twang to ‘He Gets Me High’ that nods to her Dirty Hit labelmates The 1975, the airy pop of ‘Care’ takes lo-fi to almighty heights and the lovelorn ‘She Plays Bass’ has the front rows arm in arm. This is the music that summer needs, with cuts from her upcoming album ‘Beatopia’ adding to the halcyon mood. ‘See You Soon’ enchants with its delicacy, ‘Talk’ is pure pop-punk abandon, and psych-grunge new single ‘10:36’ is already a firm favourite with the closing sing-along of “I don’t want to, yeah, yeah”.

Speaking to NME ahead of her set, she described ‘Beatopia’ as a “dream world” she invented for herself in 2007, telling us: “I thought I could literally be in this world – I think it was just a way of escaping everything that was happening in life at that time, and then I forgot about it because shit happened. Then I just realised that I could finally accept it now and I could make a whole album about it and find myself within it.” For a wonderful lost hour, we felt like we were in it too.

Beabadoobee played:

‘Worth It’
‘Charlie Brown’
‘Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene’
‘He Gets Me So High’
‘Last Day on Earth’
‘See You Soon’
‘Sun More Often’
‘Back to Mars’

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