Glanusk Park, Wales, August 17-19
For location alone it’s easy to see why Green Man is Wales’ biggest festival. The hills. The lovely hills. Now in its ninth year, it has beefed-up security fences and everything. Metronomy bag the Saturday night headline slot and whirl through ‘The English Riviera’, dedicating their set to the blokes who pushed their Ford Mondeo out of the carpark mudbath earlier in the day. ‘The Look’ – one of the most inescapable tracks of the last year – is the biggest hitter. They find time to crank up the dirge with oldie ‘You Could Easily Have Me’, reminding us how far they’ve come since their 2006 debut. Feist takes to the main stage on Sunday flanked by a ‘Free Pussy Riot’ banner, and gets the crowd to sing a three-part harmony. A double encore ensues, but there’s no sign of ‘1234’ – a glaring omission that leaves a dull taste. After Sunday morning’s apocalyptic rain, Alt-J prove they’ve got the muscle to drag in the hordes from a rare moment of sunshine to watch a flawless set in the Far Out tent. The weather doesn’t dampen Friends’ spirits either, who inject a bit of sassy Brooklyn party vibe to proceedings. But it’s Daughter who make the most startling debut on the festival circuit this year, as their lush melodies bring the weekend to a smouldering close.