TLC live at Glastonbury 2022: A ’90s nostalgia trip with too many dance detours

America's biggest-selling girl group take over the West Holts with their dancing quartet to deliver us some much-needed nostalgia

As we trek up the hill around the main stages to West Holts, we’re greeted by a packed-in crowd of ravers hungry for a slice of nostalgia at Glastonbury 2022. It’s time to boogie on down to America’s most successful girl group: TLC.

Obviously, we’re sadly missing a member of the celebrated R&B trio — Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez — but her two girlfriends, T-Boz and Chilli, do the songs justice in her honour. While we await their arrival on stage, hypeman-meets-DJ hybrid plays turn-up ‘90s hip-hop tracks to get us in the mood. When we hear a grandiose theatrical guitar wail from TLC’s live band, the crowd restlessly roar before the duo emerge for their debut single, ‘Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg’. But o be honest — the crowd don’t seem to be feeling it.

The first time the crowd go berserk is for the blare of siren-like trombones, recreating the synonymous ‘Creep’ melody – instantly waking everyone into a jiggling mass, hollering every syllable back. The unique, nasal delivery of T-Boz’s iconic verses is spot-on, and still commendable after 18 years. The hypeman plays after another unneeded rap set of dance challenge songs, before ‘Unpretty’ proves the true highlight and universal moment – with the crowd drowning TLC themselves.

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TLC at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME
TLC at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME

Things peak again when the Atlanta duo roll through the buoyant ‘Silly Ho’ from 1999 album, ‘Fan Mail’, but it doesn’t gain the same love as the record’s sombre title track with its bittersweet sing-along “Just like you, I get lonely too”. We enjoy the jovial flutes of ‘Silly Ho’ leading us into the hefty 808s of Glasto’s Sunday headliner Kendrick Lamar’s ‘HUMBLE’ – with the response a promising sign of things to come.

But we all know what we came for; the mega-bangers ‘Waterfalls’ and ‘No Scrubs’. The latter comes with a speech “to the kids” about boys from “Auntie TeeTee and Auntie Chilli”, and we boogied down again. All in all it made for a pretty sweet nostalgia trip, but we could have done without so many DJ dance break detours and distractions.

TLC played:

‘Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg’
‘Baby-Baby-Baby’
‘Creep’
‘Silly Ho’
‘Fan Mail’
‘Unpretty’
‘Red Light Special’
‘No Scrubs’
‘Waterfalls’

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

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