Somehow, it’s been a week since that one crazy weekend in the year where seeing the Cool Runnings team propping up the bar of a cider bus, while a giant David Bowie slides past in the mud heading to hear ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ in the rain, is completely normal. Ah, Glastonbury – you was wet, you was muddy, you was pretty trying at times, but you was the crazy bubble of escape we need once a year; and even though some of the negativity of the outside world crept in, we partied and promised to take the spirit of the best festival in the world back with us. These lot helped too (sorry Adele, that New Order clash was just too bad):
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘What You Know’
Jagged indie-rock sometimes verging on the very edge of dance pop; Two Door (to their friends) gave Friday afternoon the kick up the arse it needed, encouraging a generous crowd to dance in the rain to tracks from upcoming album, Gameshow, as well as this classic.
Half Moon Run – ‘Full Circle’
Canadian quartet Half Moon Run brought their echoed guitar chimes and sweet, pin point harmonies to the John Peel tent, encouraging sways and gazes from a mesmerised crowd. Few frontmen can replicate the delicate tones Devon Portielje does in a live space, but they circled the tent like a much needed gentle breeze.
Foals – ‘What Went Down’
From its off-key organ beginning to the full force chorus, the title track to last year’s album was one of the strongest, loudest numbers the Pyramid stage offered all weekend. Their slot before Muse was questionable (they’re no stranger to headlining festivals, and were allegedly offered the top spot when the Foo Fighters cancelled last year) but based on this set, their next visit to Worthy Farm should see them at the top of the bill.
Madness – ‘It Must Be Love’
One of the biggest singalongs of the weekend, Madness’ closing number was the message we never knew we needed so much: “Nothing more, nothing less, love is the best”. Thankfully, it’s the one that those who love the festival carry with them anyway. Their cover of Bowie’s ‘Kooks’ was pretty special too, with frontman Suggs his usual, entertaining self – entering wearing a hair-rocker wig and donning a pair of tights on his face later on.
The Last Shadow Puppets – ‘Sweet Dreams, TN’
‘Sweet Dreams, TN’ might not be the obvious opener; it’s military beat and simple rhymes (“It’s really just the pits without you baby, it’s like everyone’s a dick without you baby…”) are far from the sweeping strings and harmonies the duo are known for. It does allow for Alex Turner’s ego to take over from the very first note, however, and while Miles Kane is a big enough personality in his own right, he almost ends up looking like a backing musician here.
Chvrches – ‘Bury It’
Their journey from underground, electronic act to outspoken festival favourites continues, with this number – recently released with Hayley Williams adding vocals – the standard blend of huge industrial beats, sparkling synth effects and sweet, angsty vocals that they never fail to deliver.
New Order – ‘Singularity’
Of course, ‘Blue Monday’, ‘True Faith’ and ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ were what many were waiting for, but what’s even more impressive is how the new material fits in, and how strong it sounds live. ‘Singularity’ (form last year’s Music Complete) opened the set, a track that brings back the gloom of their Joy Division past with the jittery synths of Gillian Gilbert’s return. The sad truth is, you don’t even notice that Hooky isn’t there anymore. (A shout out to Stephen Morris too, one of the finest drummers delivering beats that many would rely on machines for.)
Jeff Lynne’s ELO – ‘Evil Woman’
While it was very much a grey day with fine rain, clay-like mud and the dread of a return to real life, ELO (Jeff Lynne’s, to be correct) were worthy Sunday afternoon legends. What made the delivery of mainly ‘70s, finely crafted, MOR pop/rock even more appealing was the smiles across the faces of the band. ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ brought the bomp (but not the sun), and Beatlesy new number ‘When I Was A Boy’ allowed from reminiscing, but ‘Evil Woman’ opened the set with the promise of what was to come.
Beck – ‘Where It’s At’
Grand enough in its own right, but not enough for this weekend, Beck used the band intros to allow them to bring their tributes to this years festival, with snippets of Prince’s ‘1999’ and Bowie’s ‘China Girl’ (as well as Chic’s ‘Good Times’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘Home Computer’) before going into his own ‘One Foot In The Grave’. A fitting tribute and celebration of his influences from one of the biggest stages in the world.
Coldplay – ‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’
On its own, ‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’ is one of Coldplay’s funkiest numbers – not necessarily one of their best, but with disco riffs and enough “whoo hoos” to make it memorable. In a live setting, however, it comes to life, with huge coloured balloons and Chris Martin demanding that the crowd kneel before jumping for the final chorus to create a carnival a million miles away from their Parachutes days. It may have even been a bigger party anthem than ‘Stayin’ Alive’…