British Sea Power
After resisting the temptation to stay out too late after Radiohead’s glorious performance the previous evening I awoke on Saturday morning feeling only slightly hungover, which is no mean feat considering Fridays level of alcohol consumption. After picking up some breakfast I then did something which I wasn’t expecting and checked out the Depeche Mode tribute act, Speak and Spell. I must say they really surprised and I had a wonderful time hearing some of the songs live as well as being a great start to the day, this was also a perfect opportunity to crack open the first can of the day as a great thing about Glastonbury is that you are allowed to take your own alcohol into the main stages and areas which is a nice change from other festivals. Speak and Spell fired through some of the famous electronic hits that we all know and love however it was their rendition of Enjoy The Silence that garnered the best reaction from a crowd that had been into the gig from the get go.
I then strolled over to the Other Stage and relaxed with a drink while waiting for two consecutive acts that I was really looking forward to, the first of these being British Sea Power. I even made the decision to make it reasonably close to the front which is something I don’t usually do but it wasn’t too crowded and every time I’ve seen this band they’ve been phenomenal so I wanted a good view. From the opening notes of Machineries Of Joy to the aptly titled Waving Flags I was absolutely enthralled with the bands quirky take on indie rock. Having not seen them perform for a couple of years this was one of my favourite gigs of theirs I had seen and it ended perfectly with the glorious The Great Skua which sounded absolutely massive.
After a toilet and bar break I then made my way to the front again for Wild Beasts, who to quote themselves were in fact part 2 of a Cumbrian takeover of the Other Stage. This was a band who I have admired for a long time but have never been able to make it to one of their shows so I was excited for this one and as soon as the heavy bass started rumbling through the audience I knew I would not be let down. Opening with tracks from their latest album the guys immediately hit their stride and made me realise how much I’d been missing my never catching one of their shows before. Their synth heavy sound is right up my street and I love every one of their albums, it is testament to how good the gig was when I could think of several more songs I would like to hear live. However, every tune was immense and they had the crowd moving throughout, I would like to give a special mention to Ponytail which had such a full sound it was close to bursting as well as the sublime Hooting & Howling probably my favourite song by the band so I was ecstatic they played that one.
I then headed over to the Pyramid to see Run The Jewels who had a pretty tough act of following up the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who absolutely packed out the field to the point where I couldn’t even see the screens when I arrived. I don’t claim to be a hip hop expert but there is something about this duo that have always drawn me towards them and it’s no surprise with their big beats as well as inventive and humorous lyrics. Appearing straight after the political figures speech seemed to work really well for Run The Jewels as some people seemed to hang around meaning they had a massive crows for an afternoon slot. You could see how much it meant to them too and the energy they provided onstage radiated towards the crowd meaning everyone witnessing this amazing show seemed to be absolutely loving it and there were thousands of smiling faces around.
I then met up with everyone else and we decided to head up to the Glastonbury sign at the top of the hill in the park area of the festival. Even though this was my fourth festival I had never actually gone up the hill before although I was going to do it last year but when I was at the bottom of it I soon realised it would have been hard getting up there in the extreme mud. Being able to get such a good view of the sight was a great way to get ready for heading back down to the park stage where Joe Goddard of Hot Chip was about to perform a solo set. Although I had heard his latest album a couple of times I wasn’t overly familiar with it, but I knew I liked the sound of what I had listened to. I was expecting to enjoy Joe’s set but my breath was absolutely taken away by the sheer majesty of his performance as well as they extremely talented Valentina who provided vocals on some of the tracks. His take on electronica was absolutely sublime and being able to take it all in as a family as well is something I will not forget for a long time as all three of us were having a blast. As Joe got everybody dancing more and more he finally built everything up into the mass crescendo and party feeling that the excellent ending track Home gave proceedings.
Night time was well and truly upon us so I thought going to a Jon Hopkins DJ set on Arcadia, a giant mechanical spider would be a good idea. And I was proved right as Hopkins played an astounding array of tunes and although I haven’t seen hundreds of techno sets I would certainly put it up amongst the best I’ve seen. I stayed at the spider as TQD were playing next and this trio of DJ’s had produced the brilliant UKG album earlier in the year. I think part of what attracts me to TQD is the fact they were all DJ’s so this just seemed to start as three mates having fun which ended up taking on a life of its own. This felt like an absolute journey through dub and bass music and every time the tunes relented, giving you a false sense of security someone else would take over the decks and hit you with a bassline that left you shuddering.
Click here for day 5.