Live Review: Glastonbury Festival – Friday 26th June 2015

Glastonbury is unlike any other festival in the UK or abroad. It isn’t just a music festival. It is a festival of performing arts. Whilst the music is go the broadest spectrum imaginable, you can also come across some great poets, circus acts, speakers and comedians. You can spend one moment rocking out to your favourite band, the next you can be in lotus position indulging in meditation at the healing fields. The is something for everyone, regardless of your age. This year in particular I noticed the greatest age range. During Lionel Richie’s set I was surrounded by teenagers, whilst during Florence’s headline set I was moshing with a group of women well in to their sixties.  Everyone is so open minded as to the music they listen to. There is never any tension between any of the 175,000 festival goers. Everyone is there for the same reason; to have fun and enjoy some great music. People’s usual fashion senses go out the window. There are men and women dressed as super heroes and farmyard animals. It’s the only time of the year you will see straight men wearing dresses and glitter. Nobody cares. We’re all just there to have a great time and enjoy the experience. And that’s exactly what it is; an experience.

This year the line up was as good as it’s ever been. There was a lot of controversy when festival organisers announced that their Saturday headliner would be Kanye West. I can’t say I’m particular fan of the guy, but the great thing about Glastonbury is its eclectic mix of acts. It’s not all about big rock headliners as the purists would have you believe.


Whilst the Pyramid stage started off with a bit of ballet action in the shape of Michael Clarke Company, we decided to head over to The Other stage where the opening act was shrouded in mystery. Everyone was feeling good after the opening Wednesday and Thursday had been so sunny; not the typical Glastonbury weather. The act kicking things off was nineties indie stalwarts The Charlatans. It became obvious who it was from the second they came on from Tim Burgess’ trademark bowl haircut. It was a mixed reaction at first, many people disappearing after the reveal, but for the majority of of the crowd who stayed, we were treated to a great set including all of their big hits. They kicked off with ‘Weirdo,’ and played to a captive audience. Nineties kids like myself were in their element as Tim and the boys went through huge hits such as ‘The only one I know,’ and ‘One to another.’



More fantastic live action continued shortly after on The Other Stage with Everything, Everything. The boys seemed to pay tribute to the Dalhi Llama’s appearance by wearing red smocks. Even the more casual fan was blown away by their ten track set, kicking off with previous singles ‘Cough Cough,’ and ‘MY KZ, YR BF.’ They were a well supported band who got the crowd going for the rest of the day. New single ‘Regrets’ had everyone singing along and punching the air to the chorus.

After a glorious morning, the heavens opened, and we became accustomed to the more typical Glasto weather. The mud set in and the trainers were exchanged for wellies; a festival essential. Alabama Shakes kept the spirits high regardless. Next up was my personal Friday highlight. When Mary J Blige walked on to the stage, it was clear that we were in the presence of a genuine legend. Tracks such as ‘Just Fine,’ and ‘Real Love’ got the crowd bouncing as she belted out the hits whilst strutting up and down the stage in her six inch heals. She stepped things up another level toward the end of the set. Her huge emotional performance of her classic hit ‘No More Drama’ not only got the crowd close to tears, but also the lady herself. Whilst this song could have clearly closed her set, she continued with two more songs; her U2 cover ‘One’ and her huge dance floor hit ‘Family Affair.’ I probably would never have had the chance to see such a genuine superstar outside of the festival, so getting the chance to do so made the first day of bands genuinely special.

The big talk was who was going to take Florence’s set after she got bumped up to the headline spot. Recently reformed The Libertines took on the roll, closing with their anthem ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun.’ Instead we opted to make our way to West Holts to see Caribou. I’m a massive fan of the band on record, but the live experience seemed to fall a little flat. They did however get the crowd dancing with their huge dance floor anthems ‘Can’t Do Without You,’ ‘Swim,’ and ‘Sun.’


Nobody was as surprised to see Florence & The Machine headlining The Pyramid Stage as much as Florence Welch herself. After Foo Fighters had to cancel due to Dave Grohl’s leg injury, Ms. Welch was boosted up the lineup to take top position. She had more to prove than anyone else there (with maybe the exception of Kanye West). But did she manage it? Yeah, I reckon she did. Pulp were the last people to do this after they were bumped up to replace The Stone Roses many years ago. They reigned triumphantly, as did Florence & The Machine. Huge hits such as ‘Rabbit Heart,’ and ‘Shake It Out,’ along side of tracks from her latest album really got the crowd in her hands. Her Calvin Harris collaboration ‘Sweet Nothing’ was an unexpected treat. Closing with her cover of ‘You Got The Love,’ and ‘Dog Days Are Over,’ Florence tore her clothes off and enjoyed the mass appreciation she received from an elated crowd.

Day one done. Everyone headed off to Arcadia and Shangri La to enjoy the night action.

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