The sun was out again. There were several more bleary-eyed faces from the previous night, but still everyone was on the beers straight after breakfast. The Pyramid was our stage of choice for the opining act. We were brought gently around by The Unthanks, backed by Charles Hazelwood & His Orchestra. ‘Are you all up really early, or are you still up from last night?’ one of the girls asked. Is was an appropriate question; the crowd was probably half and half. The combination between The Unthanks and the orchestra worked perfectly. The delicate voices of the girls mixed with the cinematic sound added by the orchestra combined made something really special. ‘Blue Blazing Blind Drunk’ opened with the lyrics ‘I married a man for his money, and he’s worse than the devil himself,’ and with this they managed to do something very few could do. They had the whole of the Pyramid crowd totally silent listening to the words. You could have heard a pin drop. Conductor Charles Hazelwood explained how his orchestra was formed completely of disabled musicians, trying to give them the same platform that able-bodied musicians had; completely inspired by the Paralymics. Add to the set a bit of clog dancing and we had the perfect set to start off a slightly hungover Saturday morning.
From that we stuck to the same stage to see a completely different act. Australia’s Courtney Barnett grabbed her electric guitar and gave us an amazing set of power pop guitar anthems. It was great to see such amazing guitar skills, as well as brilliantly crafted lyrics. She played a mix of tracks from her albums, including highlight and brand new single ‘Dead Fox’.
A quick trip back to The Other Stage to see Azealia Banks, only to find out she had cancelled and The Stypes were playing instead. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we made our way back to see one of my clashes The Waterboys. These guys have been in the business for a long time, but so many people would probably only know one song. But still they got the crowds going with tracks such as ‘Fisherman’s Blue,’ ‘A Girl Called Jonny,’ and of course ‘Glastonbury Song’. Some crazy and unexplained theatrical mask wearing made for lots of confused faces in the crowd. It was that song ‘Whole Of The Moon’ that made everyone sing along at the top of their voices. It was a real moment for me that I will always remember. Their showmanship despite their years was something a lot of today’s acts could learn from. They were followed on the same stage by relative newcomer newcomer George Ezra. The crowd’s average age dropped by several years. The sun was shining in the sky, and the huge crowd that Ezra attracted swayed along to his chilled out folk-pop songs. Tracks such as ‘Budapest’ and set opener ‘Cassy O’ got festival goers singing along. It was however his cover of Macy Gray’s ‘I Try’ that got the biggest reaction.
There were two words on everyone’s lips, and everyone we passed was talking about going to see the legend himself, Mr. Burt Bacharach. A songwriter and not a vocalist in his own right, Burt played piano whilst his session band sang classic songs from his back catalogue. Every song that came on made my friend and I look at each other and say, ‘I didn’t know he’d done this one’. He has written so many classic songs for the likes of Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones. His set was made up of a monster twenty-seven songs. The whole Pyramid area was swaying and singing along, and truly embracing being in the presence of such a legend.
From the more senior, to a brand new band. We then headed up to the John Peel Stage to see the winners of the BBC’s sound of 2015, Years And Years. It was always going to be a difficult set for the boys, as their debut album is yet to come out. With the exception of a few songs, most of the material was all new to us. Big songs such as ‘Desire,’ and ‘Worship’ got a great reaction. The rest of the set seemed to be well received too, and has left me looking forward to hearing the album when it drops. It was of course their recent number one hit ‘King’ that got the crowd bouncing. This of course was also the set closer too. Front man Olly wore his glittery rainbow top to show his Pride to be gay, as so many others did to celebrate London Pride that went off the same day. He managed to show that they are not merely a great dance act, but also showed off outstanding vocals on the slower tracks such as ‘Eyes Shut’.
Then it was back in to the open air for Paloma Faith on the Pyramid Stage. Always engaging as a personality, she showed her vocals matched. She concentrated more on her upbeat numbers such as ‘Stone Cold Sober’ and Pharrell produced ‘Can’t Rely On You’. Even her hit ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ was stepped up a notch to turn it into a huge dance number. She closed by bringing recent collaborators Sigma onstage to perform their number one hit ‘Changing’. Without doubt Paloma was a huge hit at this year’s festival. The aforementioned Pharell had one of the biggest turn outs and performed not only tracks from his new album ‘Girl,’ but also anthems such as ‘Frontin” and hits from his band The Neptunes. It was great to hear the tracks he had produced for other artists thrown in there too such as Gwen Stefani’s ‘Holler Back Girl,’ Snoop’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ and Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines. He closed it off with his too recent massive hits ‘Get Lucky, with Daft Punk, and ‘Happy’.
Then it was back over to John Peel. The great thing about Glastonbury is that you always go home with a new favourite. No matter how meticulously you put together your list of must-sees, it’s always those random acts you just wander in to that end up being amongst the best. That happened twice to me this year, the first of those being electro pop singer La Roux. we all know her from her hits ‘I’m Not Your Toy,’ and ‘In For The Kill,’ but she had long since fallen off my radar. Both of those hits were included during her energetic twelve track setlist, finishing off with her other big hit ‘Bulletproof’. This performance put her back in the game for me.
Whilst pretty much everyone was talking about the up and coming headline set from Kanye, for me Saturday night was all about nineties indie rockers Suede. There are certain bands I have seen from this era who seem to forget about their big tracks from the past and focus more on their new stuff. This wasn’t so much the case for Brett Anderson and the boys. The crowd went mad for indie anthems such as ‘We Are The Pigs,’ ‘Metal Mickey’ and ‘Animal Nitrate’. There are too many tracks for me to wax-lyrical about (and believe me, I could go on for hours about this set) but they ended with ‘Beautiful Ones’ before exiting stage left and coming back on to an excited crowd to perform too more tracks, ann acoustic version of ‘She’s In Fashion,’ and a big closing with ‘New Generation,.
There was so much to fit in on the Saturday, and we found our self running from one end of Worthy farm to the other 9and believe me when i say how huge it is). Even then we missed so many great acts, but went back to our tents that night happy that we’d had another great day of live music. One more to go.