I’m really not bothered that I’m not at Glastonbury; it’s not been that good from what I’ve seen so far. I hate to start this review off with a lie but I’ve got a theory that if I keep telling myself how rubbish it is, I won’t forever regret my decision to not purchase a ticket and attend this years prestigious Glastonbury Festival.
So, now you know I’m not living a dream, standing in a muddy field watching some of the best bands around, I’ll tell you that I watched the majority of the highlights whilst drinking bottles of Kronenbourg and Twining’s Assam tea. Not together. I’m not a mentalist. First on my agenda was Miles Kane. Gracing the stage in a very patriotic Union Jack blazer, his presence was strong, supported even further by a perfect combination of guitar riffs and great drum beats. Playing songs old and new, fans were treated to flawless performances of Rearrange, Inhaler, Give Up, Don’t Forget Who You Are, Come Closer and a special performance of Standing Next To Me with former band mate (Last Shadow Puppets), Alex Turner. Watching the 11 song set list cemented my decision that I definitely need to go and see the Wirral mod live.
Every year, you’ll read an interview with a band claiming that they’re going to bring guitar music back to the forefront of the industry. 9 times out of 10, they’re talking utter nonsense and end up reaching the number 1 spot with a track featuring David Guetta or Calvin Harris. On the other hand, you’re treated to a band that lives up to their promise and churns out brilliant guitar riff after guitar riff. One band to have kept their promise over the past year or so is Birmingham’s, Peace. Peace were my next choice of festival highlight and for their first Glastonbury performance, there were no signs of nerves. Just dedication and passion for what they do. If you hadn’t heard of them before, you’d think they’d been doing this for years. Follow Baby and Lovesick were effortlessly performed and proved to be not only my favourite songs of the set but also those in attendance.
A firm favourite of Mojo20 next in the form of Bastille. I first caught Bastille live at Leeds Festival last year whilst myself and Stuart were stood outside the festival republic tent waiting for our group to join us. We heard the band playing where I jokingly said, “It sounds like Snap’s ‘Rhythm of the night’. It was of course Bastille’s brilliant, Of The Night. Realising who it was and what a great song it was, we ran in to the tent to join the already dancing crowd. After busting some shapes and discussing what we’d just witnessed, we promised we’d keep an eye on this at the time, relatively new band. Having now seen them again in January when they supported Two Door Cinema Club, I can confirm that they are a brilliant live band. This shows in the fact that they treated the Glastonbury crowd to a 13 song set list. Highlights were Of The Night, Bad Blood and of course the most popular song from the band. Pompeii. If you ever get a chance to go see Bastille, I strongly recommend that you do.
I’ve been following Foals since their 2008 debut, Antidotes. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to see them live. Especially after the release of their 2nd and 3rd album, the band seem to grow in talent with every release. I obviously wanted to tune in to their highlights. The band was absolutely brilliant and probably one of my favourite’s from Friday’s line-up. Performing classic’s such as Two Steps, Twice and Spanish Sahara as well as new fan favourite’s Bad Habit, My Number and Inhaler; it’s clear that Foals know what the crowd want and can hold their heads up high knowing they provided one of their best shows at this years festival.
The last bit of coverage from day 1 that I watched was the first headline act at this years festival, Arctic Monkeys. In my eyes,the guys from Sheffield can do no wrong. Granted, Alex Turner might’ve walked on stage looking like an Elvis impersonator with an even bigger ego than the actual Elvis’ waistline but wouldn’t you be slightly cocky knowing that this year you’ll be releasing your sixth studio album to a fan-base who have been with you for six years since your debut? I know for a fact that I would. Launching straight in to new single, Do I Wanna Know?, it was clear that the band meant business and we here to deliver and nothing but perfection would e enough. With a good mixture of songs, old and new, the crowd were going crazy at all times. Highlights for me were the aforementioned Do I Wanna Know?, Brianstorm, Dancing Shoes, Fake Tales of San Francisco and last year’s single, R U Mine? As mentioned earlier, Alex Turner had already graced a stage at Glastonbury today when he supported ex band-mate and best friend, Miles Kane. I couldn’t help thinking that Miles would return the favour and perform alongside the band throughout the night. He obviously did and appeared for the last song of the band’s encore set. Miles presence added a real edge to the already brilliant, 505. I also enjoyed the stripped back version of Mardy Bum which Alex performed acoustically after teasing with the crowd by singing the first line of Yellow by multiple Glastonbury performer’s, Coldplay. The crowd seemed to initially love the idea, continuing the song until Alex told them he was only joking. Personally, I think he would’ve done a fantastic cover. When Miles Kane and Arctic Monkey’s left the stage I was left feeling like the uncoolest person on the planet. They oozed coolness, talent and charisma. Bastards. *Sobs in to the remainder of my cup of Assam tea* – No wonder I feel uncool at times.
Words by Robert Smith (@robertmsmith)