Glastonbury Saturday talking points: The Chemical Brothers, a heatwave, and Shura's monochrome look
Yesterday at Glastonbury was hot, dusty and sweaty, but it made up for it in a million different ways
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and the talk of the campsite this morning is that the showers are back in business, after being shut off yesterday to preserve water amid the extreme heatwave.
The news has been met with even more enthusiasm than Lizzo’s flute solos yesterday. Walking back to my tent with wet hair, as the sound of Christine and the Queens soundchecking ahead of her headline set on the Other Stage later today drifted through the air, I got a taste of the life of a celebrity. Every few seconds, people stopped me to ask if the rumours were true. I was thrilled to confirm that they were.
Yesterday at Glastonbury was hot, dusty and sweaty, but it made up for it in a million different ways. The likes of Hot Chip, Lizzo, Hozier, Sharon Van Etten, Janet Jackson and The Killers performed; there were celeb spots aplenty, including the festival celeb spot holy grail Alexa Chung; there were massages in the healing fields; Neneh Cherry decried Boris Johnson. What more could you ask for?
Ahead of today’s third and final day, which will see The Cure headline and Miley Cyrus, Years and Years, Janelle Monae and many others perform, here are all the talking points from Saturday.
I’ve never been to Glastonbury before, so my understanding of the festival has mostly been pieced together from pictures of Nick Grimshaw and his mates wading through mud in the following Monday’s Metro. So far it hasn’t been exactly what I expected – it’s so big, more a marathon than a wild messy sprint. But then I saw her – Alexa Chung, in the flesh, laughing and making an offhand comment about the weather – looking exactly like she did in pictures in 2008. Finally I felt so Glasto. – AL
Click through the gallery to see the best photos from Glastonbury 2019
Shura’s monochrome outfit
Manchester’s brightest synth-pop star gave a wonderful, infectious set at the John Peel stage on Saturday, but perhaps the best thing about it was her head to toe all-white outfit: trousers and a polo neck paired with chunky trainers and a flowering cape. Even better was her description of herself as “Your friendly neighbourhood lesbian vaping pope.” – AL
Slowthai’s heat rave
In Saturday’s immobilising heat, nobody was worse hit than Slowthai: one track in, the malevolent Northampton rapper hopped barefoot to the front panels, then yelped to his DJ to pull up the track. “These things are hot!” he screamed, clambering back to the stage. “Everything’s hot!” he howled a second later. “P, I need my socks, it’s too hot.” After daintily hopping to the rear of the stage, he panicked. “Wait... where are the socks? Glastonbury, I need some socks!”
Rattled but, thanks to a stage hand, socked, he proceeded with “Drug Dealer” in classic Slowthai fashion: by stripping down to his boxers, running wildly around the stage and mugging at the crowd. “I need to take my boxers off,” he muttered to an alarmed crowd after “Doorman”. He decided to hold off, terrorising fans instead with a volatile set of high energy tunes, a “f**k Boris” call-and-response and a spontaneous rendition of “Wonderwall.” “Mandem, remember to make your girl cum,” he declared at one point. “’Cos you ain’t doing it properly.” Never let it be said that rap doesn’t have a social conscience. – JM
Lizzo’s flute solos
The 31-year-old singer and rapper offered the perfect Saturday afternoon vibes – playful, rowdy, and laden with personality and defiant declarations of self-love. But it was the two flute solos – one during “Truth Hurts” and a second, full of trills and runs, during “Good as Hell” – which whipped the crowd up into a reverential frenzy. Lizzo is already a star, of course, but I suspect she’s a future headliner. - AP
When the clouds appeared
If someone had monetised shade over the past few days of Glastonbury, they would have made an absolute killing. So fiercely, relentlessly hot was the summer sun that it seemed to affect the sizes of the crowds during many of the early day sets. Turns out, when forced to choose between Hozier and not dying of heat stroke, most people will choose the latter. So when 5pm rolled by and the sky began to fill with a hazy layer of cloud, there was a collective sigh of relief. This morning seems cooler too, praise the Lord. – AP
The Chemical Brothers playing “Go”
I wasn’t planning on watching the Chemical Brothers – I was just ambling past on my way to the Park Stage to watch Hot Chip. “I think the only song I would want to see is “Go”,” I said to a colleague, just as the jazzy brass notes of that very song rang out. Q-Tip’s vocals kicked in. Geometric bodies danced on the screens. It was kismet. It was brilliant. And Zoe Ball was next to me, having a ball. - AP
Just walk around?
Amid the cavalcade of legendary performers, rising stars and cult treasures, it’s easy to forget you’ve signed up to the broadest of all churches. On the site-spanning wander from Sons of Kemet to Janet Jackson, I glimpsed an assortment of oddities and curios that felt like a beguiling act in itself: a tightrope striptease, a one-ball juggler, a luridly downbeat and drug-themed one-man show to an audience of aghast toddlers, and, in the Healing field, a “rebirthing” practitioner. At Glastonbury, I realised, you don’t need a shaman to tell you you’re born again. - JM