So another Glastonbury festival has been and gone, and as always it brought endless build-up and hype as to who would play, who would be remembered, and whether it would rain. Despite not really changing its concepts in years, it still manages to capture the imagination of the 120,000 people who flock to Worthy Farm each June. Rain or shine the general atmosphere and buzz of the festival remains at a high, regardless of the mud and pre Roman Empire toilet facilities. This is lucky, because by Thursday afternoon the heavens opened, and stayed this way more or less for the next four days. There is something special about the atmosphere at Glastonbury Festival, and this was in full force this year.
As for the music, there was simply no excuse to be without a gig to watch. As a guitar music lover, I was spoilt with the choices between the Pyramid, Other Stage, Park, and John Peel. Despite the vast crowds and distances between stages, a mere amount of thought and planning meant it was possible to attain a good spot for all that was worth seeing. Stand out performances included the likes of Paolo Nutini, with his shortened set due to an electrical storm on the Other Stage as the sunset over a picturesque cloudy horizon. Then there was Lana Del Rey’s beautifully presented selection of iconic filled love songs on the Pyramid Stage, performed with her own sense of vulnerability. Earlier on in the afternoon there was Royal Blood’s testosterone pumped set of loud blues anthems at the John Peel Stage, which saw the crowd overflowing far out of the tented stage.
The Sunday evening closing slot proved a difficult choice as Kasabian, Bristol legends Massive Attack, Disclosure, and James Blake all clashed on different stages. The closing headline slot of Glastonbury is one which is filled with prestige and anticipation as it brings the event to a close, but is one that is also shrouded with the steady stream of people leaving by the time it actually comes around, and whether the mostly hung over and exhausted crowds left want one last injection of heavy drops and adrenaline, or a smooth and easy coaxing back into Monday. After much debate and consideration I went with Kasabian, and it’s fair to say I was not disappointed.
After watching veteran blues duo The Black Keys play out a career spanning set, it was time to see if Kasabian could deliver on their promises of a headline show that would not be forgotten. Despite the selection of material focusing quite heavily on their most recent full length release ’48:13′, it would be difficult to argue that there is a band out there who can get a crowd more rowdy and excited than Kasabian. With their classic hits performed, and the audience well and truly within their grasp, Serge stepped out alone and performed an acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ which then blended into fan favourite ‘Take Aim’. This seemed to be a stand out moment as pretty much all 70,000 odd people sang it as loud as he did. After a perfectly executed performance, displaying all of the qualities of the band, they bring on the strange character that is Noël Fielding as part of their encore before finishing, as expected, with Lost Souls Forever. This erratic exhibition of crowd pleasers and daring performance was a worthy finish to an amazing Glastonbury Festival, which saw a variety of memorable sets and moments.
Words by David Brown