As the old cliché goes Glastonbury Festival changed my life; at the end of my first year of university studying a Physics degree I attended my first festival and with Kasabian swaggering on stage it was the perfect way to open. By the end of the festival Glastonbury and music had stolen my heart.
Countless gigs later and festivals up and down the country from The Great Escape and Latitude to Leeds and Dot To Dot I’ve been to many unique and interesting festivals but nothing quite like Glastonbury. Each festival has managed to capture elements of what makes Glastonbury special, from discovering your next musical obsession, being the first to hear the next big thing, the weirdness of the Glastonbury village, the strange sculptures, the giant peace sign, the variety of comedy and theatre, to those strange little tents you wander in to at 3am. Glastonbury has grown organically into it’s own mini town of 175,000 people that pops up once a year from a strange musical dimension and winks back out of existence 5 days later. If it didn’t exist it would make a great idea for a Sci-Fi novel.
Unfortunately this year I couldn’t make Glastonbury Festival and despite how well the BBC draw you in and give you a little bit of that Glastonbury magic, armchair viewing will never quite be the same. Here though are five artists that I caught from my armchair that I can’t wait to catch live, with the buzz of the crowd and that electrifying feeling you can only get from live music.
First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit’s dulcet tones swept me up and away up and out of my office chair to a land of folk tales and enchanting melodies. With ‘Stay Gold’ and ‘My silver Lining’ from there well received 2014 album ‘Stay Gold’ being particular highlights. The set also included a powerful new track ‘You are the problem here’ that was written in response to the shocking case of People v. Turner in America.
She Drew The Gun
She Drew The Gun has to be one of my favourite new discoveries and their set on 6music only cemented this fact. Actually as soon as the last notes faded I immediately ordered tickets to see them supporting Jane Weaver at The Ritz in Manchester in November. Their single poem cuts directly into the heart of what is wrong with society and is a truly heartfelt and emotional piece of music.
Royal Blood played an electrifying set on The Pyramid Stage on Friday night and by the time album number 3 rolls I wouldn’t be surprised if they were headlining. A champagne toast to a number one album on The Pyrammid Stage has to be a highlight of any bands career. It will probably go down as one of those sets at Glastonbury that people say I was there.
The XX is a strange case of a band that I have followed from their first single and have yet to see live. Over the past couple of years has seen there popularity explode with 7 sell out nights at Brixton Academy and a couple of number one albums. It is always a great feeling to see that little indie band that you have been talking about for years come onto the Pyrammid Stage for the world to enjoy.
The London wordsmith Kate Tempest opened with a brutal review of the current state of the U.K. her lyrics cutting to the heart of the matter with surgical precision. From education, homelessness, the health system and the division that is rife within our society each issue was broken to pieces and woven together with a web of words with a deft ease in a style that is unique to her. This opening was punctuated by the many tales her tracks from Let Them Eat Chaos and Everybody Down weave about characters that are far too real.
These are just five of my highlights and I’m sure each of you could list a dozen more, that’s the special thing about Glastonbury I’ve only got to the end of Friday night and I’ve already added five new artists to the ever growing list of bands that I can’t wait to see.