The pace immediately builds on day 3. Friday arrives and from that point on there’s barely a break from the music. The day started with a cup of tea and the opening act of The Other Stage. The Pretenders were up first. They started slow with tracks off their new album, but soon played some crowd pleasers. Not my type of band. A satisfactory, if not impressive start to the festival. It soon improved.
We headed to the John Peel Stage next. We’d just discovered Rews on the playlist and thoroughly enjoyed their set (missed the first few tracks). Black Honey immediately followed. They also sounded good, but we only caught a few tracks before we needed to head off.
The scheduling at Glastonbury can be a personal challenge. You need to work out who you want to see in their entirety and prioritise accordingly. Blossoms were one of those priorities, so it was our first trip to The Pyramid Stage. They were really good without ever really sparkling. I feel like they are holding back a little at times, but I’ll be really interested to see how they develop on album number 2.
The sweet sounds of First Aid Kit followed. This is a band that always sound amazing. They didn’t disappoint. Oddly, Ste and I had been rubbishing the song, You Are The Problem Here, in advance, but this was a great part of the set. A trip back to the Other Stage followed.
Glass Animals were up next. We were eating a square pie for a few songs of this set and never really got involved. It was decent without ever engaging me significantly. They did trow some awesome inflatable pineapples into the crowd though which is something.
Back to The Pyramid Stage for three of our most anticipated sets.
Royal Blood took to the stage and were immediately impressive. Those two produce such an awesome noise. So powerful, catchy and engaging. The two of them seem to have a great stage presence. Their second album had juts got to number one and they celebrated by cracking open a massive bottle of champagne on stage and guzzling it all in front the huge crowd. Class.
The xx were next. This set seemed to go quickly. This may have had something to do with alcohol which had been a steady intake since 12ish. The xx sounded great and seemed to have a set full of familiar tunes, despite the fact that I’ve only properly got into them since the most recent album. Elbow were playing a secret set of the park stage and in previous years we’d have headed there, but given how many times I’ve seen Elbow, I’m glad we stuck with The xx.
An so for the first headliner. Radiohead. We hadn’t seen Radiohead live since 2003, so were really looking forward to this, especially in anticipation of an OK Computer heavy set. Unfortunately its was a bit of a led down (no pun intended). Despite featuring 6 OK Computer tracks and a tonne of other great tunes, it lacked some emotional connection. We thought a significant problem was the stupid use of the big screens. There was rarely a standard image displayed and instead you had to watch an arty collage of nonsense. We were to far from the stage to see what was going on directly and could really only see the silhouette of an unmoving security guy on stage. Consequently there was no connection. This had a significant impact. Don’t get me wrong. It was good. Just not great. OKNOTOK I guess.
The night didn’t quite end there. Just enough time for a lengthy dash to The Park (first visit) to catch the embers of The Flaming Lips set. I think we caught 4 tracks. All were good and seemed very entertaining. A pleasant coda to the first full day of music.
Unfortunately, post Lips, we got caught in a massive crush outside of the park area. If we did have any plans to continue on to anything else (we probably didn’t), then they were swiftly brought to a close be being sent in opposite directions. We met back up at the tent. Day three done.
On Friday 23rd June we walked 15.25km and saw 10 bands across 4 stages. Highlights were First Aid Kit, Royal Blood and The xx.