Saturday certainly has the potential to be the longest day of the festival – there isn’t much time to sleep given that, for me, Friday’s late finish meant getting to bed around 3:30am and the first band of the day starts at 11:30 (that doesn’t sound too bad but that means getting out of bed at 8am. Glastonbury is a big place). By weird coincidence I’ve been given the perfect transition however – last night finished with this year’s Eurovision winner, Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine, today starts with Go_A, last year’s Ukrainian entry. Much like the night before, it feels like a bit of a privilege to get to see them, with the events going on in Ukraine at the minute. Considering how early they’re on it seems like a lot of people want to show their support, with Ukrainian flag waving around the audience and everyone joining hands part way through the set. Musically they’re really enjoyable – even more so than I thought they would be actually – there’s something interesting about the music, something a bit different and the vocals sound brilliant.
Next up is Skunk Anansie, who waste absolutely no time building the energy up, vocalist Skin in the crowd by the second song. Skin’s voice is absolutely phenomenal and seems completely unfazed by her running around into the crowd, wearing a head piece which must surely be boiling hot. The pure aggression during Yes It’s Fucking Political is immense. The music itself is excellent too – the guitar, bass, and drums all sound huge and, when the bigger riffs come in, they all work perfectly together. The set has inspired me to take a deeper dive into Skunk Anansie’s discography, I was left wanting to hear more.
Yves Tumor are a band I’ve only heard a few tracks by (which I definitely enjoyed) so I was curious to see them perform over on West Holts, to hear a bit more of their music in a live setting. Their stage setup means some members of the band are up fairly high – I look at the drum kit towering above the rest of the band and wonder whether the rack tom has ever fallen over the edge. Setup aside, this set is brilliant, one of the best of the weekend. The way the songs have been transferred to a full live band just works perfectly. The vocals sound great, the guitar solos absolutely rip, the whole thing is amazing. Incredible.
While stage hopping I catch a bit of Asylums over on the Leftfield stage. Personally I think Asylums are criminally underrated – they deserve a far bigger audience than they receive and, with the quality of their songs and the amount of energy they put into their performance they could be playing bigger stages. I haven’t seen them in a few years but they seem to just get better and better; the songs are great and the band members contort themselves into all kinds of shapes while giving it their all performing them. A really fun band, I’m glad I got to stop by for a while to catch them again. I also stop by, a complete contrast, Olivia Rodrigo on the Other Stage – I appreciate I’m not the target audience for her music but clearly there’s a huge number of people excited to see her live, the volume of the fans before she’s even taken to the stage is huge. I also appreciate that her backing band is made up of people of a similar age, rather than just general session musicians – it feels more like a live band than a solo artist in that sense. What’s more to say? She sounds great, the band works well, the kids love it.
Ghetts over on the John Peel stage was always going to be an interesting one. I feel his more recent work has been a bit more mellow and seemingly more personal and that comes out in his live performance. The live band sound great and add to the performance well, especially on the newer tracks where everything feels like it’s from the heart. Of course when he moves to “shelling part” of the set and the DJ provides the beats, that’s when the tent erupts – a circle pit forms as Ghetts spits bar after bar full with sheer energy and, at times, aggression, the crowd getting more and more into it. Considering he’s only three albums into his career, watching this set, I look forward to seeing how he continues to evolve. What a talent.
Yungblud is another band where I’m not the target audience but you can’t help but get swept into his excitement while performing. Yungblud seems genuinely excited to be playing Glastonbury and, judging by the size of audience, it appears to be reciprocated. I’m actually very impressed by how well he handled the monitoring issue he was having, his vocals still sounding great despite him not being able to hear. Megan Thee Stallion on the other hand disappoints me slightly – the songs are good fun but it seems like she’s rapping over a track that already has her vocals on them, the lines carrying on when she stops. It’s kind of bewildering – I feel like when you’re at the point of headlining a stage you shouldn’t really need the safety net of having back up vocals. At which point I decide to go and watch some of Paul McCartney‘s set just because it’s likely I’ll never get a chance to see him again. I feel like going late was a good idea given the 2h30m runtime of the set – when I get there we just get a selection of Beatles tracks that I actually recognise, as well as guest appearances from Dave Grohl and Bruce Springstein. It’s a lot of fun, the audience breaking out into song repeatedly. And with that Saturday is done. Time for a well deserved sleep.